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Back to School

Summer Reading:  5 Problems & 5 Solutions

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Summer Reading: 5 Problems & 5 Solutions

The “summer slide” is a powerful force that knocks students off track who were making progress.  Students struggling with literacy all school year fall further behind during the summer months when the “faucet” (an analogy described by the Brookings Institute) is turned off.  We NEED to do something, but in high school, we face a plethora of challenges.

For this article, I interviewed teachers on social media and drew from my experiences at two different districts.  Here are the problems I found and some solutions that I propose. I’d love to hear your feedback and additional suggestions because we are in this together!

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How To Build A New Novel Unit From Scratch

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How To Build A New Novel Unit From Scratch

After teaching for ten years and then switching schools, I was very quickly reminded of how much work goes into writing curriculum from scratch. For a long time, I was in a happy place of continual revision of curriculum that I liked, but was tweaking here and there for relevance, rigor, and for fun.  

Now?  It’s the Wild West.  It’s intergalactic chaos.  It’s constant guessing and unpredictability.  All that aside, however, it’s also invigorating and exciting.  I would call myself “a curriculum person” because this kind of blank slate challenges me in a way that sparks joy in my life, despite the chaos, so I’d like to share with you how to most easily navigate through a first attempt at writing and implementing a new curriculum for a new novel in your secondary ELA classroom.

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A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

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A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

Every school and every teacher has a different philosophy with student cell phones, but with classroom management as a whole.  Whether you are on the FORBIDDEN end of the spectrum or on the “do what you want, it’s your grade” end, I just might have a solution that will help in your classroom.

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Back to School:  Tech Talk Week!

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Back to School: Tech Talk Week!

It's time to head back to school with The Secondary Series!  We are so excited to share a whole entire week of broadcasting with you all.  This Back to School: Tech Talk Week series will focus entirely on edtech tips and tricks for any secondary educator to bring back into his or her classroom.  

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How to Work with Words Without a Workbook

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How to Work with Words Without a Workbook

In order for our students to succeed across subject areas, we must all acknowledge the critical importance of vocabulary instruction.   There are so many best practices out there, so many specialists, and so many approaches, it can feel daunting to choose a streamlined and effective strategy for your classroom.  No matter your favorite method or style, I have a thoughtful yet efficient strategy for you to try in your class this year.

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The Pinterest Perfect Classroom:  What's Missing?

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The Pinterest Perfect Classroom: What's Missing?

As I’m writing this, you’ve probably already pinned 100 new ideas for your back to school decor on Pinterest.  You very well might be simultaneously stalking a corner of the Target Dollar Spot.  Maybe you’re even wish-listing things for your classroom on Amazon.  And if you’re not doing one of these two things, you’re almost certainly scrolling through Instagram with major “Insta-classroom envy” every other post you see.

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