When I first started teaching, I remember trying so many different ideas all the time in my classroom. It was exhausting running a new small group scenario or differentiation strategy several times per week, and over my many years of teaching, I’ve come to master a handful of strategies that are versatile and work EVERY time (at least NOW they do!). For me, learning stations are the way to go. I’d say at least once a week, I have my students engaging with content through a learning stations setup and I love it.
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There’s a lot more to teaching in the month of December than just cute holiday sentiments. This time of year is challenging for so many reasons; from the looming horror of final exams to the downright awful cold weather (remember, Chicago girl here!), December is a teaching challenge of focus, measuring learning from the entire semester, and finding ways to authentically remember the heart of the season in our classrooms.
It’s true. I confess: I am a high school English teacher and I do not have an operational classroom library. Do I have a classroom full of books and do I grab whatever I can at Goodwill and garage sales? Heck yes. But do I have a check out system, or even an organized system in which I’ve read every book on the shelf and make a point to recommend titles to each of my 125 students every other week? Nope. I don’t.
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.
Have you ever done a Google search for "poetry ideas" to teach in your high school English classroom? Let me spoil those search results for you - THEY'RE LAME! Poetry, especially at the high school level, it too important to be treated as a coloring activity, or worse, ignored completely.