Kids love to talk to each other, they are human and humans are social! In a classroom of thirty plus secondary students how can we balance allowing that innate need to talk with maintaining a quiet, productive atmosphere? The answer: noise levels. If you are a middle or high school teacher you may be thinking…this […]
Teaching writing is so hard! There are many reasons why, but one of the main reasons is distracting student behavior! With a plan in place, your ability to handle the distracting student behavior can improve. No matter what though, it is important to realize that students are people who don’t necessarily value what you, the […]
English teachers often default to essays, quizzes and tests as assessments. Figuring out creative ways to assess beyond this can be challenging. So, I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite blogging friends (see who below) to come up with creative ways to assess students’ skills as readers, writers, speakers and listeners! This article would […]
Teachers are busy and don't have time to go looking for mini lessons. If you do have time, here are The Best Places to Find Mini Lessons Online. However, if you you don't have time, like most teachers on planet Earth, then you'll want to come up with your own mini lessons.
So you want to excite students about your upcoming writing unit? Before I wrote this post I asked some 7th and 8th grade students this question… What could teachers do to get you excited for a writing assignment? Here’s what they said: Blow a kazoo. Buy a confetti cannon. Play a prank. Now, these tactics […]
The phrase "mentor text" is pretty new. Ralph Fletcher, a guru in the writing instruction world defines mentor texts as, "Any writing that you can learn from...", this definition is so satisfying. It's satisfying because often, one of the biggest challenges about being a writing workshop teacher is finding mentor texts. But, this definition opens a plethora of texts up to us.
Coming back to school after having two weeks off (or the summer off) can be really rough for students and teachers. The last thing anyone wants to do is get right back to work the first day back. It's important for us to reconnect with our students, have some fun and listen to what they've been up to the last few weeks/months. Here are five activities that can help you do just that!
Sometimes we just need to have fun with our students and what better way than with simple classroom games? Having fun is important for many reasons some of which include: it builds community, it’s a stress reliever, it fosters respect for the teacher (students are much more likely to want to please a teacher they […]
Don’t have time to read? I received an email recently (I love receiving emails from teachers who read my blog!) asking me a really interesting question… Do you do workshop all year? I immediately yelled (in my mind) NO! In this moment, it occurred to me that my website definitely gives the impression that all […]
Many secondary teachers, like you, are beginning to realize the power of running their English classes using writing workshop. Maybe you keep seeing references to it on Pinterest or in Facebook groups. Maybe a teacher friend is trying it and finding success. Or maybe an administrator is pushing teachers at your school to try it. […]