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 might make students laugh but eventually you're going to have to break the news to them that they actually have to do some work. Yikes! I followed up my first question to these … [Read more...] about 5 Exciting Ways to Introduce Your Writing Unit!
Make Writing Fun
Don't have time to read? Listen to this post here... 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! 1. Share Pictures/Videos If you … [Read more...] about 5 Fun Activities to do with Your Students the Day After Coming Back from a Long Break
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 like). Below you'll find a round up of my favorite simple games to play with students any time of the year! Questions This game is so simple and super entertaining. … [Read more...] about 5 Super Fun, Simple Games to Play with Your Class…Whenever!
Don't Have Time to Read? Fiction writing is neglected in English classes everywhere for many reasons. We don't have enough time. Or we are afraid students might produce pages and pages and pages and we feel too guilty about not reading all of those pages! Or maybe some of us don't do it because we feel it's just not academic enough... In the TED Talk I've included below, Ken Robinson talks about the hierarchy of subjects and how more "academic" subjects like math and English … [Read more...] about We Need to Stop Neglecting Fiction
The end of the school year can be chaotic, so keeping students engaged and having fun is incredibly important. I have used the project detailed here every year I've taught and it never fails to keep students loving their school work and writing until the very end. Below you'll find the steps to get this project rolling. If you want to make your lesson plan easier you can purchase the Encyclopedia Memoir Project here. 1. Activate Prior Knowledge Explain that it is fun to get … [Read more...] about Encyclopedia Memoirs: The Best Way to End a School Year!
Teaching students how to identify themes in literature can be challenging! It takes a lot of abstract thought which students may not even be capable of yet. Why not use the Valentine's Day holiday to your advantage? Often, themes in literature involve relationships, and what better time to reveal this to students than on Valentine's Day?!?! In this lesson students will have the opportunity to discuss their favorite books and movies. Students will then identify the friendships that exist … [Read more...] about A Valentine Freebie: Identify Themes in Literature
Welcome back! This is part three of a series revealing the truth about writing with mini lessons! In each blog post I provide a mini lesson you can use with your class to discuss topics all students think about but rarely get the chance to talk about in their writing classrooms. Click part one & two below if you missed them... Part One: Why Your Writing is Not Very Good Awful Part Two:Why Some Writers Are Better Than Others Part Three:Why Some People Hate Writing [This … [Read more...] about How to Support Your Writing Haters
Welcome back for part two of this three part series revealing the truth about writing with mini lessons! In each blog post I provide a mini lesson you can use with your class to discuss topics all students think about but rarely get the chance to talk about in their writing classrooms. Here's the run down of the series... Part One: Why Your Writing is Not Very Good Awful Part Two: Why Some Writers Are Better Than Others [This Article] Part Three: Why Some People Hate Writing Teachers and … [Read more...] about The Truth About Writing Part Two