I'm a genius sometimes. No, really! I have lesson ideas come to me at the most random moments during the day. And they always surprise me because it happens when I'm not thinking about lessons. You know what I mean? So anyway, back to my genius. This is a little trip into the inner-workings of… Continue reading Using Songs and Their Videos to Teach Perspective and Poetry in Middle School
Have you ever wanted to let students choose their own novel to read, but you couldn't figure out the best way to assess all those books? Don't want to write 20 tests? Tried to find literature circle materials that weren't for elementary kids? Well I might be able to help! How This All Started Originally… Continue reading Literature Circles in the Secondary Classroom: Student-Choice Novels Made Easier
We need the bigger, better deal Every English teacher I know is looking for the bigger, better deal when it comes to assessing novels. We've moved WAY beyond the simple book report (I hope), and into the realm of critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. In recent years I've tried the mandala (which you can read… Continue reading The Character Study One Pager- An Assessment for Any Novel
For several years, I had been wanting to change up the furnishings in my classroom. I kept seeing these cool "cafe/coffee shop" rooms that seemed to be a much nicer environment to learn in, never mind the hours I spend in my room as well. So I started collecting pieces from parent donations, garage… Continue reading Hygge and Harry Potter: Marrying my Love for HP with Flexible Seating in the Classroom
Right now I'm sitting in my dining room, facing the television, writing this post. Sounds like a fairly pleasant morning, right? Well, factor in the fact that the A/C stopped working yesterday afternoon, and it makes what would have been a great morning an experience that you just have to bear until the repairman can… Continue reading The Importance of Air: Are Your Students Getting What They Need?