Contest #4 That Works for My Students: New York Times Editorial Contest

Since 2014, The New York Times has sponsored an opinion-editorial contest on its Learning Network site. Last spring, all of my seventh-graders submitted entries for their chance to win.  This contest engaged my students, especially because they knew they were writing for The New York Times. Age Range: This contest is open to students agedContinue reading “Contest #4 That Works for My Students: New York Times Editorial Contest”

When you return to your classroom before you’re required to return to your classroom

I drove the twenty minutes to my classroom today to . . . start. There’s always a day or two (or three) before the big day when we’re required to return to school for in-service training.  On days like today, when I’m often working alone, I just begin. Here’s what I did, with the help of myContinue reading “When you return to your classroom before you’re required to return to your classroom”

Heads up! Student poetry contest deadline August 18

  If you’re planning to incorporate contests into your ELA classes and/or writers workshops, you can get started as early as Friday, August 18! That’s the deadline for the summer poetry hardcover anthology to be printed and published by Creative Communication. The books will ship in December. Teachers who have five or more students acceptedContinue reading “Heads up! Student poetry contest deadline August 18”

Dear English teachers who have stumbled upon Medium during your summer break,

Originally published here July 19, 2017 on Medium.com in From a Teacher.     Congratulations! You found Medium. You should stick around and see what this site offers English Language Arts teachers. Wander aimlessly throughout this platform and its writers and publications. It won’t take long before you’ll unearth some very cool stories (btw, everything is called aContinue reading “Dear English teachers who have stumbled upon Medium during your summer break,”

Because bored students care about commas… and little else

Here’s what I do to spark passion in my students for writing part 1 of 4     And let’s get this straight right from the start: I am no expert. I repeat, I am no expert. I have a meager six years of teaching under my belt. However, I am more excited than everContinue reading “Because bored students care about commas… and little else”

Contest #3: Creative Communication Poetry Anthologies

Originally published June 26, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation Three times a year, Creative Communication (CC) of Logan, Utah publishes hardcover anthologies full of K-9 poetry. I know what you’re thinking. Must be a pay-to-play anthology, right? The company judges the poems received and publishes the best ones, without regard to whether the student purchasesContinue reading “Contest #3: Creative Communication Poetry Anthologies”

Don’t Let Spellcheck Ruin the Writing

    “Mrs. Yung, why is this wrong?” Emily asks me during class, staring at her laptop screen. A wavy green line floats below a phrase, again interrupting the first draft of her slice-of-life essay. “We’ll figure it out later. Stay in the zone,” I respond, hoping she can quickly return to her mind’s creativeContinue reading “Don’t Let Spellcheck Ruin the Writing”