Welcome to My World: Boil Order at a Middle School

Ten things that happen when the water main breaks     Over the weekend, the local water protection district issues a “boil order” and ships pallets of water bottle cases to be stacked next to the water fountains on Monday morning. In any place other than a middle school, this would be a good thing.Continue reading “Welcome to My World: Boil Order at a Middle School”

Dear Teachers: Avoid these so-called “educator’s kits” from the Church of Scientology

Try these human rights resources instead. I recently wrote a post on Medium and my sister blog called “Dear Parents: Scientology Wants to Get Inside Your Child’s Classroom” about how an organization known as Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) offers a human rights educator’s kit for teachers to use in their classrooms. Not realizingContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Avoid these so-called “educator’s kits” from the Church of Scientology”

Memoir Mentor Text: Something I Wrote that I Now Use as a Mentor Text

It’s hard to find mentor texts sometimes, and occasionally I just write one myself when the need arises, or I scroll through my sister blog to find stories I’ve already written. For my students, I define “memoir” as a personal narrative that contains a beginning, middle, and end, plus a lesson learned from the situation. ThatContinue reading “Memoir Mentor Text: Something I Wrote that I Now Use as a Mentor Text”

Dear Teachers: Scientology wants to get inside your classroom.

And they don’t need Tom Cruise to do it. A year ago last fall, I scanned the first page of a glossy teacher’s guide, part of a free educator’s kit sent to me (at my request) from Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), an organization I had discovered in an online search for some teachingContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Scientology wants to get inside your classroom.”

Here’s what happened when I submitted a student’s writing to a hunting magazine

    Last fall, one of my seventh-grade students wrote an “Expert Advice” article, one of ten assignments in our Writer’s Workshop project list. My students seemed to like this particular assignment. They chose a topic they were familiar with and then wrote a how-to article. “Jared” wrote an article called “Four Ways Novice HuntersContinue reading “Here’s what happened when I submitted a student’s writing to a hunting magazine”

Dear Teachers: Thinking about the first day back at school after break?

So are your students and some of them can’t wait to see you.     Even though you love your job, when you think about the first day back at school after Christmas break, you sigh. Ugh, right? Who wants to think about that? The kids certainly don’t. Let me clarify that. Some of the kidsContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Thinking about the first day back at school after break?”