Headline poetry is so much fun!

It’s already my favorite back-to-school activity For the first week of school, my seventh- and eighth-graders created poetry made up of words and phrases found in newspapers and magazines. I found the idea on NCTE’s website, which offers lesson plan ideas. I also accessed this site where I found this beautiful quote that captures, forContinue reading “Headline poetry is so much fun!”

I’m finally trying out Planbook for my lesson planning

I’ll let you know how it goes.   Late last week (Thursday night?), I began experimenting with Planbook, the online lesson planning program. I had heard about it from a teacher-friend of mine who is in her second year of teaching. Obviously, all these new apps for teachers don’t always get discovered by veteran teachersContinue reading “I’m finally trying out Planbook for my lesson planning”

Contest #11 That Works for My Students: Stossel in the Classroom Argument Contest

Each year for the past three years, I have assigned an argument essay contest to my eighth-graders. The contest is sponsored by Stossel in the Classroom (SITC), an educational website hosted by John Stossel, former consumer reporter and correspondent for ABC’s 20/20, and current Fox News contributor. According to the SITC website’s About page, the “programContinue reading “Contest #11 That Works for My Students: Stossel in the Classroom Argument Contest”

Save time. Always be planning.

I started this Triangle Fire bulletin board in May. I’m not usually that organized.   At the end of the school year last May, my seventh-graders started our Triangle Fire unit, a study of the 1911 tragedy in New York City that killed 146 young, mostly female immigrants. The fire had unknown origins, but ricketyContinue reading “Save time. Always be planning.”

Three Points I Pull from “They Say I Say” in My 7th & 8th Grade ELA Classes

  I came across this book, They Say I Say (Third Edition, 2015), when my son’s college English composition instructor required it for his freshman-level course. I thumbed through it, read a few chapters, and found some very concise passages written to help students solve probably the number one problem that I see in theirContinue reading “Three Points I Pull from “They Say I Say” in My 7th & 8th Grade ELA Classes”

It never hurts to ask

…for  chocolate and caffeine. Here’s a photo of the summer to-do list that the maintenance staff at my school taped to my door over the summer. It contains a list of the chores that were scheduled to be completed over the two and half months that are quickly coming to a close. One day overContinue reading “It never hurts to ask”

My students “swept” a national poetry writing contest!

I’m so excited about the recent contest that my students won! Here’s a news release that I sent to a local newspaper about it. Kirbyville Middle School students swept the junior (grades 6-8) poetry division of the 2018 Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards, a national contest hosted by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Missoula,Continue reading “My students “swept” a national poetry writing contest!”

Every Teacher Needs a “Why I Teach” Binder

Reading notes from my current and former students is an instant pick-me-up Do you have special notes, drawings, letters or small trinkets that students have given to you over the years? About two years ago, I finally decided to keep track of those treasures by putting them into a box. However, the box took upContinue reading “Every Teacher Needs a “Why I Teach” Binder”

The Triangle Fire and My Students’ Human Rights Dissertations

Triangle Fire forms the first literature unit for my 8th-graders’ human rights dissertations This week I’ve been writing about the unit on the Triangle Waist Co. fire that my 8th-graders start the year with. For them, the last few weeks of seventh grade was an introduction, a sort of “paving the way” for the moreContinue reading “The Triangle Fire and My Students’ Human Rights Dissertations”