The New York Times announces two new writing contests

Both ask students to record their lives in the year 2020 Last Thursday, I attended a webinar titled “Giving Students a Voice: Teaching with Learning Network Contests.” It was hosted by The New York Times’ Learning Network. Teachers from around the world gathered online to get the skinny on a total of ten student writingContinue reading “The New York Times announces two new writing contests”

Six writing prompts for Article of the Week essays

Offer students more ways to respond If you’re a fan of Article of the Week (AOW) assignments and student choice, then this post is for you. Side note: If you’re unfamiliar with the AOW assignment, scroll to the bottom first for a quick explanation and here’s a link to my post about how I useContinue reading “Six writing prompts for Article of the Week essays”

Unapologetic and Afrocentric: The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison claims the center of the world This is a follow-up post to the original one I wrote on The Bluest Eye by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. I concluded that post discussing the benefits of second and multiple readings of texts in order to fully and more completely grasp their messages.Continue reading “Unapologetic and Afrocentric: The Bluest Eye”

A mentor text for Treasured Object poems

“Poem to My Yellow Coat” by Lucille Clifton Last winter, I wrote a post about a fun, creative activity called Treasured Object poems. Click here for that link. In that post, I included three student-written poems that former students had written. One was about turquoise Converse shoes, another was about a piano, and another aContinue reading “A mentor text for Treasured Object poems”

When students ask, “Why do we read such depressing stuff?!”

Especially in times like these??? My students have told me the following list of nonfiction books is depressing. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn Night by Elie WieselContinue reading “When students ask, “Why do we read such depressing stuff?!””

Distance learning idea: Two crowdsource history sites need your students’ help

Add a touch of PBL to distance learning Students thrive when what they do is REAL. And by real, I mean that their work actually has a purpose not just within the walls of the school building, but beyond those walls in the real world. When students know that real people are going to consumeContinue reading “Distance learning idea: Two crowdsource history sites need your students’ help”

The distance learning dilemma

What are your thoughts? I made this headline poem a few days ago after reading some teacher comments in a private Facebook group I follow. The discussion centered on whether or not to return to school next month. Many teachers don’t want to return to school. It’s a personal and public health issue for them.Continue reading “The distance learning dilemma”

Remind app revisited

Remind makes sense for areas with unreliable internet. In other words, rural areas. In March, when my school closed for the remainder of the year, it quickly became apparent that Remind (it’s free, fyi) would be the easiest way for me to stay in touch with students. In fact, I ended up using Remind forContinue reading “Remind app revisited”

The Favorite Place Poem

Have students create content with a poem about their favorite place Many of my students are reading poetry. On Instagram. Okay, okay… I know. But whether or not you take verse found on Instagram seriously, poetry is experiencing a resurgence in popularity… thanks to social media, where many poets, including Rupi Kaur and others, gainContinue reading “The Favorite Place Poem”

Call for submissions: Frederick Douglass wants your students’ essays

Their best words and ideas are needed now This morning, I learned about an organization taking essay submissions from students around the world for possible online publication. The organization is called Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Founded in 2007 and based in Rochester, NY, FDFI is  dedicated to the legacy of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass andContinue reading “Call for submissions: Frederick Douglass wants your students’ essays”