Headline Poetry Reimagined and Redefined

My high school students take headline poems to the next level Again this year, I chose to start the school year with headline poetry. Both my in-school students and those learning at home created headline poems with words and phrases found and clipped from with a variety of printed materials, magazines, newspapers, and even junkContinue reading “Headline Poetry Reimagined and Redefined”

First Chapter Fridays: Sept. 11 Selections

Here are two more excellent books for remembering 9/11. Tomorrow is September 11, and to remember that day I plan to read from two important books on the subject. I also did this last Friday with two other books: Vigilance by Ray Kelly and 102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive InsideContinue reading “First Chapter Fridays: Sept. 11 Selections”

The best 9/11 film for grades 8-12

Ric Burns’ New York: The Documentary from PBS’ American Experience Every fall, I watch this film… sometimes with my classes, sometimes on my own at home. In my opinion, Season 1, Episode 8 of New York: The Documentary is the best film you can show students to help them understand the facts and aftermath ofContinue reading “The best 9/11 film for grades 8-12”

Top Sept. 11 resources and my 9/11 poetry lesson plan

Plus a new 9/11 resource for distance learning I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going to scale down my September 11 lesson plans this year. My students usually spend a solid week or more reading and responding to survivor accounts, historical articles, and other texts. We often watch an accompanying video, such asContinue reading “Top Sept. 11 resources and my 9/11 poetry lesson plan”

You need a “Why I Teach” binder

My ultimate self-care tip for teachers Get a three-ring binder. Any three-ring binder will work. And it doesn’t have to be new. Just dig one out from the bottom of your desk or repurpose one that’s full of handouts from that PD conference you went to last fall. Y’know, the one where they taught youContinue reading “You need a “Why I Teach” binder”

Make a “live” word cloud with this super easy app

I tried Mentimeter.com on the first day of school On the first day of school, I jumped in and tried something new: Mentimeter.com. It’s an interactive presentation software website that helps you increase engagement while gathering valuable information for teaching. I used its popular word cloud presentation, but there are many other presentation styles availableContinue reading “Make a “live” word cloud with this super easy app”

Just in time for back-to-school: Three templates for Where I’m From poems

Plus photos and links to help you plan Back-to-school is the perfect time for Where I’m From poems. I’ve decided to repost this article from last May to help you add this great activity to your opening days. Where I’m From poems from the author and poet George Ella Lyons… you just can’t write enoughContinue reading “Just in time for back-to-school: Three templates for Where I’m From poems”

A book cover analysis: a fun back-to-school reading task

When it’s too soon to ask questions about plot and character On Tuesdays in my independent reading class, I prepare a text-based question for students to answer in a paragraph or two on paper. I ask them to do their reading, keeping in mind the question, and then at the end of the house, theyContinue reading “A book cover analysis: a fun back-to-school reading task”

Exploding a Moment: How I show students this revision strategy in action

Seeing is believing with my “before and after” handout First things first: THANK YOU, BARRY LANE! Barry Lane’s video where he retells the story of “Jane Wilson’s poured milk memory” is one of my all-time favorites to introduce my students to the idea of exploding a moment. Exploding a moment is one of Lane’s signatureContinue reading “Exploding a Moment: How I show students this revision strategy in action”