“Exploding a Moment” with Barry Lane

This year, we wrote out an exploded moment instead of just watching one be narrated in a video. Last Tuesday, I planned an activity for my seventh- and eighth-grade classes that worked so well, I knew I had to share. We exploded a baseball moment. “Exploding a moment “ is what writing teacher Barry LaneContinue reading ““Exploding a Moment” with Barry Lane”

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!”

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”

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”

Back-to-School with 8th-graders: A Unit on Triangle Fire

Resources for teaching about the event that put a fire alarm in your classroom On August 15, my 8th-graders will pick up where we left off in May—with a prelude to our study of the 1911 Triangle Waist Co. factory fire and its societal effects. During the last few days of school, we watched aContinue reading “Back-to-School with 8th-graders: A Unit on Triangle Fire”

Better the second time around: Whippersnappers

We’re jumping into year two of this 7th-grade PBL project We’re doing it again! My seventh-graders will again this upcoming school year be writing the content for a newsletter for kids called Whippersnappers. It’s an activity my students produce in partnership with the White River Valley Historical Society, a regional organization based in Forsyth, Mo.Continue reading “Better the second time around: Whippersnappers”

I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner

It combines poetry and revision (and publication!) “The Sometimes Poem” is one of my favorite ways to start the school year with my sixth-graders. I’ve used this project for two years running and I plan to use it again in August. It includes three skills: poetry techniques, revision, and submitting for publication. I credit children’sContinue reading “I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner”

Where have all the “thank you” notes gone?

Here’s what happened the first time I taught the “thank you” note Okay, where are the thank you notes? Who said they were no longer necessary? Someone must have, because I often don’t receive one anymore. And it’s not as if I’m expecting one, but I would like to at least know that the giftContinue reading “Where have all the “thank you” notes gone?”

New mini-lesson resource: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing

This “new to me” book will be fun to try this fall A year or two ago, I found an effective paragraph that explained sentence variety perfectly. Read the post about it here.  I dug a little deeper about the author and eventually made my way to this book, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing,Continue reading “New mini-lesson resource: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing”