My one and only complaint with the Missouri Learning Standards

They just seem a little vague. Last week, one of my students came across the term “hyperbole” on a vocabulary assignment. “What does hyperbole mean?” he asked. Wow, I thought. Five years ago, my students knew that term. Why? Because I taught it to them, along with other common figurative language techniques. Why? Because they wereContinue reading “My one and only complaint with the Missouri Learning Standards”

Understanding Laura Ingalls Wilder through historical context

There’s a standard for that, and students are mastering it. There are two reading standards contained in the Missouri Learning Standards that address the historical and cultural contexts of the literature that students in grades 6-12 read during their education. One standard, coded RL3C, specifically requires students to be able to explain how a story’sContinue reading “Understanding Laura Ingalls Wilder through historical context”

How to forget the Holocaust

Remove it from the curriculum Are we forgetting the Holocaust? I asked myself this question recently as I perused an English Language Arts curriculum map for grades 6-8 and found that out of dozens of texts the curriculum uses over the three years, only one text addressed or had any connection to World War II: Continue reading “How to forget the Holocaust”

My Seventh-Graders Told Me This: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay

The future of the country is in good — albeit small — hands.   Just when you think the country is spiraling out of control due to natural disasters, political upheaval, and lone wolf violence, you read some words written by twelve- and thirteen-year-olds and you realize that kids will carry us through. In short,Continue reading “My Seventh-Graders Told Me This: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”