Our Field Trip to a Local 9/11 Memorial

Plus: a few things my students didn’t know about 9/11 On Wednesday, Sept. 12, I took my eighth-grade students to a local college to view the 9/11 memorial there. I have wanted to do this for a couple of years and finally, this year the stars aligned: my lesson planning fell into place, a fewContinue reading “Our Field Trip to a Local 9/11 Memorial”

Candy Memoirs: A Sweet Assignment for 6th and 7th

When middle schoolers use candy to write memoirs (updated 8/21) Need a sweet way to introduce memoir writing to middle schoolers? My second writing project with sixth-graders (after YA author Kate Messner’s Sometimes Poem) is memoir writing. We dip our toes into memoir writing by documenting memories that involve candy. If kids can’t think ofContinue reading “Candy Memoirs: A Sweet Assignment for 6th and 7th”

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”

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”

Past to Present: How Triangle Fire Connects to 9/11

History won’t be boring if we show how it affects students’ lives today   Reading and writing about the Triangle Waist Co. factory fire allows middle school language arts students to make connections between events from more than one hundred years ago to more recent events. This is the unit my 8th-graders will be startingContinue reading “Past to Present: How Triangle Fire Connects to 9/11”

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”

My closet can wait

I’m ready to take full advantage of the final two weeks of summer Two days ago, I drove to school and made my first entrance into the 2018-2019 year. Three eighth-grade girls were there waving at me from the front door as I loaded up my arms with bags from the back seat of myContinue reading “My closet can wait”

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”

Back-to-school poetry: The Sometimes Poem from YA author Kate Messner

A back-to-school poem perfect for the first day (updated 8/21) “The Sometimes Poem” was one of my favorite ways to go back to school with my middle schoolers. I used this project for two years with sixth-graders and loved it both times before I changed jobs to my current high school position. The Sometimes PoemContinue reading “Back-to-school poetry: The Sometimes Poem from YA author Kate Messner”