Teaching 9/11 Twenty Years Later

If you’re needing a round-up of resources for teaching 9/11, you’re in a good place. In this post, I’ve compiled links to all my 9/11-related articles. Hopefully, one of these will give you some ideas as you make plans to remember 9/11 in your classroom this year.

How to get better “One-Word Summaries” from your students

Make these off-limits: the topic and their opinion In the past, after I assigned One-Word Summaries, I would often feel a little let down when I walked around the room, glancing over students’ shoulders as they wrote their paragraphs defending their chosen word. Read my post on the One-Word Summary if you’re unfamiliar with thisContinue reading “How to get better “One-Word Summaries” from your students”

Corona virus acrostic poems perk up distance learning (updated 2021)

Students create acrostic poems to document Covid-19 My students learned at home from March 17 through May 14, 2020 when the school year officially ended. As part of their distance learning back then, I asked students to write a couple of paragraphs every other day or so for a “Life in the Time of Corona”Continue reading “Corona virus acrostic poems perk up distance learning (updated 2021)”

Ditch the Dictionary

I’m trying these four short vocabulary bell-work tasks to help kids better learn new words I recently signed up to receive weekly email updates from the Sadlier School. As part of the email, I receive a free “Power Word of the Week” email from the Vocab Gal’s blog. I’ve been using these “slides” in myContinue reading “Ditch the Dictionary”

Mini-lesson idea: use this compelling lead sentence example as a mentor text

A lead shouldn’t ask a question, but raise one instead I discovered this awesome lead sentence in the July 8-21 issue of New York magazine. The article, “The Battle of Grace Church,” is written by Jessica Pressler, who opens her story with this doozy of a lead sentence. This sentence shows precisely how engaging aContinue reading “Mini-lesson idea: use this compelling lead sentence example as a mentor text”

How to cure the “I don’t have anything to write about” blues

Students having trouble choosing a memory for a memoir? Have them make a map. A few weeks ago, my junior and senior students wrote memoirs… creative personal narratives about an important memory that taught them an important truth about life, growing up, or the world in general. In the past I’ve always passed out anContinue reading “How to cure the “I don’t have anything to write about” blues”

The rubric rub

  Do what the rubric says. And only what the rubric says. And by all means, don’t think too hard.   Last week in my high school Language Arts classes, students spent time planning memoirs that they will begin drafting this week. On Friday, a few girls who had already decided on a memory toContinue reading “The rubric rub”

My Attempt at a STEM-Themed Activity: Exploring Coffee Lids

This project was a long time in the making… brewing, I mean     This week, I’m posting several photos from a lesson and activity that’s been in the works for a few months, if not for a year. About a year ago, I found an article online on MentalFloss called “9 Facts about CoffeeContinue reading “My Attempt at a STEM-Themed Activity: Exploring Coffee Lids”

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”