Dear English teachers who have stumbled upon Medium during your summer break,

Originally published here July 19, 2017 on Medium.com in From a Teacher.     Congratulations! You found Medium. You should stick around and see what this site offers English Language Arts teachers. Wander aimlessly throughout this platform and its writers and publications. It won’t take long before you’ll unearth some very cool stories (btw, everything is called aContinue reading “Dear English teachers who have stumbled upon Medium during your summer break,”

In middle school research, pictures are winning

In the game of middle school student research, pictures are winning and words are losing. I have noticed increasingly that students, when they are researching a topic for a writing assignment, spend a lot of time not reading articles. Many spend their time looking at pictures. Or watching videos. I can’t tell you how many timesContinue reading “In middle school research, pictures are winning”

A Facebook Status Can Be a Starting Point for Hesitant Writers

    Originally published March 16, 2016 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation One of my students wrote a 150-word personal essay. It was heartfelt. It was raw. It was also a Facebook status. So I’m a little confused. That’s because this student—let’s call her Lisa—often struggles to complete most of the writing I assign inContinue reading “A Facebook Status Can Be a Starting Point for Hesitant Writers”

Contest #1: VFW Patriot’s Pen

Originally published June 1, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation My first post in this new blog focused on writing contests and how I use them in my middle school ELA classes to provide authentic writing experiences. As promised, my subsequent posts (starting with this one) will highlight a contest that I usedContinue reading “Contest #1: VFW Patriot’s Pen”

Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-in

Originally published May 30, 2017 ©Edutopia | The George Lucas Educational Foundation One day last February,  three of my seventh-grade students hustled into my classroom at the end of the day. “Isn’t today the deadline for the New York Times contest?” Jacob asked me. After I confirmed that it was, he asked, “Can we lookContinue reading “Writing Contests Deliver Student Buy-in”