Welcome to My World: Boil Order at a Middle School

Ten things that happen when the water main breaks     Over the weekend, the local water protection district issues a “boil order” and ships pallets of water bottle cases to be stacked next to the water fountains on Monday morning. In any place other than a middle school, this would be a good thing.Continue reading “Welcome to My World: Boil Order at a Middle School”

Dear Teachers: Avoid these so-called “educator’s kits” from the Church of Scientology

Try these human rights resources instead. I recently wrote a post on Medium and my sister blog called “Dear Parents: Scientology Wants to Get Inside Your Child’s Classroom” about how an organization known as Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) offers a human rights educator’s kit for teachers to use in their classrooms. Not realizingContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Avoid these so-called “educator’s kits” from the Church of Scientology”

Dear Teachers: Scientology wants to get inside your classroom.

And they don’t need Tom Cruise to do it. A year ago last fall, I scanned the first page of a glossy teacher’s guide, part of a free educator’s kit sent to me (at my request) from Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), an organization I had discovered in an online search for some teachingContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Scientology wants to get inside your classroom.”

Here’s what happened when I submitted a student’s writing to a hunting magazine

    Last fall, one of my seventh-grade students wrote an “Expert Advice” article, one of ten assignments in our Writer’s Workshop project list. My students seemed to like this particular assignment. They chose a topic they were familiar with and then wrote a how-to article. “Jared” wrote an article called “Four Ways Novice HuntersContinue reading “Here’s what happened when I submitted a student’s writing to a hunting magazine”

Dear Teachers: Thinking about the first day back at school after break?

So are your students and some of them can’t wait to see you.     Even though you love your job, when you think about the first day back at school after Christmas break, you sigh. Ugh, right? Who wants to think about that? The kids certainly don’t. Let me clarify that. Some of the kidsContinue reading “Dear Teachers: Thinking about the first day back at school after break?”

Seventh-graders publish first issue of Whippersnappers newsletter

It’s a Project-Based Learning partnership with White River Valley Historical Society The October-November 2017 issue of WRVHS Whippersnappers was published a few weeks ago! My seventh-grade students wrote all the content for the issue using online archived articles from the  White River Valley History Society Quarterly magazine as their research. They designed the content around HalloweenContinue reading “Seventh-graders publish first issue of Whippersnappers newsletter”

It’s hard to teach middle schoolers this: grammar rules exist to bring readers on your journey

Part 4 of 4   In my classroom, I stress that writing is so much more than just knowing a bunch of grammar and punctuation rules. Writing is really about expressing oneself, your dreams, your beliefs, your hopes, your imagination.  Writers don’t write to show off to readers that they know how to avoid vagueContinue reading “It’s hard to teach middle schoolers this: grammar rules exist to bring readers on your journey”