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”

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”

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”

I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner

It combines poetry and revision (and publication!) “The Sometimes Poem” is one of my favorite ways to start the school year with my sixth-graders. I’ve used this project for two years running and I plan to use it again in August. It includes three skills: poetry techniques, revision, and submitting for publication. I credit children’sContinue reading “I love this back-to-school poetry project for 6th-graders from YA author Kate Messner”

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”

Sweet! Instagram for Your Class!

Three Reasons to Add Instagram to Your Teaching A year ago, I attended an educational technology conference hosted by Branson School District in Branson, Mo. At one session, I learned about the possibilities of opening a private Instagram account with my classes. The presenter used a private account with her own classes and encouraged the attendeesContinue reading “Sweet! Instagram for Your Class!”

New BIPOC book for my classroom!

Flying Lessons & Other Stories | Edited by Ellen Oh Last week I ordered Flying Lessons & Other Stories from Amazon for my classroom library. I had learned about the book by visiting the American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) blog a couple of weeks ago as I was researching and reading for two postsContinue reading “New BIPOC book for my classroom!”

When my class is your class’ punishment

Since when should writing be a form of punishment? This happens every so often: I’ll be talking to other teachers about some discipline issue they experienced during the day where they had to dole out some kind of punishment. More times than I want to remember, they’ll say something like, “So I made him writeContinue reading “When my class is your class’ punishment”

Writing Contest #10: Holocaust Museum & Learning Center’s Student Writing Contest

Our kids need this contest. I’ve discovered another writing contest: Holocaust Museum & Learning Center’s Student Art & Writing Contest. I stumbled upon this contest as I was researching for a recent post on Medium.com about the lack of Holocaust literature in Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum. I have reblogged that post here. According to the St.Continue reading “Writing Contest #10: Holocaust Museum & Learning Center’s Student Writing Contest”

Here’s the prompt for the 2018-19 VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

This contest is a winner for middle schoolers! The Patriot’s Pen essay contest for grades 6-8 is getting started for the 2018-19 school year. The first step: learning the theme. And (drumroll please!)…here it is: Why I Honor the American Flag. This year’s theme will resonate with students as it recalls the national conversation aboutContinue reading “Here’s the prompt for the 2018-19 VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest”