How I Add Cursive Writing to My Class

I don’t really teach it… I just help them practice it. I’ve heard some teachers say that they simply don’t have the time teach cursive in their 53-minute class period. Frankly, neither do I. But I can do this: open class with a five-minute cursive activity. So about three days week, I’ll go to BrainyContinue reading “How I Add Cursive Writing to My Class”

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: 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”

My Seventh-Graders Told Me This: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay

The future of the country is in good — albeit small — hands.   Just when you think the country is spiraling out of control due to natural disasters, political upheaval, and lone wolf violence, you read some words written by twelve- and thirteen-year-olds and you realize that kids will carry us through. In short,Continue reading “My Seventh-Graders Told Me This: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”

When you return to your classroom before you’re required to return to your classroom

I drove the twenty minutes to my classroom today to . . . start. There’s always a day or two (or three) before the big day when we’re required to return to school for in-service training.  On days like today, when I’m often working alone, I just begin. Here’s what I did, with the help of myContinue reading “When you return to your classroom before you’re required to return to your classroom”

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,”