grammar, language arts, middle school, writing

A Step by Step Way to Assess Grammar in Writing

We English teachers know from multitudes of research, books, peers, administrators, and the general teaching ecosphere that we are supposed to incorporate grammar into students’ writing. However, during our daily grind, this can be difficult. We have certain concepts we’re supposed to cover in our curriculum, certain types of writing students are supposed to produce,… Read More A Step by Step Way to Assess Grammar in Writing

language arts, middle school, standardized testing, teacher, teacher humor

Confessions of a Teacher during Standardized Testing Week

  I spelled my name incorrectly on the Class Identification Sheet. (Obviously, I caught it, though.) Someone left a bag of hard candy in my room, and I took some and ate them. I started reading directions out of a student booklet before catching myself. Every time I ask the students “Does anyone have any… Read More Confessions of a Teacher during Standardized Testing Week

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The Importance of Silence in the Classroom

Here is a music video to play in the background while you read this post: I love the rare moments where the whole class has been working in small groups or partners, and at some point, everyone miraculously ends their sentence at the same time and there is the most beautiful quiet that pervades the room. Everyone… Read More The Importance of Silence in the Classroom

emergency, english, language arts, middle school, routines, teacher

6 Emergency Drills Schools Really Should Be Doing

It’s every teacher’s favorite event: the emergency drill. Yes, I know it’s for our own good, we all need to know what to do, blah blah blah. It just never seems to happen at a good time. (In all fairness, though, there probably is never a good time.) However, there are a number of situations that… Read More 6 Emergency Drills Schools Really Should Be Doing

english, language arts, music, parodies, reading, teacher

4 Popular Songs/Language Arts Parodies to Use in Your Middle School Classroom (And Get Your Students Moving!)

Like many teachers, I haven’t always taught the grade level and content area I do now. Back when I started teaching, I was a music teacher. Overall, I’m very happy with my switch to 8th grade language arts, but pretty frequently, the music teacher in me will randomly sing, pull out my guitar named “Esteban,”… Read More 4 Popular Songs/Language Arts Parodies to Use in Your Middle School Classroom (And Get Your Students Moving!)

back to school, english, language arts, middle school, reading, routines, small groups, teacher

8 Things to Do During the First Days of School

Tomorrow is my first day of school, and even though I’m going into my eleventh year of teaching, I still get that nervous/excited feeling, or, as I looked up in Urban Dictionary, nervousited. Many people talk about getting butterflies in their stomach, but for me it’s in my throat. And it’s not butterflies, it’s like… Read More 8 Things to Do During the First Days of School

back to school, collaborative learning, language arts, middle school, reading, routines, small groups

How to Have Small Groups in a Middle School Classroom

The benefits of collaborative learning, or working in small groups, have been proven in many studies, but teachers may still feel a bit lost as to how to successfully implement this type of learning in their own classroom, especially at the middle school and secondary levels. Some concerns might be that behavior or noise levels… Read More How to Have Small Groups in a Middle School Classroom

back to school, english, language arts, middle school, school supplies, teacher

5 Fun School Supplies for an ELA Classroom

Ok, so this time of the year, teachers have a lot going on — classrooms to set up, lessons to plan, new students to meet — but let’s not forget one of the very best things about the beginning of the school year, and really, in all of teaching: School supplies. From my very first… Read More 5 Fun School Supplies for an ELA Classroom