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

back to school, language arts, middle school, teacher

5 Steps for Dealing with All the Information at the Beginning of the School Year

We’re nearing that special time of year when teachers must cram as much information as possible into their heads, along with setting up classrooms, along with planning for the first week of school, along with meeting students, along with memorizing their names, along with ALL THE THINGS EVER. And that’s if you’re coming back to… Read More 5 Steps for Dealing with All the Information at the Beginning of the School Year

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

7 Routines for the Middle School Classroom

Routines are what makes a teacher’s world go ’round. I know they’re not going to set the world on fire, but maybe it’s like putting the world up to a nice, scented candle that permeates the room and makes everything smell cozy and safe. In my previous post, I detailed the routines in my household… Read More 7 Routines for the Middle School Classroom

language arts, middle school, mom, routines, teacher, wife

14 Weekend and Nightly Routines of a TeacherMomWife

Since I teach full-time, have three young kids, and am the wife of a high school soccer coach, people are always saying to me “How do you do it?” or “You must have your hands full,” or “How do you have any free time?” I usually reply with, “I don’t know” or “You do what… Read More 14 Weekend and Nightly Routines of a TeacherMomWife

english, language arts, middle school, reading, teacher

4 Ways to Appeal to a Middle Schooler’s Inner Child (And Help Them Learn!)

In a lot of ways, it might seem that middle schoolers, especially on the 6th grade end, are still little kids. But as they approach 8th grade and then head off to high school, they have many of the capabilities of an adult (and they’ll make sure you know it, too!). However, that doesn’t mean… Read More 4 Ways to Appeal to a Middle Schooler’s Inner Child (And Help Them Learn!)

language arts, middle school, oregon trail

5 Ways the Oregon Trail Can Apply to Teaching

I am technically a millennial. There. I said it. It seems like that’s something to be ashamed of nowadays. All the stereotypes about millennials make me cringe — like how we’re fragile little bubble-wrapped babies who think the world revolves around us and are bringing down the economy with our organic frou-frou tastes. I used… Read More 5 Ways the Oregon Trail Can Apply to Teaching

english, failure, reading, summer, teacher, Uncategorized

8 Books for a Teacher’s Summer Reading List

I have historically fallen into the trap of thinking I’m going to get So Much Done during the summer months. Here are examples of my overly ambitious plans over the years (and what actually happens): Organize all the closets in the house (throw summer items onto the winter items) Have enriching activities for my children… Read More 8 Books for a Teacher’s Summer Reading List