holocaust, language arts, middle school

Teaching about the Holocaust in Middle School

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi When I was in 8th grade, I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank, the words of a girl just about my age changing… Read More Teaching about the Holocaust in Middle School

animals, language arts, middle school, motivation, teacher, teacher humor

27 Animal Photos that Explain the Life of a Teacher

Because it’s November and I wanted to look at animal pictures instead of doing anything productive — here is an assortment of photos where I could #relate so hard. 1. Well, I guess I’m reteaching this lesson. 2. …There may be an opportunity for extra credit… 3. I know my pen (pencil/paper/important copies/last piece of… Read More 27 Animal Photos that Explain the Life of a Teacher

english, language arts, middle school, writing

Taking Writing to the “Next Level” in Middle School

Every quarter, my students and I will choose a writing goal that they will apply to all their assignments. Inevitably, there will be students who are relatively strong in all areas of writing, and it’s not immediately apparent what their goal needs to be. Some students have naively told me “I have nothing I can… Read More Taking Writing to the “Next Level” in Middle School

assessments, language arts, middle school, reading

15 Creative Reading Assessments for Middle and High School Students

I was trying to compile a list of options for my students to use so I can assess their independent reading (and also what we’re reading in class), and I thought, “Hey! I can turn this into a blog post!” Booyah. (I have been told by my super-hip students that this slang word is incredibly… Read More 15 Creative Reading Assessments for Middle and High School Students

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6 Recommendations for Independent Reading in the Middle School Classroom

  First, a love letter to reading: Dear Reading, I have always been in love with you. Ever since I was little, I loved everything that had to do with you — looking at colorful covers, opening brand-new books for the first time, cuddling under the covers, rereading pages over and over, going to the… Read More 6 Recommendations for Independent Reading in the Middle School Classroom

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