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

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, 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

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

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!)

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