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

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

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