Academic Conversation Through Silent Debates

When I taught high school, my favorite day of the week was current event Friday because students shared about the events of the week and the class engaged in academic conversation and debates over current affairs. When I attempted to bring this same idea to middle school it flopped! It turned into arguments and hurt […]

Keeping Rigor High Before a Break

It is two weeks until Spring break, state testing begins a few weeks after we return, students are tired, and let’s face it, teachers are tired.  How do you overcome the tiredness and the apathy to keep the rigor high until the break?    First take a deep breath and know that you are making […]

Students Discover the Writing Prompt Through Text Analysis

I recently shared a picture on my Instagram page showing students engaged in an activity to prepare for our District Writing Test.  It was met with several inquiries so  I wanted to take the time to share what I did and how it turned out.  It proved to be a great (and somewhat challenging) learning experience […]

Positive Attitude Eases the Stress of the Season

Are you setting up your class for a fun, positive holiday season or setting yourself up for a stressful few months?  As we enter the busyness of November and December, it can be a trying time for both teachers and students, but staying positive through the craziness of holidays and parent teacher conferences is key […]

If I knew I wouldn’t fail…

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Have you ever asked your students this question? You might be surprised at what they tell you.  For the last few years I’ve started the year in my 7th and 8th grade Language Arts class with a small unit on Famous Failures. Our students often feel that […]