Marypat

nine ways to speed up grading, save time, and get your weekends back!

9 Ways to Save Time while Grading Student Writing

I recently saw an Instagram image of a teacher’s stack of grading for the weekend — next to a ruler.  She had three inches of grading to do (insert sobbing here!). When you were getting certified to teach ELA, they didn’t tell you the unspoken secret:  you will be doing a LOT of grading.  A […] Read more…

15 ways to teach gratitude in the classroom.

Ways to Teach Gratitude in the Classroom

You don’t need an advanced degree to know that we can benefit from practicing gratitude.  As a teacher, you are in a unique and powerful position to help your students consider, think about, and practice gratitude. The benefits of developing gratitude (for all of us): improved relationships better health better sleep less stress improve empathy […] Read more…

Three Fun Writing Activities to Charge Up Students

Need to charge up your students?  Here are three quick fun writing activities you can use to engage them at any time.  They are great when: there are 20 minutes before the assembly starts one class gets ahead of another – and you need a “holding” lesson until you can get your classes aligned students […] Read more…

5 ways to teach descriptive writing to your students

Five Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing

As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!”  Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge.  Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try. 1. Do they understand what you mean by descriptive writing? (and can they find it?) Here is where a mentor text will help.  […] Read more…

7 ways to teach dystopia literature

7 Steps to Create Book Clubs with Dystopia Literature

Students LOVE dystopia literature!  From The Hunger Games and beyond…the genre is popular! That’s why it is a perfect match for your book clubs. Students can’t seem to get enough of them, and there are so many great titles to choose from!  That’s a good thing when we want our students to want to read! Capitalize on the popularity […] Read more…

5 Ways to Teach Summarizing Skills

Teaching students how to summarize a text is important… So important that it is part of the CCSS reading standards for literature and informational texts beginning in grade 4 and continuing (with greater rigor) through grade 12. As educators, we know why summarizing will help students: improve reading comprehension filter main ideas from details follow […] Read more…

11 Dystopian Novels for Your Middle School Students

Dystopian literature remains popular with middle school students… and they can’t seem to get enough of this genre.  Why not use these popular titles to run your literature groups? Here are: eleven sure dystopian novels that your students will enjoy reading, discussing, debating, and analyzing! well-known and lesser-known titles for students who want to read […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan to teach (all the) writing

A yearlong plan will help you teach (all the) writing; it will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. The yearlong plan – your map Your district or school may provide you with a year-at-a-glance (yearlong plan) that provides you with quarterly writing […] Read more…

Teaching Characterization with Short Films

Students often struggle with going beyond the obvious when it comes to character analysis. This skill requires students to infer information from a variety of clues, but they often get stuck on superficial detail or provide only basic analysis. A fun way to help students practice analyzing characters and developing those important skills is by […] Read more…

How to Host a Scrabble Tournament for Your Class

Looking for a fun way to engage students?  There lots of fun games to play with your class, but this year, you might want to try hosting a Scrabble Tournament.  Great for pre-Christmas craziness and year-end excitement. First steps Your students may or may not know how to play Scrabble.  Those who have played “Words […] Read more…

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