Marypat

How to get middle school students interested in nonfiction.

Nonfiction for Middle School

I’m excited to join in the Summer Reading Stash blog hop this week  — especially since we are talking about  using nonfiction in the intermediate and middle school classroom. We all know the issues with middle school and reading.  Weaknesses in reading skills can take a toll on student achievement as we ask and expect […] Read more…

What are some of the best ways to create an awesome teaching team? Here are seven tips to help you and your team collaborate and thrive. Don't forget number 4!

7 Tips for Creating a Dream Teaching Team

Teaching teams are wonderful.  They offer an opportunity for teachers to collaborate, share, problem-solve, and create friendships that extend beyond the school building. That’s the theory, anyway.  They can also be dysfunctional, negative, ineffective, and destructive.  The truth is that great teaching teams just don’t happen — they must be intentionally created and nurtured. Whether […] Read more…

Get your students excited about research with these seven steps.

How to Get Your Students Excited about Research

              Research should be fun!  Yet it often involves restricted topics, rules, and requirements that can limit a student’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm.  Encourage students to follow their questions by implementing simple, small research activities about topics they are curious about. Go Old School:  Use Research Notebooks I loved […] Read more…

Upcycle school supplies to create a fun notebook or journal.

Year-End Project: Upcycled Notebooks

    The end of the school year is wonderful and exciting …except for the waste. Rather than having students chunk their partially used notebooks into the recycling bin, have them upcycle them by creating new notebooks.  Students can create their own reading journals for the summer! Earth Day was just a few weeks ago, […] Read more…

Host a Teach-In to Celebrate Earth Day!

Host a Teach-In for Earth Day

Earth Day ♥ Earth Day is a wonderful celebration, and perhaps your school is extending activities for more than one day.  But, we all want every day to be Earth Day!  That’s why extending Earth Day into a “teach-in” is a great way to end the year. What’s a Teach-In…Sounds Hippy-ish Get out your love beads, […] Read more…

Improve digital literacy: teach students how to fact check with these easy tools.

Digital Literacy: Fact Checking

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Those opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities seem wildly accurate in describing the our own digital age — especially when it comes to our students. Students most definitely need help […] Read more…

Refresh your semester with these three ideas!

Teacher Talk: Refresh your Second Semester

My favorite yoga teacher, Melanie, likes to say, “The left side is the side of wisdom.” Meaning that after you’ve held that grueling series of poses on the right side, you are now going to hold them on the left…and you know what’s coming!  Calling it “wisdom” instead of “dread” is certainly a more positive […] Read more…

Create a fun journal jar for your students.

Make your own Journal Jar

A journal jar is a great way to offer students choices during writer’s workshop or journaling time. I’ve always loved using a journal jar.  In the past, my journal jar consisted of topics written on strips of paper and stuck into a jar.  Students could pick a slip, glue it to the top of their […] Read more…

Use a Writing Scheduler to keep writing projects under control.

Teacher Talk: Keep Writing Tasks on Track

Remember September?  When the school year stretched out before you — lots of time to do lots of teaching. Then, suddenly, it’s January.  Testing (might be) looming in the near future, you have a pile of standards to get through…why are there so many daily distractions that keep us from teaching content material?!  And let’s […] Read more…

An easy way to organize writing projects.

A Simple Way to Organize Writing Projects

There are a few things you can count on for January:  resolutions (made and broken!), the flu season, and ads promising ways to (finally) get you organized.   I’m finally going to get organized!   Organizational promises are always so tempting.  Who wouldn’t like their closet/garage/pantry to look like something worthy of Pinterest?! Classroom organization is […] Read more…

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