Marypat

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…

How to help students self-assess their growth.

Student Self-Assessment

Each January, my husband and I measure our kids and mark their growth on the doorframe.  The kids huddle around the door to see who has grown the most — such a gratifying experience!  My son told me one year, “I didn’t think I’d grown at all this year.  But I did!” The joy of […] Read more…

Fun writing activity to keep students engaged during the holidays.

Keep Students Writing with a Holiday Writing Prompt

It is difficult to keep students’ interested in content material during the holidays!  That is something we can count on! Lisa’s awesome blog post about reindeer stories shows how using an engaging topic can get students excited about writing. My favorite middle school writing prompt is:  Dear Santa, Please Take Me Off the Naughty List.  Students […] Read more…

Four ways to make your lunch break more meaningful.

Healthy Teacher: Lingering over Lunch

I’ve asked my dear friend Dayle to write a post for this month’s Healthy Teacher installment since she is all about bringing balance, movement, and a joy to people.  I love the insight she offers as an opportunity to transform our crazy lunch schedule into something meaningful and calming.  Check out the end of this […] Read more…

How to use homework scorecards.

Teacher Talk: Homework

Welcome to the monthly Teacher Talk blog hop! This month I thought I’d address a topic that everyone has an opinion about:  homework. If you have Parent/Teacher conferences after the first grading period, homework is usually a hot discussion topic… too much, too little, too easy, too hard, not done, never done, graded, completion grade…the list […] Read more…

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