Marypat

Writer’s Notebook vs Journal

  At some time in your students’ academic lives, they have probably kept a journal.  Journals are wonderful teaching tools — they help students reflect on their learning, expand their understanding, make hypotheses…and so on.  The great thing about learning journals is that nearly any discipline can use them — math, science, social studies.  They […] Read more…

One Essential Tool for your Classroom

The world of teachers very well may be divided into those who organize with binders and those who organize with folders. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but if you’re in the binder camp, there is one tool you cannot live without:  a high-quality three-hole punch. This is an “essential” tool.   I received […] Read more…

Summer Vacation…

What does summer vacation mean to you? We can all agree that teachers work really hard.  But, our summer “to do” lists are often full of more work!  Closets to be cleaned, files organized, lessons planned, books to be read…the list is as bottomless as a pile of papers to be graded! Encourage the teachers […] Read more…

End the School Year: 5 Fun Things to Try

The last quarter of the school year can be exhausting.  If your school has testing, there may be several weeks left in the year that you and your students are watching the clock. Try out something fun to end the year. 1.  Go back to September.  Think about the ideas you had at the beginning […] Read more…

Decoupage a Classroom “Author’s Chair”

I am not artistic, but I love to decoupage.  Collage and glue — right up my unartistic alley! A few summers ago I made this stool for my classroom.  My students loved it but were only allowed to use it as the “author’s chair” when they were reading something they’d written to the class.  Fellow […] Read more…

Book Talks Invigorate Student Reading

Book Talks Books talks are a great way to reinvigorate reading in your classroom.  Students enjoy talking about the current books they’re reading without a lot of additional folderol (ha!  I didn’t know that was a real word!). I have my students present book talks once a month.  I post a sign up sheet for […] Read more…

You can and should teach poetry all year! Here is how.

Weather Poems

T.S. Elliot may have written that “April is the cruellest month,” but January through March can be pretty ruthless!  Snow days interfere with the flow of your class and students feel antsy if they can’t get outside because of wind chill factors.  Not to mention that anything happening outside the windows of a middle school […] Read more…

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