Lesson Plans

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…

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…

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…

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…

How to Teach Creative Writing All Day

When I was in middle school, I remember the excitement of hearing my teacher proclaim dramatically that today we would do “Creative Writing” as if it were a magical, once-a-year event (which, unfortunately, it was!).  I loved “creative” writing so much that I wrote my own stories at home.  Sure, school had plenty of writing […] 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…