Help your students write goals and use steps to meet those goals.

How to Set Effective Goals with your Students

We often use starting points during the school year to encourage our students to set goals for themselves. But how can we make goal-setting activities useful tools for middle school students?   Goals that aren’t abandoned after they’re written. Ready to find out more? Read on! Goal-setting for students: a hierarchy If you have read […] Read more…

simplify grading

How to simplify grading student writing

We are always trying to simplify grading. And we need to! As ELA teachers, we grade a lot and need to communicate with our students as they journey through the learning process. How can we do that? Read on for more on this! Ready to Simplify Grading? Are you ready to put away your red […] Read more…

teach characterization using short fun pixar films

How to teach characterization with short films

Teach characterization using short films that will keep your students engaged in learning! Short films like Pixar shorts are perfect for this lesson — and students love them! Students get hooked into the lesson right away! How do you teach it? Let’s dive in: But first… What is characterization? Characterization refers to the way a […] Read more…

fun ways to practice descriptive writing

Easy Ways to Teach Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing seems like it should be easy to teach, yet it is one of the most popular posts on my site, and I receive the most questions about teaching it. We know what we want our students to do, but they still struggle. Let’s explore how to teach descriptive writing. First — Is it […] Read more…

tips for successful independent reading in middle school

How to encourage independent reading in middle school

If you want your students to read – or read more, check out these suggestions for making independent reading more successful. First: get to know your students as readers Start the year by giving your students a short survey. My favorite questions are: How do you feel about reading? Why? What is hard about reading? […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan

How to create your yearlong plan – the easy way

A yearlong plan will help you teach your standards. It will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. But what is the easiest and best way to create one? Read on. What is a yearlong plan? A yearlong plan is an overview of […] Read more…

How do book clubs work? Here are tips for creating successful literature circle lessons and activities for your middle school students.

Easy Ways to use Literature Circles in Middle School

Ready to write literature circle lesson plans? This post will guide you through everything you need to know to get started! Whether you call them literature circles or book clubs, this type of reading instruction is a powerful and engaging way to improve reading. Let’s jump in! What are Literature Circles? A literature circle (or […] Read more…

Tips for preventing teacher burnout and improving your teaching life

Simple ways to prevent teacher burnout

Teacher burnout is real — and it is easy to feel like you’ve used up every bit of your energy and reserve at the end of a stressful semester or school year…even a school day! But there are some ways to get back your energy — and even better — to deal with stress as […] Read more…

How to plan for Back to School

Back to School: best practices for a great start

Ready for back to school? Here are — activities to get you started on the right foot. Get to know your students One of the most important aspects of starting a new school year is getting to know your students. There are so many advantages of getting to know your students: you can tailor your […] Read more…

What are you teaching in September

Easy Lesson Planning for September

Capitalize on the energy and enthusiasm students (and you!) have at the start of the year — and plan middle school activities and your September lesson plans that will help you establish routines and set expectations for a successful year. What will your September lesson plans look like? The problem with September We start the […] Read more…

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