Five fun and funky outfit additions for teacher wardrobes.

5 Fun & Funky Outfit Additions for Teachers

Elementary school teachers can get away with wearing all kinds of cute outfits.  What about a middle school teacher’s wardrobe?  We have the sharp-eyed teens checking out what we wear…and didn’t you wear that blouse last week?   Still, we don’t have to wear boring/safe clothes.  Just a few fun pieces added to your basic teacher […] Read more…

Easy Ways to End the School Year Strong

Are you ready for the end of school? Exciting? Sure… just sometimes too exciting!  Keeping students engaged and still learning until the last few days can seem like a herculean task — especially if you’re finished with standardized testing. What can you do to keep your students engaged, fun, and different ways to end the school year?  […] Read more…

13 Unique Teacher Gifts

Looking for a unique gift for a teacher?  Most teachers have plenty of mugs and candles — but here’s a list of some thoughtful, fun, unique items that would make wonderful teacher gifts — any time of year. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here. 13 Unique Gifts for […] Read more…

Propaganda and Critical Thinking

Teaching our students to be critical thinkers is more important than ever.  One (fun!) way to do this is to teach about how propaganda is used in popular culture.  Examples abound! Start with propaganda they know Your students may be surprised to realize how pervasive propaganda is in their lives. Just by asking them to […] Read more…

Create a resource book with your students.

Create a Resource Book with Your Students

Help your students create a resource book that is more than just a place to record notes or homework.  Teach your students how to make their notebooks a true resource. At the end of the school year, do your students drop their notebooks into the recycling bin as they leave the classroom?  😩  A year’s worth […] Read more…

How to get the most from writing warm ups

Writing Warm Ups – How to make the most of them

Do you use daily writing warm ups at the beginning of your writing class?  How can you make the most of them?  Here are a few suggestions: Writing warm ups + timer Here’s the scene: Your students come into the classroom.  As they do every day, they work on a sentence or paragraph on the […] Read more…

12 poems that middle school students will be able to relate to.

12 Poems that Speak to Middle Schoolers

Elementary teachers have Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein; high school teachers have T.S. Elliot and William Butler Yeats, but what about middle school?  Here are 12 poems that seem to be written specifically for that special group.  Poems that will speak loud and clear to your students! 12 poems that speak to middle school students […] Read more…

Help students learn elements of poetry by writing one of these four fun poems.

Poetry Writing: Four Fun Forms Your Students Will Love

Students often struggle with poetry writing because, as the narrator of Love that Dog  says, “anything can be a poem if you write short lines.” Teaching students how to write poetry can also help you teach the elements of poetry. Poetry Writing with Four Fun Forms 1. The Blackout Poem Students can hardly resist this poetry […] Read more…

How to teach sonnets to your students. A step-by-step approach.

Tips for Teaching a Sonnet to your Students

The granddaddy of poems:  the sonnet.  Of all the poetry forms we can teach, it’s the most intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be! What’s to love about sonnets? Sonnets provide the “whole enchilada” for poetry study:  rhyme, rhythm, meter, quatrains, couplet, figurative language, volta (turn).  You can teach a whole unit on poetic elements […] Read more…

Formative? Summative? What kinds of assessments are you giving and how should you use them? Plan lessons more effectively by using the right assessment at the right time. This post includes a freebie to help you do just that!

Making Sense of Formative and Summative Assessments

You need assessments — how you get them and what you do with them matters!  Here are some tips to making sense of formative and summative assessments — without the overwhelm! Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world that didn’t require grades?  Where emojis were real currency?!  Unfortunately, we don’t live in that […] Read more…

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