Searching for ways to help struggling writers? This post provides a variety of ways you can do that. Help your middle school students achieve writing fluency this year!

How to Help Struggling Writers

I recently received a message from a teacher asking for help with her struggling middle school writers.  She knew that all of her plans, units, and writing prompts were not going to be effective teaching tools if her students didn’t grasp the writing fundamentals they needed. Perhaps you spent an entire in-service day planning your […] Read more…

Host a reading challenge with your students. Whether they read 4 or 40 books, you'll find tips here that will help you run a successful reading challenge.

15 Tips for a Reading Challenge

Ready to host a reading challenge with your class?  Whether you want your students to read 4 or 40 books this year, here are some ideas that will help you be successful. The Problem with a Reading Challenge It’s no secret that middle school students aren’t spending as much time reading as they are on […] Read more…

Ready to teach digital literacy skills to middle school? Click through for 10 tips to teach digital citizenship and critical thinking.

Strengthen Digital Literacy for Students

The internet is a wonderful place where you can learn all kinds of amazing things. The internet is a terrifying place — where you can learn all kinds of amazing things. Both of these statements are true! Enter Digital Literacy Parents and teachers alike can see the benefits and perils of online information for children. […] Read more…

Looking for ideas for October? Here are 12 ideas that will strengthen writing, reading, researching, and speaking skills for your students!

What to Teach in October

Looking for October lesson plan ideas — or have the have the crazies of October already hit? 🎃 Either way, here are 12 ideas to help you keep students working and engaged for the month (numbers 5 & 6 are my favorites!). Teaching ideas for October Writing Adjust journal prompts.  One of my students’ favorites […] Read more…

How can you teach gratitude to your students? Here are 15 tips to help you do just that.

Ways to Teach Gratitude in the Classroom

You don’t need an advanced degree to know that we can benefit from practicing gratitude.  As a teacher, you are in a unique and powerful position to help your students consider, think about, and practice gratitude. The benefits of developing gratitude (for all of us): improved relationships better health better sleep less stress improve empathy […] Read more…

goal setting for middle school students

Goal-Setting Activities for 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. Goal-setting for students: a hierarchy If you have read the book Grit by Angela Duckworth, you read […] Read more…

Help your students overcome writing anxiety with these 15 tips. Build writing confidence - great tools for writing workshop, literacy centers, and whole class instruction. Helpful for test prep as well.

Writing Anxiety: Creating Fearless Writers

What do writing anxiety and a trip to the hospital have in common? As of the date on this post, I’m recovering from a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction.  While I was in the hospital, I spent a good part of the day (and nights) discussing, describing and rating my pain. This was facilitated by […] Read more…

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…

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