Marypat

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 Ask students to complete a short survey. My favorite questions are: You might want to share your own answers to these questions with your class before […] Read more…

how to teach memoir writing

How to Teach Memoir Writing

Ready to teach your students how to write a memoir essay? Here are steps to help you teach effectively and your students to produce a meaningful piece of writing. Let’s dive in! What is a memoir essay? A memoir is a personal essay that explores an event that a person has experienced. It’s different from […] 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. What are some good ways to do that? Let’s dive in! The benefits of developing gratitude (for all of […] Read more…

fast and easy grading hacks

Easy and Fast Grading Tips for ELA Teachers

Grading — and more grading! When you teach writing, that is something that never ends! I recently saw an Instagram image of a teacher’s stack of grading for the weekend — next to a ruler.  She had three inches of grading to do (insert sobbing here!). While you can’t always eliminate it, there are ways […] Read more…

These 12 poems are perfect for middle school students. The post includes lesson plan ideas and a free poetry discussion starter.

12 Poems your Middle Schoolers will Love

Here are 12 poems that seem to be written specifically for middle school students, along with suggestions for teaching. 1. “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson   Reasons to love this:  Students will readily understand it. Students love pointing out who the “frogs” are in society today. It’s incredible how this little poem is still […] 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…

Use prewriting activities to improve writing instruction.

11 Pre writing Strategies (and how to use them)

There are many prewriting strategies you can use to help your students get ready to write. Here is a list of 11 and how to use them. Teaching writing can be a daunting task, but by breaking the writing process up, you’re students will be more successful. The best place to start writing instruction is […] Read more…

Improve student engagement

Student Engagement: easy strategies that work

Student engagement is critical in moving the needle on learning, but sometimes you need to shake things up. Here are some easy strategies to try. What is student engagement? You don’t need me to tell you when your students are engaged –you can usually tell, but it can be helpful to look deeper. According to […] Read more…

keep writing on track

How to plan effective student writing projects

It’s easy to lose track of time when students are working on a writing task. Suddenly, a project that you thought would take a week or two has stretched out to three, four, or…will it ever be finished? The danger of long writing assignments It’s not the number of pages, but the number of days […] Read more…

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