Marypat

organize classroom ideas

Nine Ways to Organize Your Classroom

This is going to be the year, right?  The year you are really, really going to get organized!  No more paper stacks, lost copies, or overflowing file folders.  No more wondering where those thirty glue sticks are or if there are enough colored pencils! This is the year, and these inspiration ideas can help you […] Read more…

classic texts for middle school students

5 Classic Books for Middle Schoolers

What’s a “classic” piece of literature?  Mark Twain defined it as “something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Those words might ring true when you sit down to read War and Peace  or Moby Dick, but what about middle school classics? Modern Classic Novels in Middle School A classic includes enduring themes, relatable […] Read more…

historical novels for middle school

Historical Fiction Books Your Students will Love

How do you use historical fiction? If you’re in a self-contained classroom, using historical fiction is a natural connection with your social studies content.  It is an awesome way to build background knowledge and help students make strong connections. But what about me? I don’t teach social studies.  I do know what our social studies […] Read more…

Series students will love

Book Series with Characters Your Students will Love

There are so many wonderful series written for middle schoolers. Here are some favorites: Series are important business when it comes to keeping middle school students reading.  They are also great to add to your literature circle rotation since you can offer a “gateway” book. Reluctant readers love them because they are easy to slip […] Read more…

nonfiction for middle school

Nonfiction for Middle School

We all know the issues with middle school and reading.  Weaknesses in reading skills can take a toll on student achievement as we ask and expect them to read more — both in volume and depth.   But nonfiction is so tempting, so tantalizing, so dramatic…just dare your reluctant readers not to pick up a […] Read more…

Create a dream teaching team with these tips for building community.

7 Tips for Creating a Dream Teaching Team

How can you create an amazing teaching team? Read on for tips to making the dream a reality. Teaching teams are wonderful.  They offer an opportunity for teachers to collaborate, share, problem-solve, and create friendships that extend beyond the school building. That’s the theory, anyway.  They can also be dysfunctional, negative, ineffective, and destructive.  The […] Read more…

Ideas for sharing research on 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 creating an Earth Day research “teach-in” is a great way for students to share their research in a real-world setting. How […] Read more…

create a journal jar

Make your own Journal Jar

A journal jar is a great way to offer students choices during writer’s workshop or journaling time. I’ve always loved using a journal jar.   In the past, my journal jar consisted of topics written on strips of paper and stuck into a jar.  Students could pick a slip, glue it to the top of […] Read more…

how to organize student writing

A Simple Way to Organize Writing Projects

Ready to organize writing projects so your students’ papers aren’t everywhere? Want your fast finishers to be able to move forward on a writing project and not have to wait for the rest of the class? Ready to provide scaffolding for students who need it? And a checklist for you to streamline grading? Then, you’ll […] Read more…