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…

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…

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…

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…

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…