Marypat

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

October Lesson Plan Ideas

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!). Writing Adjust journal prompts.  One of my students’ favorites is to write about […] Read more…

Overcome writing anxiety that your students feel with these tips.

How to Relieve Writing Anxiety

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…

Tips for ending your school year strong.

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. Here are some ideas to help you make the end of the year fun and productive. What […] Read more…

Fun and easy teacher gifts that won't break the bank!

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. 13 Unique Gifts for Teachers 1.For some reason, students love to stare at the classroom clock.  If you […] Read more…

Help your students create a resource notebook that they will use as a true resource. Find free mini lessons to get you started.

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…

Are your students benefiting from writing warm ups or are they just busy work? Here are some practical tips for getting the most from these. And a free week's worth of interactive writing warm ups!

How to make the most of Writing Warm Ups

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 suggestions to make them work for your students: Writing warm ups + timer Here’s the scene: Your students come into the classroom.  As they do every day, they work on […] Read more…

What is a formative or summative assessment? This post will answer those questions.

What are Formative and Summative Assessments

Formative? Summative? What does it all mean to you, your students, and teaching? You need assessments — but how you get them? What kind of assessment is it? And what you do with them?  Here is how you can make sense of formative and summative assessments — without the overwhelm! Let’s get started! Wouldn’t it […] Read more…

Create a "just right" rubric for every assignment with these step-by-step directions.

How to Create Custom Rubrics for Any Assignment

Rubrics will save you time, help your students improve their skills, and provide fair, balanced assessments.  You can use an online rubric maker — or you can create your own that are balanced and fair. Here is the secret “recipe” for creating and using your own. What’s a rubric, anyway? Here’s your etymological lesson for […] Read more…

Ready to plan a writing project but not sure where to start? This post will help guide you step-by-step through the process.

How to Plan Writing Projects

Do you plan writing projects and provide students with an assignment sheet?  Doing so can help you focus instruction and improve student outcomes. Here are some quick steps help you plan your own projects: You are driving home from school, listening to the radio, and daydreaming…suddenly an amazing idea pops into your head for your […] Read more…