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…

Four ways to make your lunch break more meaningful.

Healthy Teacher: Lingering over Lunch

I’ve asked my dear friend Dayle to write a post for this month’s Healthy Teacher installment since she is all about bringing balance, movement, and a joy to people.  I love the insight she offers as an opportunity to transform our crazy lunch schedule into something meaningful and calming.   Adult children, arm-in-arm with parents, […] Read more…

How should you handle homework in middle school? Here are some tips for creating meaningful assignments. Free homework scorecard will help streamline assessments.

Making Homework Work

Should you assign homework? Should it be graded? How should it be managed? Here are some ideas to help you make those decisions. Some schools have done away with homework altogether. Is that right for your school? Your students? Should middle school students be expected to complete homework? Let’s dig deeper. What impact is homework […] Read more…

teaching poetry

How to Teach Poetry All Year

If you love National Poetry month and feel sad when it’s over, consider teaching poetry all year! I’ve written a guest post for Rachel Lynette’s blog Minds in Bloom that includes ten reasons why you absolutely should teach poetry all year — and seven simple ways how to do it. Be sure to check out that post here. […] Read more…

Checklists for Teachers

Checklists can make the difference between a well-run lesson and a disjointed one. A smoothly run classroom and a chaotic one. How? Read on for ways they can make your life easier. Have you read The Checklist Manifestoby Atul Gawande?   He proposes that the simple checklist will help streamline complex tasks and reduce errors. While […] Read more…

Organization tips for teachers. 7 ways to organize paper and clutter in your classroom. #5 is my favorite!

7 Organizational Tips for Teachers

Looking for some quick organizational tips that will save you time and energy? This post is here to help you! It seems like some people are born organized (take my sister!) and some people, not so much (ummm, that would be me).  But there are things we can do to improve our organizational skills. Here […] Read more…

First Day of School – Fun and Games

The first day of school is full of organizing, paper passing, and expectations.  While kids are happy to reconnect with friends, the business of the first day can be draining.  That’s why playing a game on the first day is a great way to engage students. I play Scattergories throughout the year with my class […] Read more…

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