5 ways to teach summarizing skills

5 Ways to Teach Summarizing Skills

Teaching students how to summarize a text is important… So important that it is part of the CCSS reading standards for literature and informational texts beginning in grade 4 and continuing (with greater rigor) through grade 12. As educators, we know why summarizing will help students: improve reading comprehension filter main ideas from details follow […] Read more…

Teaching sonnets provides students with literary analysis and critical thinking skills!

Tips for Teaching a Sonnet to your Students

The granddaddy of poems:  the sonnet.  Of all the poetry forms we can teach, it’s the most intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be! Teaching the sonnet is challenging, but a great way for students to practice critical thinking skills. Let’s dive in! What’s to love about sonnets? Sonnets provide the “whole enchilada” for poetry […] Read more…

Looking for ways to teach critical thinking skills? Here are ways to use propaganda to help students practice. Free lesson plan included.

Propaganda and Critical Thinking

Propaganda surrounds us. And teaching our students to be critical thinkers is more important than ever.  One (fun!) way to do this is to teach about how propaganda is used in popular culture.  Examples are everywhere! Let’s get started: Start with propaganda they know Just by asking students to match the company and jingle or […] Read more…

Host a scrabble tournament with your class.

How to Host a Scrabble Tournament for Your Class

Looking for a fun way to engage students?  Try hosting a Scrabble Tournament. Great for pre-Christmas craziness, year-end, or before break excitement. Here’s how to do it: I want you to know that this post contains affiliate links.  You can read my disclosure here. First steps Your students may or may not know how to […] Read more…

How to use student self assessments

Student Self-Assessment Strategies

Are you teaching your students self-assessment skills? Teaching this life skill is so important in helping our students gauge their growth. This post takes you through many ways to teach this. Let’s get started! When should students self-assess? Looking back at our accomplishments over time is so gratifying! We can bring that same joy of […] Read more…

How to teach weather poems

How to write weather poems

Why will your students love writing weather poems? There is one thing we can agree on…the weather outside our classroom windows can be fascinating! No matter the time of year, the weather can be a source of distraction (“I see a snowflake!”) or inspiration. Use what’s happening outside your classroom to engage students in meaningful […] Read more…

how to use rafts to teach writing

Why RAFTs encourage creative writing

Use RAFT prompts engage students in creative writing responses to engage students in writing that is exciting and imaginative. All writing should be creative — no matter what the subject. But, too often the prompts we provide our students are dull. No wonder we’re nodding off as we grade! By using RAFT as a formula […] Read more…

What are you teaching in September

What to teach in 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…

How to run successful book talks

Book Talks in Middle School

Books talks are a great way to invigorate reading in your classroom.  Students enjoy talking about the books they’re reading, and this can create a reading “buzz” in your class. Here are the steps to creating successful book talks with your students: What are book talks? Before you launch into them, what are they? Book […] Read more…

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