classroom tools

Essential Tools for your Classroom

Do you have the classroom tools that you need to streamline teaching, organize papers, and keep you and your students focused on content? Here are some best bets for classroom organization This post includes affiliate links. You can read more here. Affiliate links help me fund my blog, but at no additional cost to you! […] Read more…

Guide to mini lessons for writing workshop

How to use Mini Lessons in Writing Workshop

Ready to use mini lessons in your writing workshop, but not sure how? This post will take you the entire process from choosing your lessons to teaching. Let’s get started! What’s a mini lesson? A mini lesson is a short, 10 – 15 minute lesson that you teach by modeling a skill for your students. […] Read more…

How to get started with writing workshop

How to Get Started with Writing Workshop

Congratulations!  You’ve decided to adopt a writing workshop class!  Now, you might be wondering:  now what?  Here are some tips to get you headed in the right direction. Let’s jump in! How Are Your Class Management Skills? Ready to jump into writing workshop? These Mini Lesson Planners will help you get started! Send me the […] Read more…

distance learning book clubs

Running Book Clubs with Distance Learning

Wondering how to include book clubs or literature circles into your distance learning? This post includes tips, suggestions, and ways to create digital book clubs that will engage your students — even when they aren’t in your classroom. Let’s get started! Your distance learning platform First, look at what your distance learning platform can do. […] 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…

fun ways to practice descriptive writing

Five Ways to Practice Descriptive Writing

As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!”  Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge.  Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try. 1. Do they understand what you mean by descriptive writing? (and can they find it?) Here is where a mentor text will help.  […] Read more…

Engage middle school students in narrative writing by using short videos. Click through to learn how to effectively use commercial, pixar shorts, and TV shows to get your students thinking about narrative elements.

Teach Narrative Writing with Videos

Video and narrative writing go hand in hand. As you prepare your students to begin writing narratives, you’ll want to teach them the elements of the genre.  But before they even put pen to paper, you can use videos to teach narrative writing.  Why? We are surrounded by stories.   Commercials, TV shows, movies, video games, […] Read more…

how to set up and manage distance learning

Distance learning: making it work

Schools are turning to distance learning to help keep students learning and progressing during the corona virus. While distance learning can be a bit intimidating if you’re new to it and are suddenly forced to make changes to the way you teach, that doesn’t have to be the case. This post will help you get […] Read more…

These 12 poems are perfect for middle school students. The post includes lesson plan ideas and a free poetry discussion starter.

12 Poems your Middle Schoolers will Love

Here are 12 poems that seem to be written specifically for middle school students.¬† 1. “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson   Reasons to love this:  Students will readily understand it. Students love pointing out who the “frogs” are in society today. It’s incredible how this little poem is still relevant and applies to our […] 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…

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