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…

Tips to teach poetry

6 Easy Tips for How to Teach Poetry

Wondering how to teach poetry? Not quite sure how to start? These tips will help you get started. How to engage your students Often, our students complain that they don’t like poetry — it’s boring or they don’t get it. Combat that by choosing poems that YOU love. You do love poetry, don’t you? Maybe […] Read more…

Ready to teach poetry? This post will guide you through the process.

Strategies for Teaching Poetry: The Ultimate Guide

Looking for teaching strategies as you begin a poetry unit? Teaching poetry can be intimidating — for both students and teachers. But it doesn’t have to be! This post dives into ways you can teach poetry in fun and effective ways. Read on! Why should I teach poetry? By the time your students reach middle […] Read more…

What are effective teaching strategies for vocabulary instruction?

Easy & fun ways that work to teach vocabulary

Teaching vocabulary can be a real challenge. Looking for some extra help? Here are vocabulary teaching strategies that with help you and your students in your word study. Why is vocabulary important? We know that vocabulary instruction is important. When our students can understand, decode, and determine the meaning of new words, their reading comprehension […] Read more…

5 ways to teach summarizing skills

5 Easy 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: But what are ways to actually teach summarizing? You’ll […] Read more…