classroom tool

Here are 6 strategies for grouping students. Perfect flexible grouping methods for differentiation, projects, and team building activities.

Grouping Students – Strategies that Work

No matter how entertaining you are, your students still need to move around and talk during class. Here are some great ways to get students moving, talking, problem solving, and interacting with different classmates. What’s the perfect size for grouping students? Students often struggle in groups. One student make take over and do all the […] Read more…

Use diagnostic writing assessments to improve your classroom instruction. Click through to discover how, and download a free writing assessment tool.

What Your Students’ Writing Samples are Telling You

The best way to learn about your student writers is to perform a diagnostic writing assessment.  This can help you analyze what your students need and determine your instructional strategies. When you get a batch of new students, you need to get to know them as human beings, but also as students — and more […] Read more…

How to teach students to peer review

9 Ways to Improve Student Peer Reviews

Peer reviews are beneficial to the reviewer and reviewee alike. Students benefit most from peer reviews when a few things are set in place. When one of my teaching friends noticed I was using peer reviews in my classroom, she commented that she never used them.  Why?  “It’s like the blind leading the blind,” she […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan to teach (all the) writing

A yearlong plan will help you teach (all the) writing; it will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. The yearlong plan – your map Your district or school may provide you with a year-at-a-glance (yearlong plan) that provides you with quarterly writing […] Read more…

Teaching Characterization with Short Films

Teach characterization using short films that will keep your students engaged in learning! But first… What is characterization? Characterization refers to the way a writer develops and creates characters.  How does the character come to life?  That is characterization. How is a character developed? The writer may use direct or indirect ways to develop a character.   With direct characterization the writer tells the […] 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 […] Read more…

One Essential Tool for your Classroom

The world of teachers very well may be divided into those who organize with binders and those who organize with folders. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but if you’re in the binder camp, there is one tool you cannot live without:  a high-quality three-hole punch. This is an “essential” tool.   I received […] Read more…