“Reading is the skill.” –Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Champion. As kids get older, teachers tend to do fewer and fewer read-alouds. This robs students of a valuable experience and makes them feel that reading is no longer fun. There are so many reasons why I make reading aloud a priority in my middle school classroom. I have always found that middle schoolers and high … Continue reading Why We Need to Read Aloud to Big Kids
The teacher community recently came together on social media (with the hashtags #readlikeateacher and #teachlikefinland) over Timothy Walker’s Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms. He writes about his experience teaching first in the United States and then in Finland. The premise of the book is that Finland outranks every country in the world in student performance on reading, math, and science as measured by … Continue reading Can America Teach Like Finland?
Flu season is upon us, so I wanted to compile some of my favorite free resources for last-minute sub plans. Everything I’ve chosen is 100% free and ready to print. These resources don’t take a lot of explanation, and can be easily implemented by a sub. They’re purposeful and provide practice on important skills. Read on! Erin Cobb has a series she calls “Short Story … Continue reading Five Free ELA Printables for Flu-Season Sub Plans
Halfway through my first year of teaching, a student asked me, “why don’t we ever do anything fun in English class?” I knew I had a problem. Next door, the math teacher was running games and activities several times a week, but I felt like I didn’t know where to start with that in ELA. My favorite strategy I’ve discovered to encourage collaboration and interaction … Continue reading The Hands-On Formative Assessment Strategy that Students and Teachers Love
As an English teacher, I’ve always found it important to be a reader. When I was in school, I always respected the teachers who had the most passion for their content area. I always wanted to be the type of teachers who didn’t just talk the talk, but walked the walk. Sadly, I’ve worked with a lot of English teachers who don’t read books. It’s … Continue reading I Read 50 Books in 2017. Here are my Top 10.
My first years of teaching, I started to feel bad when I had neglected to assign homework for any significant period of time. I didn’t feel bad because I thought I was doing the kids a disservice; it was because I was worried about what parents would think. Now I’ve been doing this for a little longer (sixth year teacher) and I’ve chilled out a … Continue reading Humbug! Why I Don’t Send Home Holiday Homework
Students are desperate to take pictures of the board rather than writing things down. They beg to use laptops to email themselves notes. Here’s why I don’t let them. When students write their notes on laptops, they tend to write more notes and even try to get everything down verbatim. This is not necessary, nor does it aid memory. Students who handwrite their notes use … Continue reading Why My Students have to Hand Write their Notes