Category: Featured

all i really need to know i learned in the covid classroom.

(with apologies to Robert Fulghum) In 1986, Robert Fulghum’s bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten reminded us to return to the basics. Fulghum’s premise was, if we just recalled the principles from kindergarten (e.g., share, play nice, clean up… Continue Reading “all i really need to know i learned in the covid classroom.”

our break-up letters to 2020.

My Creative Writers keep Writers’ Notebooks, housing writing exercises we complete each week. Some entries are brainstorms, others are single-sitting warm-ups, and others are the beginnings of pieces we’ll develop at a later date. It seems fitting, then, that our final entry for 2020… Continue Reading “our break-up letters to 2020.”

new year’s resolutions–covid edition.

2020 was, to quote CNN’s Jake Tapper, “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck.” And others agree. Towns rang in the new year with literal dumpster fires; the Holderness family pushed out a Billy Joel parody about them; and one YouTube… Continue Reading “new year’s resolutions–covid edition.”

the gratitude project. (take that, 2020!)

2020 has been brutal. COVID-19, racial injustice (i.e., the Other Pandemic), murder hornets, plane crashes, brushfires, elections, remote learning, working from home. You name it, and it’s most likely been a part of 2020. One theory blames the “Baby Shark” song.  If you’ve ever… Continue Reading “the gratitude project. (take that, 2020!)”

spinach-filled brownies

Sneaking Rigor into the Choice-Reading Classroom Choice is a beautiful thing. With students choosing their own titles in my class, there’s so. much. beauty. There’s beauty in watching Reluctant Readers realize that reading is enjoyable–maybe just not how we‘ve been assigning it. These students… Continue Reading “spinach-filled brownies”

silver linings.

There’s been lots of talk about finding the Silver Linings in the midst of our current COVID storm. At publishing time, we’ve been quarantined here in New England for ten weeks, and schools are closed indefinitely. However, despite all of the anxiety and unrest,… Continue Reading “silver linings.”

on death and teaching.

I always tell my students that Life trumps School. I don’t want them worrying about a reading assignment or writing deadline when they should be caring for a post-op mom or sitting with a sick grandparent. Life is precious, our time together is limited,… Continue Reading “on death and teaching.”

choice: it does a reading program good.

High schoolers aren’t reading like they used to. However, most students remember a time when they enjoyed reading, going to the library, having a book read to them. But something happened, and reading was placed on the back burner. (For my readers, that Something… Continue Reading “choice: it does a reading program good.”

the dangers of landscaping.

Teachers don’t have favorites. Sure, and Mom didn’t like me best because I was the baby. However, there are definitely those students whose growth leaves us beaming with pride, whose writing leaves a lasting impression, whose authenticity leaves us questioning how we can help fix… Continue Reading “the dangers of landscaping.”

5 benefits of going paperless.

I love the planet; however, I didn’t go paperless in my classroom to save the Earth. It’s a fabulous, additional benefit, as we ELA teachers can photocopy like nobody’s business! But saving trees wasn’t the motivating force two years ago; engaging my students–while trying… Continue Reading “5 benefits of going paperless.”