Category: Uncategorized

the mcas: this does not define you.

It’s that time of year again…The snow is beginning to melt (ish). The days are feeling a bit longer. Daylight is sticking around for dinner. And statewide exams are lurking around the corner. In Massachusetts, sophomores must pass the MCAS exam (in ELA, math,… Continue Reading “the mcas: this does not define you.”

the gratitude project (2018).

Last year, a few days before Thanksgiving, I began what I affectionately call “The Gratitude Project.” (You can read read more about it HERE and HERE.) Essentially, I forced my students–and myself–to carve out some time to reflect on the Good in our lives. We… Continue Reading “the gratitude project (2018).”

let them choose books.

Penny Kittle wrote,  “A book isn’t rigorous if students aren’t reading it.” This single statement has shaped my teaching career more than just about anything else. And for my first fifteen years, my students (and, chances are, probably yours, too) simply weren’t reading. I… Continue Reading “let them choose books.”

when numbahs don’t lie (2017-8).

Students can’t be reduced to a number. They can’t be defined by their results on a common assessment, reduced to where they fall on a state test, nor limited by their SAT/ACT scores. However, sometimes numbers don’t lie. With a towering goal of helping… Continue Reading “when numbahs don’t lie (2017-8).”

teaching style: the art of repetition.

Most honors students enter my classroom in the fall with the ability to craft organized, error-free writing. Which is fabulous. However, most students don’t have the tools to take their writing to the next level. (And based on the Traits of an Honors Student, taken from the Honors… Continue Reading “teaching style: the art of repetition.”

the gratitude project–part 2 (2017).

A few days before Thanksgiving, I asked my high school students to take an inventory of what they were thankful for this year.  They knew ahead of time that I would be sharing their lists, and, as promised, I emailed the class projects to… Continue Reading “the gratitude project–part 2 (2017).”

the gratitude project–part I (2017).

I’m sort of done with the news. Except for the whole I-don’t-want-to-be-ignorant part. With each shooting, political scandal, and social media war, it’s hard not to head into the holidays with a heavy heart. And our students feel it, too. Maybe more than we… Continue Reading “the gratitude project–part I (2017).”

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.”

when numbahs don’t lie (2016-7).

Students can’t be reduced to a number. They can’t be defined by their results on a common assessment, reduced to where they fall on a state test, nor limited by their SAT/ACT scores. However, sometimes numbers don’t lie. With a towering goal of helping… Continue Reading “when numbahs don’t lie (2016-7).”

explainer videos 101.

In a world of Common-Assessment-This and District-Determined-Measures-That, it’s more important than ever to allow our students to show their learning in  non-standardized ways as well. Enter: the Explainer Video. An Explainer Video is a real-world digital tool that can be found on virtually every… Continue Reading “explainer videos 101.”