Note: This is an updated repost.

A few years ago, I shared my P.E. department colleagues’ inspired use of stations on the day before we left for Thanksgiving break. Here’s that old video, in case you missed it:

Last year, I adapted their idea and brought the same holiday fun to our English/Language Arts classes. Here’s how! Continue reading

Today’s post comes from a recent email (used with permission, of course) from a member of our community:

Hi Laura,
I purchased your 9/10 curriculum and it’s going extremely well. My 10th grade students love their weekly routine and SSR. However, I have a situation where I’m seeking your advice. Recently, a parent contacted the guidance counselor and wanted to switch from my gen ed class to an honors class because she said her son was bored and wasn’t feeling challenged in English class. The guidance counselor told her it was too late in the semester to switch him to an honors class, but the counselor also told me about the request and asked me to “give him more work.” Continue reading

Scared.
Angry.
Powerless?

Last weekend, I traveled to Washington D.C. to help chaperone the Students for Change Foundation’s summit on gun violence. It was an intense weekend, as you might imagine. I listened to students who survived the Feb. 14 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, met folks from Newtown, Connecticut (yes, the Sandy Hook Elementary kids are teenagers now), and heard kids talk about the loss of friends and family to street crime, domestic violence, and suicide.

I should know what to say to them, but I do not. Continue reading

Note: This is an updated repost featuring some of my favorite end-of-October lesson ideas.

In 7th grade, my friend Sarah plugged her older brother’s copy of A Nightmare on Elm Street into the VCR at a sleepover and I haven’t been okay since. Scary movies? Nope. No, thank you. I’m such a chicken, I shut my eyes during commercials for horror flicks. I mean, you heard the new Halloween movie opens this weekend, right? Count me o-u-t.

Books, though, are different. Somehow, the images in my mind aren’t as gory as those on the screen and good short stories don’t rely on cheap jump-scares; instead, there are heavy things to actually think about and I suppose that’s my favorite kind of terrifying. Continue reading

I’ve started reading again. After a moment of unpleasant reflection when I publicly admitted I’m an English teacher who doesn’t actually read much, I decided to make a change. The uncomfortable truth is that we give our time to the things that matter most to us. Reading and thinking about books? Yup, that matters to me. Instagram […]

Today’s post comes from an email I recently received from Tanya, one of our newest English teacher colleagues (used with permission):

Hi there! I’m a first-year teacher and I’ve been a fan of your blog since I started my credential program. Your first day stations activity was a life saver! I was hoping you could give me some advice.  Continue reading

You’d think I’d know better by now. Every summer, I make big plans. Every fall, reality hits. Continue reading