It’s been a busy year on the blog, with 58 new posts (today’s is #59, that’s more than one per week – woot woot!) and a whole bunch of new subscribers to our cozy little English teacher community. As the year winds down, I thought you might enjoy seeing which articles collected the most clicks in 2017 and, perhaps, spot one or two you may have missed the first time around.
If you find something useful in these posts, spread the word (pretty please?) by emailing the url to a teacher bestie or linking on your social media channels. Let’s help all of our teacher-friends reclaim some precious prep time in the new year!
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2017:
1. Mess With Their Minds
An explanation of how I use brain teasers with my students as an end-of-class sponge activity and community-builder. Let’s play!
2. Full Year of H.S. English – Week at a Glance
Ever wonder what my class calendar looks like? You’ll get more detail than you ever wanted with this post, an anchor page for a year-long series that gives a week-by-week explanation of my English 9 curriculum. A month-by-month calendar for my Eng. 11/American Lit. class is also linked at the bottom of that post.
3. Meme Me Up, Scotty
This is one of the first blog posts I ever wrote, but folks apparently still love teacher memes. In this post, I talk about using memes to add levity to the first day of school’s rules-and-procedures lecture. These days, I’ve bumped the meme-based lecture to Day 2 and now use the icebreaker discussed in #9 below as my new Day 1 activity.
4. Five Ready-To-Use Poetry Stations
Maybe you want to use stations in your classroom, but you’re not sure where to start. This post shows five poetry creation stations in action and gives a detailed list of what you’ll need, including a free set of printable station instructions.
5. Modern Tech + Classic Lit.
For three years, the iPhone characterization worksheet has been the top-selling item in my TpT shop. Take a look at this versatile little tool in action with my English 9 study of The Odyssey.
6. Learning from Famous Failures
What do we have in common with John Green, Jay Z, and Lady Gaga? We’re all losers. Yet, with the right mindset, we can all also be winners. “Growth mindset” is all the rage in edu-speak and a Famous Failures bulletin board is a meaningful way to make the message stick.
7. 10 Classroom Uses for Grammar Fail Photos
As English teachers, it’s our duty to train the next generation of Grammar Police, arming our young people with the tools they need to correct and serve. This post provides 10 easy ways to draw students’ attention to the grammar crimes that surround them.
8. New Year “Game” Plan
As the 2015-2016 school year was about to begin, everyone on my campus was stressed. SBAC prep had taken over our faculty meetings, new AP classes were under debate, and the redesigned SAT had everyone sweating. I decided to lighten things up in my classroom in the form of “Quarter Trios,” an ongoing quarter-long competition loosely inspired by Hogwarts’ house cup competition. This post details the plan, which has become a favorite tool for classroom management.
9. Non-Cheesy Icebreaker for First Day of School
Inspired by fellow educator Madeline Alyce, this set of materials is the cure for the awkward first-day-of-school icebreakers that so many of us – teens and teachers, alike – actually hate.
10. Turkey Trot (& Reindeer Race) Stations
Just in time for the holidays, I built a set of generic English class stations to use on those crazy days right before Thanksgiving or Winter Break. The fact that this post is only six weeks old but still cracked the Top 10 Most-Read List for the year reveals a clear truth: my teacher peeps love free station materials (see #4 and #9 above). I’ll keep that in mind as I build future blog posts 😉