For the most part, I ignore blog stats. I don’t have a “click funnel” or desire to shake you down for your email address. I give away a bunch of stuff for free and don’t require likes, follows, or tagging of friends in order for you to get the goodies. This may be bad for business (as I’ve been told by several unsolicited marketing folks who want to “fix” my blog), but it’s good for my heart.
Yet as the year comes to a close, I felt compelled yesterday to take a look at the 2018 numbers and I found two surprises:
1. I’ve actually uploaded 42 posts this year, more than I thought given my late fall slump. (Please know your patience is appreciated – yes, I’m still feeling wrung out.)
2. A lot of you, like me, aren’t getting enough sleep.
What the heck, English teacher peeps? Why is 2 a.m. Monday the busiest time around here? Someone please explain because I have no idea.
Anyway, I also found a list of 2018 posts that earned the most traffic. Knowing an easy-to-write blog post when I see one, here’s a list of popular posts you might’ve missed the first time around:
1. Pop Culture in the Classroom
Free lesson materials to use music videos and film clips to help students identify 40 examples of figurative language. Good times!
2. Let Jason Reynolds Teach Your Class
YA lit. giant Jason Reynolds will entertain and inspire your classes as he masterfully demonstrates the power of rhetorical tools in action with these free materials. Need even more of a pull to get your students’ attention? Let them know that Reynolds is the writer who novelized Miles Morales, the newest member of the Spiderman universe a.k.a. Spider-Verse.
3. Let’s All Go to the Movies
If you’re teaching mythology, The Odyssey, or any storytelling unit, students always enjoy seeing how modern movies connect to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, the Hero’s Journey. (Of course, this list includes Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, and…yes…Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.) Use the free introductory slides and notetaking sheet mentioned in the post to help kids connect the dots.
4. Free H.S. English Monthly Calendars
As a wrap-up to the 20Time2018 project, I posted a set of monthly calendars to help folks assigned to teach English 9/English 10. It’s incredibly helpful to see how another teacher paces a class, no?
5. Oprah = Real-World Rhetorical Goodness
After Oprah Winfrey dropped her now-famous #metoo speech at the Golden Globes in January, I stayed up all night (hey there, fellow insomniacs!) working on questions to help students dissect her masterful use of metaphor, parallelism, pathos, and symbolism. For sure, she got a lot of us talking.
So, that was 2018. I hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday season and a restful winter break. I’ll be back in 2019 with more good stuff. In the meantime, you can revisit any of the 300+ posts from the past five years by browsing this alphabetical list. Teach on, everyone!