English teachers! Keep your high school students engaged in class right up to the last day of school. Links to all of the items mentioned in this video are listed below.

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This week, I’m focusing on English teacher Kim and her middle school struggle:

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After two decades of teaching high school English, I’ve known many principals. I’ve come to think of them as the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Today’s video is a message from the heart, the things I always wanted to say but never did because, well, I didn’t want to lose my job. Learn more […]

A global pandemic, a cross-country move, an identity crisis…yeah, it’s been a weird year. Everything’s upside-down and inside-out right now. Seemed like a good time to fire up the YouTube channel again: Let’s talk! What topics should I cover? What’re you struggling with? How can I help? I’ll do my best to turn your questions […]

Today’s post is a question I received yesterday from a customer over at my shop.

Hello Laura,
I recently gave my students the one-question-quizzer style of quiz (Note to reader – You can learn more about this method here: https://laurarandazzo.com/2014/06/23/hold-their-feet-to-the-fire/), and usually this method seems to work well. Unfortunately, during one of the quizzers, I had a student answer the question incorrectly though he claimed to have read the story.

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Life is hard. Plans fall apart. People disappoint you. And yet… My latest obsession – Wondery’s Imagined Life podcast – details the struggles people faced before they became famous and it always leaves me hopeful. Part biography/part mystery, the program is a fun distraction with a guessing game quality. It’s also a helluva great example […]

“Hey Ms. R., that was pretty good…for a school movie.”
Yes, The Twilight Zone, that 60-year-old black-and-white TV show, earns what I call high praise from teenagers.

Before we get to my all-time favorite episodes to use as teaching tools, here are seven reasons to bring The Twilight Zone to your classroom:

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

Since Halloween’s on a Saturday this year, it feels right to fill the whole week leading up to Oct. 31 with spooky literary goodness. Up first? A super-creepy Neil Gaiman story suggested a few weeks ago by friends over in the 2ndaryELA Facebook Group.

If you don’t know Gaiman’s “Click Clack the Rattlebag,” lower the lights and get ready for a fun, scary ride. Gaiman shares it with us here:

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Haven’t heard of her? You’re not alone. Last week, I came across Susan Glaspell’s short story, “A Jury of Her Peers,” while looking for new works to add to my American literature curriculum. Glaspell, called “American drama’s best-kept secret” by the British press, was a turn-of-the-century powerhouse who packed her easy-to-read story with tons of symbolism and controversy for students to discuss. Continue reading

Please allow me introduce you to Andy Weir’s tasty morsel of a short story called, “The Egg.” The story, part sci fi/part philosophy, is a quick 1,000-word read that might be a good match for your classes this fall. Although not particularly religious, the story centers around a God figure talking to his supernatural child. […]