Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who contributed to my daughter’s fundraising campaign. Back in January, she had the idea to replace two sets of sad, broken books in her middle school classroom with new copies. This week, those books arrived and were delivered to an incredibly grateful classroom. While the politics of […]

Teenagers are self-absorbed. I get that. (Heck, most adults we know are also pretty focused on themselves, no?) Nevertheless, I’ve been troubled in the past few weeks with some of my students’ inability to give concrete examples as they try to support their opinions. Continue reading

bulletinboardrandazzoEach morning, I post a fresh sheet of “tearable puns” on the bulletin board outside my classroom door, and as the day unfolds a wide variety of kids (some of them are my actual students, but many more are unknown to me) swing by the board to help themselves to a daily chuckle. Continue reading

The Supreme Court is in the news today, as Judge Neil Gorsuch was officially announced last night as the president’s nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat. Looking to emphasize the importance of the court in my students’ lives, I launched a discussion last week about the upcoming changes to the bench and what rights […]

I came across this classic bit of goodness today and needed to share (click here for a larger version you can copy to your computer and print as a page-sized poster): Continue reading

One thing that surprised me during last spring’s testing season was the heavy use of computer-voice instructions and listening passages on our state’s Common Core-style exam, the SBAC. I hadn’t really taught listening as a specific skill set, yet my students’ scores told me that they needed help there – badly. Continue reading

Now that I’m on the other side of 40, the value of failure is obvious. Although painful at the time, it’s clear to me that my greatest moments of growth always came after I fell on my face. Continue reading