Are you facing the Dead Zone? You know, that end-of-year slog where you’ve wrapped up your last major unit and reviewed for finals, but still have a week before exams? I’m right there with you, but we have no worries. Here are some tried-and-true resources that’ll keep our kids focused until finals. Continue reading

Last month, I posted a Mother’s Day poetry activity that prompted a few folks to email me, wondering if I’d have a similar activity to use with their classes for Father’s Day. Well, your wish is my command, my friends! Continue reading

When Norman Ollestad was 11 years old, he was the sole survivor of a Cessna airplane crash in the mountains north of Los Angeles. Last week, one of my freshmen finished Ollestad’s memoir, Crazy for the Storm, and was so enthusiastic during our SSR book talk that I felt compelled to research Ollestad and find […]

Across the globe, folks will celebrate Earth Day this Saturday (April 22) with lots of community clean-up and educational events. Let’s bring some of that spirit to our classrooms with a high-interest, easy-to-deliver lesson that’ll get teens thinking about the world outside themselves. Continue reading

Last week, I was having coffee with my neighbor-friend Jenn, who works as a therapist, and I noticed some adult coloring books on sale at the shop.

“That’s trendy,” I said.

“And therapeutic,” she replied, going on to explain how she often has her teen and adult clients color during their counseling sessions. She even gives some sheets to stressed out clients to complete as homework. Huh. Since everything in my brain circles back to my classroom, I thought, “Okay then, let’s give it a try.” Continue reading

Last week, I shared five easy ways to help you celebrate National Poetry Month in your classroom. Today, I’m adding a sixth solid (and free!) resource. Continue reading

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