Today’s post comes from an email I received this week from a fellow English teacher. I am sharing our conversation with her permission and honoring her request to change her name for privacy.

Hi Laura,
I love your blog! I tried your Quarter Trios with my classes last year, and they LOVED it! Because I think you have such a positive, energetic attitude toward teaching and students, I wanted to ask your advice on the hot topic of conversation in my department right now – whether or not to assign summer reading. Continue reading

Today’s drop of brilliance comes from Jess, a fellow bookworm and middle school English teacher. With her permission, I’m sharing a tangible and beautiful way to motivate your kids to keep reading their SSR books. Continue reading

Looking for your next summer read? The awesome folks at YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, have pulled together their list of the most popular books of 2019, as chosen by teen book groups from schools and public libraries around the U.S. The top 25 nominees are listed below (click here for a PDF of […]

Note: This is an updated repost.

You’ve wrapped your last major unit and final exams are still a week or so away. You could spend five days on Review Jeopardy (um…no, thanks) or you could grab some of these tried-and-true resources that’ll keep kids focused until finals. Continue reading

Many of us will present “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry’s tale of gift giving and self-sacrifice in December, and friend of the blog Kate McCook just shared a link to a 15-minute film that beautifully modernizes the classic short story. “I came across this lovely short film set during the Greek economic crisis,” she emailed this week. “I’m thinking of showing it to my class for a little treat and exposure to world culture.” Thanks, Kate, for sharing the good stuff – this one’s definitely going into my rotation, too. Continue reading

After last week’s video about Sustained Silent Reading, here are answers to some specific questions that popped up Continue reading

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

You’ve wrapped your last major unit and final exams are still a week away. You could spend five days playing Review Jeopardy (uh…no, thanks) or you could grab some of these tried-and-true resources that’ll keep kids focused until finals. Continue reading

What is America’s favorite book? This summer, the good folks at PBS have decided to take on this question and I’m thinking some of their materials might be useful for the 2018-2019 school year. Continue reading

Warning: This post includes explicit language. If you’re not comfortable discussing curse words that appear in the texts our students read, you might want to skip this one. Continue reading

Today’s post starts in the kitchen. Like most normal people, I hate doing dishes. It’s gross and I’ve fought (and failed) for years to convince my husband and kids that their definition of “clean” is slacking…I mean, lacking. Hey, the job isn’t done until you’ve also wiped down the stove top, amIright? Continue reading