We went to the corn maze this weekend and an actor (I hope) chased my family with a chainsaw. On Saturday, I was shopping at the farmers’ market when a college kid in zombie makeup jump-scared the crap out of me. And hubs and I just decided on our front porch Halloween night decor – a single red balloon should get the job done.

In the spirit of this pre-Halloween scarefest, here are my 10 favorite lessons to bring The Creepy into our classrooms: Continue reading

Our ELA Facebook friend Heather Nicole Teraila just posted the results of a super-cute characterization activity her students completed on The Outsiders Continue reading

Do yourself a favor and allow this master storyteller to tell you about his senior prom. Hasan Minhaj, you may know him from The Daily Show, takes us back to 2003, when he was a Muslim teen growing up in mostly white Davis, California. No spoilers here, but I promise his story is one that’ll get your kids talking. Continue reading

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

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