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PLEASE NOTE: The contest has now ended. Congrats to our drawing winners, Prairie Girl and Gloria Autran! The free posters are still available at the link listed below. Thanks.

Happy holidays, blog friend! In this season of gratitude and giving, it’s my pleasure to spread some joy by sharing a little thank-you gift with everyone and giving a really big thank-you prize to two lucky blog readers. Continue reading

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My friends over at TeachersPayTeachers brightened this week by posting one of my blog articles. If you’re not already familiar with the “Crazy Essay Week” approach I use with my juniors, you’ll definitely want to check out TpT’s latest blog post Continue reading

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Fast forward to next Friday, mere hours before our two-week winter vacation begins. What are many teachers throughout the school doing? Pressing “play” on their DVDs, white-knuckling it to the 3:00 bell. You know it’s true. Last year, when my fourth period freshmen arrived, they bragged that they’d spent the morning watching Elf and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and then they asked which movie I was going to show. Sorry, kids, I’m not that teacher. Continue reading

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I’m not even a minute into my right-after-lunch sophomore class when it starts – the quiet tee-hee of laughter among a handful of students, clearly the cool kids enjoying an inside joke.

“Okay, okay, let’s go,” I say, directing attention back to my vocab warm-up on the whiteboard.

Soft snickering continues. Undaunted, I launch my introduction of the word “tenuous.”

“Tenuous, an adjective, means really thin or insubstantial. If something’s tenuous, it’s definitely in need of strengthening.” Like my hold on this class, I think. Continue reading

So this nugget just pinged in my school email: Continue reading

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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

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Last week, Stanford researchers released a “bleak” report showing that more than 80 percent of students can’t determine the difference between real and fake news. (Alas, it seems this is something adults struggle with, as well.)

The severity of students’ lack of media literacy was shocking to the study’s authors who were “taken aback by students’ lack of preparation…Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there. Our work shows the opposite.”

What to do about this? I’m going to start by Continue reading