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

Hi Laura,
I’m a second-year English teacher, and I just got dragged into the inevitable “Why is school even important?” fight with my students. Their argument was that with smartphones, the need for actual knowledge is obsolete. This attitude drives me crazy; I know I probably shouldn’t have fallen for that one, but I couldn’t resist. However, I don’t really feel like I made a good impact on those students, and I came away from it feeling pretty frustrated. Do you have any tips for dealing with the “too cool for school” attitude? I’m at a loss with how to deal with these kids. Nothing I try really seems to work with them.
Cassie Continue reading

I finally made some progress on Macbeth and posted a study question set, intro. Prezi slide deck, and Act 2 race/quiz this week that feel like they took fore-v-e-r to finish. Progress this spring has been feet-in-concrete slow, but I try to remind myself it’s still progress, right? Continue reading

While searching for supplemental materials to use with Macbeth (yes, I’m still chipping away at this year’s 20Time project – progress is slow but happening), I slid down a podcast worm hole this week and found a completely unrelated drop of awesomeness produced by the Smithsonian Institute. If you didn’t already see Thursday’s post, click […]

If you’ve used podcast episodes in your classroom, you know that the kids love them. You also know that it’s really, really hard to find one that’s not too short/too long, isn’t riddled with swear words, and will actually hold our students’ attention.

This week, I’m happy to share a nugget of curriculum gold that I found over at Sidedoor, a podcast produced by the Smithsonian Institute. Continue reading

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Hope you survived the sugar-fueled chaos of yesterday’s classes and still have some energy to do something sweet for yourself this weekend. More video treats:
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Let’s hope Punxsutawney Phil’s right and an early spring will be here soon. In the meantime, I played with grammar, vocab., and analogies in this week’s videos:
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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