The Supreme Court is in the news today, as Judge Neil Gorsuch was officially announced last night as the president’s nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat. Looking to emphasize the importance of the court in my students’ lives, I launched a discussion last week about the upcoming changes to the bench and what rights […]

I came across this classic bit of goodness today and needed to share (click here for a larger version you can copy to your computer and print as a page-sized poster): Continue reading

I’ve been slow to embrace the idea of group essays. Several teachers I know use group essays, replacing one of the big writing assignments of the year with a group assignment where they place three or four students together and task them to collaborate on a single paper. This always feels like a cheat to me, especially when those colleagues brag in the teachers’ lounge they have only 11 essays to grade per class as opposed to the standard 34 or so. Continue reading

Did anyone else in our English teacher tribe get goosebumps last night when President Obama evoked our favorite Maycomb attorney in his farewell address to the nation? Continue reading

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that the spring semester around here means 20Time, a passion project where students spend 20% of class time for 12 weeks working on an individual plan approved by their peers. Continue reading

I just received this email that I’m guessing will resonate with a lot of us. With the teacher’s permission, I’m posting our conversation in the hopes that it’ll be useful to anyone who’s struggling with student motivation. Names have been changed. Continue reading

One thing that surprised me during last spring’s testing season was the heavy use of computer-voice instructions and listening passages on our state’s Common Core-style exam, the SBAC. I hadn’t really taught listening as a specific skill set, yet my students’ scores told me that they needed help there – badly. Continue reading