With just five days til Winter Break, it’s time to wrap up our poetry unit and say goodbye to 2015. I usually end December with O. Henry’s classic Christmas tale “The Gift of the Magi” and a White Elephant gift exchange/thank-you letter writing activity. This year, though, the calendar gave only three weeks of instruction […]

I used to hate poetry. Seriously. For the first decade of my career, I pretty much ignored it. Too much sap. Too much angst. Too much manufactured depth for the sake of feeling like we’re deep. I knew I was supposed to care about the white chickens and that red wheelbarrow, but I just didn’t. Continue reading

Last week’s Instagram Challenge was a moderate success (more details to follow in a separate blog post later this week), and my freshmen are connecting nicely with Lennie and George from John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men. They’re getting to know Crooks this weekend and will hate Curley’s Wife when I see them Monday […]

After an extra hour of sleep (thanks, Daylight Saving Time) to recover from this weekend’s sugar-crazed Halloween shenanigans, I’m looking forward to the calm cruise of early November. My freshmen just finished our short story unit and are ready to gnaw on a (slightly) longer piece of literature. So for the next three weeks, we’ll […]

We’re nearing the end of the first quarter in my school district and Halloween will be celebrated on campus this Friday, so this week is going to be one of those “little bit of that, little bit of that” weeks as we transition between major units. Our first round of Book Talks are done (hurray!), […]

How is it already October? The Fall Semester Bullet Train has reached full speed, the days whipping by like the landscape blur of a passenger car window. This week is Homecoming, which means there’ll be an extra layer of hyper on everything. One of the best parts about being an older veteran teacher is that Continue reading

This was one of those weeks where real life pushed the blog aside, so I’m just going to post this quick peek at my weekly plan and get back to mom-wife-teacher-life duties. You know how it goes… Here’s the plan: Monday Open with a five-minute M.U.G. Shot (Mechanics, Usage, Grammar) Monday mini-lecture/bell-ringer. Review answers to […]

The three-day Labor Day weekend meant I was able to enjoy a date with hubs, unplug at a barbecue with one of my closest teacher friends, and still get all of those freshman summer work essays graded. Woo-hoo! My coding system and this handy little baseline essay rubric definitely helped to speed things along.

So what’s up for this week? Continue reading

After an initial stumble, Week 1 was a success, filled with meme-inspired rule setting and assigning of the summer work essay for my freshmen. This year, I had to say goodbye to my junior-level American Lit., so I’m now all-freshmen-all-the-time. Several folks have messaged me wondering about my pacing of the class. Continue reading

Blog reader Stephanie will transfer this fall from elementary to high school (Can you even imagine?) and recently asked what the first day of school looks like in my classroom, so let’s unlock the door to good ol’ Room H-9 and take a look. Continue reading