Today’s topic comes from an email exchange (used with permission) with one of our colleagues in the art department:

Hi Laura,
I was just watching your video on troublemakers and how to handle them. I really appreciate the refresher. I used that technique at the beginning of my teaching career but in recent years got caught up in students’ non-stop bad behaviors and basically gave up out of exhaustion. I’m an art teacher and will be starting at a new school in a couple of weeks. It’s a dream job. My strength is content knowledge not discipline. But I want this year to be the beginning of a new era for me, so I’ve been doing my own form of professional development this summer. Continue reading

Apparently, it’s turned into the Summer of Video around here, so let’s keep the momentum rolling. This week, I’m talking about TeachersPayTeachers.com, a tool that can restore our free time, make us more thoughtful about our classroom practices, and connect us to an international network of teacher friends. Continue reading

During last week’s video on class participation, I realized I needed to give more info about “Quarter Trios,” a routine that’s added fun, built community, and helped me run the classroom efficiently. Let’s do this thing! Continue reading

I know it’s only July, and I also know you’re probably already thinking about the fall. Today, let’s talk about a routine that helps successfully launch class Continue reading

Note: This is an updated repost featuring some of my favorite end-of-the-year lesson ideas.

You’ve wrapped your last major unit and final exams are still a week away. You could spend five days playing Review Jeopardy (uh…no, thanks) or you could grab some of these tried-and-true resources that’ll keep kids focused until finals. Continue reading

What is America’s favorite book? This summer, the good folks at PBS have decided to take on this question and I’m thinking some of their materials might be useful for the 2018-2019 school year. Continue reading

It’s late April. State testing is done (whew!), upperclassmen are ramping up for A.P. tests, and everyone’s just wrung out. How about we take a bit of time on an upcoming Friday and destress with this free poetry/coloring activity that’ll make all those hard-working moms out there feel good? Click the image to grab a […]

(While I’m spending spring break finishing my 20Time2018 project, here’s an updated repost sharing ideas and tools to celebrate the upcoming National Poetry Month in April. Enjoy!)

Of course we should fold in some extra poetry lessons to celebrate April as National Poetry Month, but who has the time? With state testing and AP exam prep, this month is a bullet train, whipping by with scary speed. But what if we slowed that roll just a bit? April’s also supposed to signal warmth and new growth, the perfect time to dig some rhyme. I know we all have a lot to do, but here are a few easy options to help our English teacher tribe add more poetic voices to our curriculum. Continue reading

Sure, we know that Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter are modern examples of the Hero’s Journey, but there are a l-o-t of other popular films that also fit Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. A few that may surprise you: Continue reading

The man who created Roget’s Thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget, was born on January 18, 1779, a date loquacious scholars celebrate as National Thesaurus Day. (Thanks, Alex E., for the heads-up. I had no idea this was a thing.) Though my research failed to unearth the authority who had the power to make such a declaration, it seems like a nice thing to remember the retired doctor whose passion project helps us all sound a bit more erudite. Continue reading