Of course we should fold in some extra poetry lessons in April, 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 bring to mind 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 us celebrate National Poetry Month in our classrooms. Continue reading

Teenagers are self-absorbed. I get that. (Heck, most adults we know are also pretty focused on themselves, no?) Nevertheless, I’ve been troubled in the past few weeks with some of my students’ inability to give concrete examples as they try to support their opinions. Continue reading

bulletinboardrandazzoEach morning, I post a fresh sheet of “tearable puns” on the bulletin board outside my classroom door, and as the day unfolds a wide variety of kids (some of them are my actual students, but many more are unknown to me) swing by the board to help themselves to a daily chuckle. Continue reading

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 […]

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