Learn what my messed up teeth (and a great podcast episode) taught me about why I judge other people and how we can bring that lesson to our students:

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Are you a middle school person or a high school person? Today, I’m talking about my student teaching days, back when I taught 6th grade in the morning and 11th grade in the afternoon. Pretty quickly, I knew which path I was going to take.

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This week, I’m focusing on English teacher Kim and her middle school struggle:

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A global pandemic, a cross-country move, an identity crisis…yeah, it’s been a weird year. Everything’s upside-down and inside-out right now. Seemed like a good time to fire up the YouTube channel again: Let’s talk! What topics should I cover? What’re you struggling with? How can I help? I’ll do my best to turn your questions […]

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

Since Halloween’s on a Saturday this year, it feels right to fill the whole week leading up to Oct. 31 with spooky literary goodness. Up first? A super-creepy Neil Gaiman story suggested a few weeks ago by friends over in the 2ndaryELA Facebook Group.

If you don’t know Gaiman’s “Click Clack the Rattlebag,” lower the lights and get ready for a fun, scary ride. Gaiman shares it with us here:

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Working with middle school writers at our library this summer, I’ve found a few storytelling tools that are too awesome not to share. Continue reading

Note: This is an updated repost.

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

I can’t draw, but this 90-second tutorial makes me feel like I can: Continue reading

Each spring, I launch a project-based learning experience that encourages students to pursue a project of personal interest. Folks have lots of different ways of managing this (search Genius Hour, 20 Percent Project, or Kevin Brookhouser to learn more), and here are the rules for my version: 1. The project must be something the student […]

Note: This is an updated repost.

A few years ago, I shared my P.E. department colleagues’ inspired use of stations on the day before we left for Thanksgiving break. Continue reading