I recently caught myself being one of those annoying people who offer advice without being asked. Twice over winter break, I ran into former students who are now seniors (apparently, Target and Panera are the places to be seen around here) and, of course, I couldn’t stop myself from asking about college applications, the go-to small talk topic when you haven’t seen much of a kid since she was a freshman. Continue reading

As October comes to a close, novelists-in-the-making are sharpening their pencils (or more likely charging their laptops) in preparation for National Novel Writing Month. Each November, NaNoWriMo.org encourages writers to deliberately schedule time to ink some pages. They’re also now giving us the tools to help our students – and maybe even ourselves – take […]

Last week’s launch of the NFL season provides a timely and compelling way to excite your students about the tools of argument, beginning with this recent Instagram gem Continue reading

Maybe it’s the former journalist in me (in third grade, I knew I’d be Lois Lane when I grew up), but I’m hooked by narrative non-fiction. Tell me that a story really happened and I’m with you ‘til the very last page. So when Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken winked at me as I tore away the Christmas […]

I’m always on the prowl for engaging news stories that will give my high school English students access to high-quality writing on topics that will actually hold their interest. It’s not easy. Continue reading

When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is pull together a sub plan. This year, be prepared for the inevitable bout of flu (or need for a mental health day – oh, I’ve been there) by keeping a lesson on hand that’s truly evergreen and will work with all of […]

Recently, I’ve added a non-fiction element to complement each of my literature units. Yes, the emphasis on informational text in the Common Core standards was the impetus, but the former journalist in me was more than happy to dig into the periodical archives and unearth some gems. The non-fiction lesson that twisted my students’ hearts […]