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

Things were truckin’ along nicely during first period this morning when I realized I hadn’t yet sliced up my sonnet topic slips. I’d made the copies last week and left them on my desk, but, distracted by some juicy before-school gossip with my hallway teacher friends (we’re going to find out the name of our new principal at tomorrow night’s school board meeting – oh, the drama!), I hadn’t quite finished all of my prep work. Continue reading

If you teach Fahrenheit 451, you might be interested to know that I just posted three great tools that’ll make your job so much easier. Continue reading

Constantly plugged into their phones, it’s easy to assume that our students are mashed-potatoing their brains with endless streams of Snapchat and gangsta rap. While it’s true there’s a large scoop of junk in their digital diets, I’ve been delighted over the past week or so with some high-quality links and sites students have shared with me. Continue reading

Learning lessons from my first experience with stations, I’m happy to report that my second lap around the track with this technique was more successful. Right before we left for our two-week winter vacation, I used Poetry Creation Stations with my freshmen. The result? Oh, this one’s a keeper. Continue reading

You may recall that last week was pretty lousy around here. Needing to end the week on an up-note, I added a last-minute modification to my Friday lesson plan, a move guided purely by self-interest. As it turned out, the plan worked – my funk is officially over. Continue reading

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