Many of us will present “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry’s tale of gift giving and self-sacrifice in December, and friend of the blog Kate McCook just shared a link to a 15-minute film that beautifully modernizes the classic short story. “I came across this lovely short film set during the Greek economic crisis,” she emailed this week. “I’m thinking of showing it to my class for a little treat and exposure to world culture.” Thanks, Kate, for sharing the good stuff – this one’s definitely going into my rotation, too. 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

Warning: This post includes explicit language. If you’re not comfortable discussing curse words that appear in the texts our students read, you might want to skip this one. Continue reading

(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

What if every teacher had the right tools to do this job?
What if we all had a hard drive full of current, relevant, rigorous lessons?
What if we were treated like professionals and not expected to dig into our own (meager) paychecks to supply those tools? Continue reading

A while back, I wrote the following post for the TeachersPayTeachers blog. I’m sharing it here, too, as a repost for new subscribers and anyone who may have missed it the first time around.

The month of March has been officially proclaimed Women’s History Month. While I appreciate the gesture, this declaration won’t have an impact on my classroom. Highlight women’s voices and achievements during the month of March? Nah. I’d rather do that all throughout the year. Continue reading

We went to the corn maze this weekend and an actor (I hope) chased my family with a chainsaw. On Saturday, I was shopping at the farmers’ market when a college kid in zombie makeup jump-scared the crap out of me. And hubs and I just decided on our front porch Halloween night decor – a single red balloon should get the job done.

In the spirit of this pre-Halloween scarefest, here are my 10 favorite lessons to bring The Creepy into our classrooms: Continue reading