Confession time: I pretty much ignored Common Core test prep last year. Now before the pitchforked mob arrives at my classroom door, allow me to explain. When the CCSS were released a few years ago, I went through the standards line-by-line, making sure my lessons hit every strand. Delighted, I realized I only needed to […]

Avoid the mental slog that sometimes arrives in the middle of a novel unit with unexpected and, dare I say, fun activities that will keep your students reading, thinking, and writing. I use occasional evergreen activities that were created to work with any novel and rotate them into the curriculum whenever students’ enthusiasm starts to wane during a mid-novel grind. Continue reading

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