In order to teach students grammar in a meaningful way, it must be taught through their writing. In this latest addition to my TpT Store, I have created Grammar Tasks: Building Strong Paragraphs, and it tries a different approach to teaching grammar. Start at Application Students are given a Cheat Sheet and a rubric so … Continue reading Grammar Tasks: Building Strong Paragraphs
When I was in the classroom, we had to turn in a sub folder at the beginning of every year. This caused me great angst. What should I leave in it? When would I need it? I didn't want to leave busy work, but to leave something in a folder for an "emergency" was far … Continue reading Got Sub Plans?
The first time I learned about The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3, I was horrified. To confirm that the achievement gap starts well before a child can even make it to kindergarten is heartbreaking. What's more, teachers receive much of the blame for under-performing children, and not nearly enough resources to combat the … Continue reading The Power of Vocabulary
Direct vocabulary instruction was an instrumental part of my daily instruction. Used for homework, stations, and bell ringers, I intentionally taught students words and required that they use them on a regular basis. Here are two different schedules for instruction: Daily Instruction Block Scheduling Once the schedule is complete, the breakdown is as follows: Day … Continue reading No Prep High School Vocabulary Activities
I have always found great appreciation for a thought-provoking quote. In fact, I can remember having great discussions in class about quotes from whichever novel we were reading. Sometimes I would provide the quotes, and other times I would require students to find their own meaningful quotes. What was most interesting about the process was student … Continue reading Critical Thinking: Analyzing Quotes
I can remember a conversation with a parent about a student losing points for not following directions. Her argument was that he worked really hard. My stance was that none of that mattered if he could not follow the directions. Fast forward 4 years and I stumble across an article about the New Jersey Institute … Continue reading Reason #1,145 Why Teachers Need to Require Students to Follow Directions
It Ain't Over Til It's Over As we watch the playoffs in my house, I am always impressed with the effort the losing team gives all the way up until the last second. Even if they are down by 10 points, it appears that they are hopeful, and so they persevere. Time-outs are called, they … Continue reading It’s The End Of The Year, Now What?
I am often horrified when I see teachers spend 25-30 minutes of instruction time so that students can "take notes." Take a moment and think about the last time you needed (originally I used the word "had." We will talk about that revision in a moment.) to take notes for something - staff meeting, professional … Continue reading THAT Is Not Notetaking
Task cards are a great way to break up the monotony of worksheets. In fact, depending on the set-up of the task cards, teachers can offer personalization and student choice all while using the same cards over and over. Product: Common Core Critical Thinking Task Cards What's Included - 47 Common Core Aligned Constructed Response … Continue reading New Product Alert: Common Core Critical Thinking Task Cards
One of the most profound statements a teacher ever made to me went something like this: 'I keep getting older, but they will always be 16. I'm trying to deal with that.' Geesh! Let's dissect that. When I started teaching at 26, I was only 8 years older than my oldest student, and Facebook was … Continue reading 6 Signs You Are A Teacher Dinosaur
A class clown can completely ruin your class, if you allow it. I have had my fair share of class clowns, but I always tried to take into consideration just how much I love comedy. The Scene As I finished modeling my introduction paragraph on the board, I turned around to see Jake standing on a desk. … Continue reading The Class Clown
STATE TESTING - The real 4-letter word in education. The two words sure to make many, if not most, educators cringe. The pressure to achieve proficiency weighs heavily on students and teachers. For those of you already testing, "May the odds be ever in your favor." For those of you still burning the midnight oil … Continue reading State Testing Countdown