The Tough Stuff

The Tough Stuff

Every year, our school district requires at least 2 hours of online training in suicide awareness and prevention.  I activated the video and half-heartedly listened. I teach elementary kids, so I thought that suicide was a pretty far-fetched possibility.   When opening up blogging to students, we not only open up a platform for creative

Every year, our school district requires at least 2 hours of online training in suicide awareness and prevention.  I activated the video and half-heartedly listened. I teach elementary kids, so I thought that suicide was a pretty far-fetched possibility.   When opening up blogging to students, we not only open up a platform for creative... read more

Using Poetry across Content Areas

Using Poetry across Content Areas

Much of learning new content is learning new vocabulary.  I am excited to share with you my secret strategy for getting students to write using these new words: poetry.  Most people think of poems as writing that rhymes, but there are dozens of poetry forms that use different syllables and parts of speech.  Even my

Much of learning new content is learning new vocabulary.  I am excited to share with you my secret strategy for getting students to write using these new words: poetry.  Most people think of poems as writing that rhymes, but there are dozens of poetry forms that use different syllables and parts of speech.  Even my... read more

Learner Profile: An interview with Margaret Simon

Learner Profile: An interview with Margaret Simon

The following is an excerpt from “Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work” by Matt Renwick (ASCD, 2017). You can purchase a copy of the book here.  Margaret Simon is a gifted and talented teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. She works with many students in several schools, specifically related to English Language

The following is an excerpt from “Digital Portfolios in the Classroom: Showcasing and Assessing Student Work” by Matt Renwick (ASCD, 2017). You can purchase a copy of the book here.  Margaret Simon is a gifted and talented teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. She works with many students in several schools, specifically related to English Language... read more

Building Blogging Stamina

Building Blogging Stamina

Young writers many times don’t know where to start writing.  Students can spend an entire 20 minutes thinking of an idea and second guessing themselves out of any idea, often using all of the time allotted for the writing itself.  They typically prefer to oral brainstorm with friends and frequently go with an idea that

Young writers many times don’t know where to start writing.  Students can spend an entire 20 minutes thinking of an idea and second guessing themselves out of any idea, often using all of the time allotted for the writing itself.  They typically prefer to oral brainstorm with friends and frequently go with an idea that... read more

App Smash in the New Year

App Smash in the New Year

For both teachers and students, it can be a challenge to get back into the daily routine after an extended holiday. Even if students had some work to complete over the break, it is still difficult to transition back to the daily bell schedule. Coming up with ways to keep students engaged throughout the year,

For both teachers and students, it can be a challenge to get back into the daily routine after an extended holiday. Even if students had some work to complete over the break, it is still difficult to transition back to the daily bell schedule. Coming up with ways to keep students engaged throughout the year,... read more

Three Paperless Entry or Exit Tasks

Three Paperless Entry or Exit Tasks

Entry tasks are short tasks that I use either at the beginning of the day or as transitions from recess or lunch.  They get everybody warmed up for the next activity while I address the inevitable needs that come up at such times. Every year we seem to have to limit our copying budget.  As

Entry tasks are short tasks that I use either at the beginning of the day or as transitions from recess or lunch.  They get everybody warmed up for the next activity while I address the inevitable needs that come up at such times. Every year we seem to have to limit our copying budget.  As... read more

Relevant Topics to Keep Students Writing over the Holiday

Relevant Topics to Keep Students Writing over the Holiday

November and December: This is a time of year when students and teachers alike begin looking forward to having a break from the daily classroom routine and what typically is a very busy part of the school year. The various fall breaks provide a good time for everyone to refresh and catch up on some

November and December: This is a time of year when students and teachers alike begin looking forward to having a break from the daily classroom routine and what typically is a very busy part of the school year. The various fall breaks provide a good time for everyone to refresh and catch up on some... read more