Choral Reading for Poetry in Middle Grades

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I teach 7th grade English. Let’s be honest for a moment about 7th graders. They can be a persnickety bunch. They are starting to develop personalities, or changing I should say. They think they are grown up, but don’t yet want to be grown up all the time. Continue reading

The Flipped Classroom…Book Review

The Flipped Classroom: Introduction to Technology and Teaching Techniques by Cristine Boles, Emily Curtiss, Peter Hanson, Sarah Ingold, Shelby Johnson, David Kelly, Yukari Nakagawa, Kiley Purchio, Jennifer Bardsley (illustrator)

Let me start out with.. wow.. that is a long list of authors. I stumbled upon this book while doing some research about flipping classrooms in rural environments.

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The FAILure movement…

FAIL. It’s a word that among most of the population has a very negative connotation. People get defensive when the word is used, and often, rightfully so.

Now, there is a movement about FAIL. Many say that FAIL stands for First Attempt in Learning. I take issue with this in some ways.  Continue reading

Is it Poetry? Is it Music? Which is it?

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Poetry. Walk into any middle or high school English class, and you will hear a variety of noises emanating from the room. Some will be excited, giving noises of joy. Others, and likely in far greater numbers, will groan as if in utter pain. So, how do we combat this? Continue reading

The Life of a Chromebook

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Ask a public school administrator about a cost effective way to try to go 1:1 in a school, and the odds are a good many of them will say to buy Chromebooks.  We had the privilege of being asked to come to a school to pioneer paperless classrooms. We were always known as those teachers who were out there, dancing around the room, doing whatever we could to keep kids engaged. We were also known as those who were always looking for new ways to engage students. To us, this sounded perfect. Continue reading

Using “Fakebook” to teach Point of View

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So, a few months ago I stumbled upon Fakebook. Fakebook is a tool put out by that allows students to create what looks a lot like a Facebook page.

I used this while the class read The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. I assigned one of the three major characters to each student, and they were tasked with creating a Fakebook page for their assigned character. Continue reading