Sometimes, there isn’t one right answer. Sometimes it’s okay to admit we don’t know.
Sodium Polyacrylate In science, my 4th graders are learning about the Law of Conservation of Matter after about a week of reviewing ideas around solids, liquids, and gases. Instead of doing the classic cornstarch and water lab, I decided to try something new this time around. If you go online, you can find packets of […]
One of my biggest challenges as a teacher is getting students to feel connected to history. To them, especially at the middle school age, history might as well be the Milky Way– kids are told that it’s real and that they are a part of it, but the scope of history often has such galactical […]
I’m writing this post during my SAT proctoring break and I’m exhausted. I just read mind-numbing directions for almost an hour, then checked calculators, then more directions, then watched kids bubble. I’m beat. And I didn’t even take the test! Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I’m pretty sure that by Friday […]
I’ve been eager to shake up my classroom literature circles. Sometimes, it is easy to fall into a routine rut: assign some chapters to be read, passages to be annotated, literary techniques to be identified. As we read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, I thought about what it meant for Lauren Olamina to come […]
In his 1995 work, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote a sentence that would be uttered in classrooms around the world for decades to come: “there’s no such thing as a dumb question.” We’ll assume, of course, that Sagan is excluding the students in your class who […]
Choosing the right writing workshop (say that five times fast) at the right time in a content-based classroom will have a large impact on the success of your writing instruction. A workshop that is too complex or does not serve your class’s current needs could also derail your unit, resulting in total heartbreak for you and your students. Preview five, eligible workshops that will adapt to your curriculum and help your students write like historians.
In almost two decades (!!!) of teaching, I’ve taught every grade 7-12. And whether I’m teaching 12-year olds or 19-year olds, run-ons and comma splices abound. I’m not going to spend time here theorizing about why this is true. I suspect that if I interviewed my high school English teachers, they’d say it was prevalent […]
Welcome to Write Like a Historian! In this series, we’ll explore how to bring writing workshop into the social studies classroom. Every student is a historian. Let’s teach them how to write like one.
Welcome back to the Inquiry Lab! In my last post, I shared ways I teach and coach students to nudge each other toward deeper learning. Today, we’ll get into ways the teacher can leverage a workshop approach to similar effect, especially when it comes to inquiry work. It all begins with effective anchor charts. To […]