I teach Grade 9 to 12 English thematically. If you teach middle years, this isn’t that radical an approach, I know, but it’s different for high school. For over a decade, most English teams I’ve worked with have done this alongside me. It’s a lifesaver for many reasons. Giving each course an overarching theme gives […]
Something that saved my life this summer vacation was Slow Mondays, a day I instituted as a solution to my massive FOKMO–Fear of (My) Kids Missing Out–problem. Every Monday our huge summer bucket list mocked me from the playroom walls as I stood at the sink, my hands swishing around in the soapy water. “How […]
I used to work a very structured private school. It was a school for students with ADHD and learning disabilities. The structure was part of the programming there that served to support these students as learners, not just at that school, but if they returned to public school classrooms. Though I teach much differently now […]
We want our students to be flexible thinkers who can not only survive, but thrive in their explorations beyond our classroom walls. Taking a cue from Google and shifting our vocabulary instruction from defining to exploring is one way to move toward that goal.
As I traditionally do in April, National Poetry Month, I’m dedicating my space here at Moving Writers to talking about poetry for the next few weeks. A couple of years ago, I made a decision to become a better teacher of poetry. I felt I was a good poetry teacher, but I had a handful […]
Recently, I was wandering around a Target while my daughter was at Girl Scouts, and I was amazed to find six (six!) collections of poetry in the book section! Poetry! At Target! I was so moved that I took a picture and Tweeted, I suppose what moves me is that I don’t think it’s coincidental […]
In January, during Moving Writers’ series on testing, I wrote about structuring a class when there’s that external test to consider. I really like having a structure. It’s nice to have touchstones and routines to ground things so you can go and explore the things that come up as you go. I’m currently teaching a […]
The remix of our Memoir Study focused initially on the reading of memoir. Writing needed a touchup too. Last April, long after we were finished the semester we taught our Grade 12s, the students who studied memoir, in, my colleague Ashley and I were driving to the city to see Penny Kittle. An hour in […]
Today, I’ll get back to a series of posts I started in December, sharing how we revisited and remixed the study of memoir in our Grade 12 courses. When we sat and discussed what we felt we wanted to “get” out of studying a memoir, my awesome teaching homie Rachelle was emphatic that we wanted […]
There aren’t any cheat sheets or formulas to help students do well on the SAT essay. But as it turns out, that might actually be a good thing.