Rolling Snowballs in Summertime: Using #100DOSW18 to Encourage Deeper Writing Next School Year

Remember how Olaf, the snowman from Frozen, sings about how excited he is to experience summer after Arendelle’s deep freeze? Consider me his opposite. As summer (and summer writing!) approaches, I, ever the Wisconsin girl at heart, am thinking about snow. Seriously. I’m thinking specifically about a snowman-size snowball, the kind you make by rolling […]

What Article of the Week is Adding to My Writing Instruction

Kelly Gallagher is well-known for a lot of reasons in our English teacher world. Killer writing activities. “Readicide”. Clark Kent vibe. (Allison and I once stalked him around a breakfast at NCTE. Remind me to tell you that story sometime.) But I would argue that the thing most frequently associated with Kelly Gallagher is the […]

5 Reasons Why Analysis Essay & Meeting Your Students Where They Are

One tried and true way I choose mentor texts for my students is to strike while inspiration is hot by building assignments from engaging and effective texts that I stumble upon “in the wild.” Like Michael’s series on Teaching From My Twitter Feed, sometimes the best mentors are the ones that find you. Because it’s […]

What Time is It? Notebook Time!

We are singing Hamilton as we read today’s fantastic, deep-dive guest post from Scott Bayer, an English Language Arts (ELA) Instructional Specialist for grades 6-12 in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has taught high school English for 16 years and is passionate about creating meaningful learning experiences for students, teaching a more inclusive reading list, and developing student […]

3 Ways I Approach Voice & Style with my AP Literature Class

I’d like to formally apologize to my college professors for my “I’m trying to sound smart” papers. I remember cranking out papers in college that, when looking back, make me shudder with embarrassment. How many attempts at “smart sounding” papers did I diligently and dutifully write while holed up in my tiny room in my […]

YA Sentence Study Snapshot: We Were Liars

Text:  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart       Audience: Later middle school – high school (Perhaps 7-12?) Book Talk: Every summer, members of the incredibly wealthy Sinclair family gather on a private island. Everything appears to be perfect — perfect children, perfect relationships, plenty of money. But, of course, you know that things are […]