A Veteran Teacher’s Regrets: Student Choice

In my classroom, I integrated student choice whenever I could.  We did reading workshop every Friday, when students read an independent reading book of their choice.  Whenever we did a personal essay or literary analysis paper, I let students choose their own topics and ideas.  I started doing I-Search papers, where students chose their own [...]

Why Choice Matters: Reading as a Matter of Social Justice

Once upon a time I was a high school American Literature teacher who believed in the survey method of "these are the canonical works that all students should read before they leave high school." I spent years patting myself on the back for getting struggling readers to love The Crucible, Of Mice and Men, and The Great Gatsby. We [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

How the Love of a Dog Cured My Hatred of Poetry

Poems, Shmoems Growing up, I never really understood poetry. I guess I struggled to understand the poems I read, and found their structure, or seeming lack of structure, frustrating. I would get to the end of a poem and wind up thinking, “Is that it?” "What am I missing here?" or, “What the heck was [...]

By | August 24th, 2016|Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|2 Comments

Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts – Let Them Be Great

I love English Language Arts (ELA), but real world ELA can be eye opening.  I have been teaching my Technical Writing class for two weeks now. And I have had my share of ups and downs. I’ve always taken myself seriously as an educator. My love of literature and writing always translates easily into the classroom. [...]

By | August 23rd, 2016|Back to School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

Please Stop Teaching Students to Identify Literary Elements

I have been trying to sell resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, and I admit to stalking checking out some of the top sellers. Many of them sell handouts or posters or worksheets that teach students to identify literary elements. In my opinion, this type of lesson is a complete waste of time. There is no [...]

By | August 17th, 2016|Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|3 Comments