Posted inAsk a Teacher, Classroom Management, Current Events in Education, From the Front Lines

What Are We Teaching Teens About Making Excuses?

I get really tired of excuses.  In fact, in my classroom when my 8th graders try to excuse their behavior, lack of homework, or unpreparedness I tell them kindly yet firmly, “Excuses are useless.”   Initially quizzical looks form on their faces, and then they start to stammer…which is exactly when I interject my reasoning. […]

Posted inAsk a Teacher, Common Core, From the Front Lines, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Middle School

Maybe It's The Time Of Year: Taking Another Look At Confrontation In The Classroom

It was just a lesson on folktales, really. We’ve been reading a variety of stories from around the world in my 8th grade English classroom – sometimes with partners or small groups, but yesterday I asked my students to tackle reading “Davy Crockett” alone. Their essential question was familiar at this point: “What do folktales […]

Posted inChild Development, Featured, From the Front Lines, Instruction & Curriculum

Moving Into Young Adulthood – The Development of Our 14-16 Year-Olds

Those of us who are fortunate enough to watch our fourteen-, fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds develop into young men and women sit with bated breath as they begin making choices in life that will stick with them for some time. Let’s see where these kiddos are in their five areas of development. Cognitive Development: These kids […]