When I teach writing in my classroom, I teach it as a process. Every part of the writing process, from the initial brainstorming to peer editing, is equally important and integrally essential to the final draft. All too often, students flounder when it comes to peer editing essays. Not only is it confusing for students, but they often lack the direction and skills that they need to successfully peer edit a paper. Simply designating a day for either peer editing and giving each student a red pen and free range to check his or her best friend’s paper is not enough. When it comes to peer editing, students need direction and focus. Here are FIVE ways to make peer editing successful in your class. Peer editing with mentor sentences is a great way to not only teach students how to write correct and effective thesis statements and topic sentences, but it also guides students in the because they are looking for and correcting or complementing specific aspects of the essay. I l...
Ever so often, secondary teachers will have a difficult and challenging class. While all of the students individually are great kids, the combination of students just makes for one bad recipe. That was the case in my sixth period class this year. It was a difficult class, and almost every day for a few weeks the class tested my patience and classroom management skills. I tried talking to kids individually. I tried positive rewards and interventions. I tried calling home. I tried whole-class punishment. I tried my whole bag of tricks -which includes everything that I do in all of my other classes where this does not happen. Nothing was working, so I paused the class, took an entire day off from instruction, and rebooted my class. I gave them a voice, and the results were amazing. After several sleepless nights, I decided my class needed a classroom behavior intervention. I didn’t just limit this to my class though, I included myself. At the beginning of the period, I (once again)...
Despite rigorous curriculum demands from schools, districts, and the state, secondary ELA teachers can still have fun on Halloween, and even teach some content as well. Nothing says “Halloween” to me more than dimmed lights, eerie background music, and a spooky story. This is the perfect opportunity for English and literature teachers to really instill a love of reading into students because there are so many spooky stories to choose from. Also, Halloween is well after my short story unit, so I’ve already taught all of the major literary devices for the year, so we can just read the story. Personally, my favorite story to read on Halloween with my students is “ The Monkey’s Paw ” by W. W. Jacobs. From the very moment that my students step into my classroom, I want them to feel the mood of the story...even before we read. Even though I've packed my day with rigorous curriculum, I want my students to have some fun with story story. I play ominous background music a...
To help me celebrate the redesign of my blog, I’ve teamed up with an old childhood friend, Shannon Pash, a Thirty-One Sales Consultant, to giveaway one of my favorite teaching bags and a shopping spree to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store ! The grand prize winner will receive a Thirty-One Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote of their choice and a $20 shopping spree to my Teachers Pay Teachers store . Four other lucky winners will receive a $10 shopping spree to my TpT store . The giveaway is open to all US and Canadian teachers. The giveaway begins Sunday, October 2 at 12:00 am EST and ends at midnight on Saturday, October 8. Winners will be announced on Sunday, October 9. All entries will be verified to make sure entrants follow the giveaway. a Rafflecopter giveaway ...