It’s time to start thinking about summer reading. Even if you are not interested in assigning projects for students to do during the summer vacation, it is essential to encourage your students to continue reading over the break. Or, you may just be looking for books to recommend to your students during the school year. Here are five books to suggest to your students for “just-for-fun” reading.  1.  Homeless Bird  by Gloria Whelan This beautifully written novel will engage readers as they learn about a new culture, language, and religion. While the moral dilemmas and exciting plot points will provoke discussion, the profound insights of the book will encourage students to use personal insight to analyze the novel. Middle school and high school students alike will enjoy this book. 2.  True Believer  by Virginia Euwer Wolff  This verse-novel may be new and different for many readers, but the writing style will introduce students to a new way of looking at literature. For ...
Like many other educators with access to technology in the classroom, I like to incorporate the use of EdTech and educational websites into my curriculum. Previously, I’ve written about my favorite EdTech sites , and today I'm going to take a moment to discuss how I use the website NoRedInk.com in the classroom. NoRedInk is an online-based grammar instruction, practice, and assessment website. The program includes a free version and a paid version. I am very fortunate to work at a school that subscribes to the paid service. Join my email list! Subscribe to receive updates from The Daring English Teacher. Thank you for subscribing! You will soon receive updates, freebies, and teaching ideas. There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again. Email Address Please sign me up Subscribe You will not receive spam, and you ca...
Students are used to receiving criticism on their writing after it has been handed in, graded, and returned. However, feedback prior to a paper’s due date can improve a student’s writing and proofreading skills. Opinions held by other students are valid and can help change how a student thinks about the writing process. Furthermore, the process of peer-review is a standard step used in colleges and universities, and using it in a middle or high school classroom can help prepare students for future education. Here are four steps to implementing peer-review in your classroom. 1. Create a comfortable environment Some students may be hesitant to let peers review their work. It can be daunting for a student if he believes that he will be criticized. Encourage your students to review peers' papers gracefully while also finding elements to praise. While constructive criticism is productive, positive feedback can be equally as helpful. 2. Material up for critique Tell your studen...
I recently assigned a one-pager final project to my sophomores for their culminating Night project. I wanted to combine as many rigorous ELA content ideas as possible, while also designing a fun project for students that provided them with a bit of choice. To make this project rigorous, I required my students to include multiple MLA-cited quotations with a literary analysis explanation. These are skills my students have learned and practiced all year long, so it was a way for me to assess that skill. I also wanted to give my students an opportunity to express their creativity, and it came through. For the actual assignment, I created a one-pager choice board that is similar that requires students to connect four elements. Every student had to complete the quotes, questions, and images element of the project. From there, students had their choice of four different items they could include: a connection to a song, a timeline, a setting, or a figurative language option. By provi...
Historical fiction is great both in and outside of the classroom. While teaching about important parts of history, they often provoke deep discussion while asking difficult questions. Here are five historical fiction novels perfect for middle schoolers. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook must fight for her own survival in this poignant historical novel. Philadelphia has become overrun by yellow fever, and fatalities continue to build. Students will become engrossed in this novel as they witness the narrative of a young girl fighting for her life in the newly independent United States of America. Night John by Gary Paulson This is a great book to either be read aloud to your students or individually read. Perfect for younger grades, Night John tells the story of an enslaved man who had previously escaped slavery but came back to teach other slaves how to read. Told from a young girl’s point of view, students will enjoy the story while learni...