Thanks to Donors Choose, 8th Graders Will “Read On!”

I want to thank everyone who donated to my DonorsChoose project, Read On!    Thanks to the generosity of several donors, I now have new additions to my classroom library with high interest books that will appeal to many kinds of readers, especially those who may be reading at a higher Lexile level.  Finding middle … Continue reading Thanks to Donors Choose, 8th Graders Will “Read On!”

Igniting Excitement for Inferences: “The Black Cat” Inferences Challenge!

One of the standards that students struggle to master in 8th grade Language Arts is ELAGSE8RL1: Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. This standard involves abstract thinking, and for 8th graders whose brains are still developing, this … Continue reading Igniting Excitement for Inferences: “The Black Cat” Inferences Challenge!

Scaffolding Student Panel Discussions for Success

Earlier this month, I was inspired to try student panel presentations in my classroom with 8th graders. Due to safety related restrictions, it is near impossible to do many of the face to face discussion strategies I have used in the past, so I wanted to try something that would allow in-person discussion with minimal … Continue reading Scaffolding Student Panel Discussions for Success

New Publication: “The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design”

I am delighted to share that Dr. Stephanie Loomis and I have co-written an article about my classroom design and how it is driven by instructional design; this article, "The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design," is available now in the September 2020 issue of NCTE's Voices from the … Continue reading New Publication: “The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design”

Mission Impossible: Preparing to Teach in a Covid Red Zone State

As we begin our third week of pre-planning in my district, it's hard to find the words to write this post.   It is almost too painful to articulate the fear, anger, and anxiety that has been building inside me the last six weeks or so as the beginning of the school year has drawn closer.  … Continue reading Mission Impossible: Preparing to Teach in a Covid Red Zone State