W. W. Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw”–A Supernatural Story?

Wikipedia, despite educators across the globe claiming otherwise, is one of the most accurate records of information. No, you cannot just change something. In fact, I dare you. Go to an article and try to edit it. Your change will likely be there for less than a minute before one of the moderators swoops in … Continue reading W. W. Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw”–A Supernatural Story?

Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian” in the context of Covid-19

I'm a big fan of Ray Bradbury's stories. In my nearly ten years of teaching, I've used "A Sound of Thunder" to explain the butterfly effect, "All Summer in a Day" to discuss the dangers of jealousy, "The Veldt" to make my students aware of how we substitute our reality for others, and the sometimes … Continue reading Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian” in the context of Covid-19

Every Hero Needs a Squad

Click here to donate. My school has partnered with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Pennies for Patients program to raise funds for blood cancer research, patient support services and advocacy programs. Heroes like Cruz (center below) never fight cancer alone--he has a Squad that supports him made up of his family, doctors, and friends. There are Heroes … Continue reading Every Hero Needs a Squad

Thoughts on Student Choice, Teacher’s Choice, and Repeated Readings

Six years ago when I was interviewing for my current position, I asked the department supervisor, "So what books do the kids read?" To my surprise, he gave me a kind of evasive answer. I'd eventually gleamed that Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, was one of the books, but it wouldn't be confirmed. Everything seemed so … Continue reading Thoughts on Student Choice, Teacher’s Choice, and Repeated Readings

The Problem with Position Papers–Purpose and Partisanship

As I approach the Position Papers unit of Lucy Calkin's Units of Study, I have a lot of questions. As stated previously, I have no where near the same quantity or quality of resources that Ms. Calkins has, so I'm sure she's more of a trusted voice in this matter than I am. Regardless, I … Continue reading The Problem with Position Papers–Purpose and Partisanship

Student Accountability–Homework

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Somewhere along the timeline of teaching in the United States, teachers began to obsess over accountability for students and teaching them "soft skills"--skills they'll need for life success and in the work place. I don't necessarily think that teaching soft skills is bad, but I think a lot of us … Continue reading Student Accountability–Homework

An Update on Independent Reading Checkpoints, or How to Grade Independent Reading Within the Reading Workshop

"How do I grade this though?" is a question that has plagued teachers in TC visits and department meetings. It's obvious that TC doesn't think about district expectations for grades when their representatives are doing their demo lessons, and I don't totally blame them. I, myself, don't personally believe that grades often represent a students' … Continue reading An Update on Independent Reading Checkpoints, or How to Grade Independent Reading Within the Reading Workshop

Teaching with Politically Charged Young Adult Books–Thoughts on Watch Us Rise

Before I go into my analyses and observations, let me first say that I'm a far-left liberal. I believe in equity and social justice, and I try to make a conscious effort to teach about these topics with suavity in my class, making a point to not indoctrinate my students with specific political ideas. I … Continue reading Teaching with Politically Charged Young Adult Books–Thoughts on Watch Us Rise

Do I Look, Do I Ask? Or Just Wait?

One of my favorite parts of the school year doesn't take place in the school year at all. It starts in August when my school administrators finalize schedules for the school year. Nothing is more exciting than going into our online classroom and seeing my upcoming rosters. I look at their ID photos to see … Continue reading Do I Look, Do I Ask? Or Just Wait?