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?

I have to get it out there–“The Tell-Tale Heart” isn’t about guilt.

You'll see it everywhere--on Enotes, PinkMonkey, Quizlet--that Edgar Allan Poe's story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," is about guilt. How could it not be? The narrator committed a horrendous crime and he confessed; he must feel guilty! After much discussion with my counterpart, I've come to the conclusion that it's not guilt at all, but ego. Let's … Continue reading I have to get it out there–“The Tell-Tale Heart” isn’t about guilt.

Thoughts on Independent Summer Enrichment

It's that time of year--the school year has ended and children everywhere have been given summer assignments and summer readings. I used to give summer reading projects, but then September came along and those were the last things I wanted to see. Another thought came to mind though--should I be grading them for something I … Continue reading Thoughts on Independent Summer Enrichment

Cataloging Your Classroom Library and What You Can Learn from It

Today, I celebrate the fact that out of this whole school year, only four of my classroom library's books have not been returned. I'm happy about this number because I have around 800 books in my library, and to have a loss of only four books (0.5%) is something to celebrate. Before I go further, … Continue reading Cataloging Your Classroom Library and What You Can Learn from It