For one of my Master's classes this week I had to compose a poem from one of the pages in chapter 7 of one of our text books. The apology poem caught my eye. I thought, wouldn't it be funny to write an apology poem out of text messages? And wouldn't it be cool if … Continue reading Something Light: Text Message Poem
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?
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.
In an effort to improve my practice this year, I've entered the Education Masters program at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. One of my classes required that I create a Padlet. I'm not really sure how it all works yet, but I think it might be something cool that I can use in the classroom. … Continue reading Classroom Padlet
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
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
In the beginning of each year when I tell parents at back to school that we don't have any class novels, I'm met with shocked looks--mouths agape, eyes doing impossible math. The first question out of their mouths is, "But how do you check if they're reading?" The other implicit concern is probably, "Oh no, … Continue reading Monitoring Independent Reading
A few years ago, my district implemented a one-to-one iPad program for middle school students. Since then, the program has evolved, although somewhat slowly and without direction. In this post, I will explore pitfalls and successes of one-to-one device implementation as I've experienced in my classroom. First, let me say that I use the iPads … Continue reading Using One-to-One Devices in the Classroom
You may have read through other blogs and commentary idea regarding grades below 50. Contemporary thinking is that grades below 50 should not be entered because it will be too difficult for the student to bring her grade back up. Consequently, that student will cease to try because she now has this massive obstacle in … Continue reading “Please, Sir, May I Have a 90?” Pt. II
For four years I taught in a charter school in Jersey City, NJ. It was a frustrating job; there was little accountability to be found anywhere--among my colleagues and among my students. I loved the kids there though. They were the best--just not at handing in their work. When my tenure there was up and … Continue reading “Please, sir, may I have a 90?”