• Writing Prompts
    Curriculum,  Writing

    50 Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

    There can never be too many writing prompts. I think writing is something that every student should constantly work to improve. It really isn’t the focus in middle school classrooms anymore. But, I always try to bring in a fun prompt here and there to get my students’ creative juices flowing. Here are some fun writing prompts I’ve come up with! 25 Personal Narrative Writing Prompts: Write about a difficult time in your life and how you overcame that situation. What are your goals and how do you plan to accomplish them? Describe your favorite room and why you like it so much. Pick 5 objects from your personal belongings…

  • Grammarly
    Curriculum

    The Essential Guide to Grammarly for Teachers

    Grammarly is an essential part of my classroom. Honestly speaking, I don’t spend as much time on Grammar as I probably should. It is one of those things that gets pushed aside for other standards and other skills. I know I am not alone in this either. I try to start out strong in grammar, but often times it just gets pushed by the wayside. One way to combat this is by using some of the online grammar programs I discuss here and here. However, I’m here now to share a nifty little extension that may just change your attitude towards writing in the classroom. What is Grammarly? Grammarly is…

  • Curriculum,  Technology,  Uncategorized

    10 Must-See TED Talks for Great Middle School Discussions

    Who doesn’t love a good TED Talk? Students engage with these because often times the presentation is something they can relate to. They provoke student discussion. One way to use TED Talks in the classroom is through Socratic Seminar. [I will post a whole article on this soon.] I have scoured the internet and found 10 TED Talks, not only recommended by me, but by other teachers out there. 1. Tavi Gevison: A Teen Just Trying to Figure it Out I found this TED Talk in 2013 when I was teaching in my first middle school classroom. This is a favorite because Tavi is hoping to empower young women and…

  • Curriculum,  Technology

    7 Interactive Websites for Student Engagement

    Technology, Technology, Technology! This is the buzz word of 21st-century teaching. How does the modern teacher accomplish this feat of integrating technology into the classroom? Using interactive websites for student engagement of course! I’ve put together a great list of websites that can be used in the classroom as a way to fuse student centered learning with technology. The other positive about using some of these websites is that it take the cognitive load off the teacher and centers it on the student. This is another directive I’ve heard many times. Teachers spend a lot of time thinking for the students. You don’t know how many times I’ve observed a…

  • Curriculum

    Black History Month in the Middle School Classroom

    Many of these months or holidays honoring a group or person, like Black History Month, seem to fall on the shoulders of the ELA teacher. It is the easy way out because scholars can read a story or text by a particular author and then you’ve covered all your bases AND taught some multi-cultural history. There are a few reasons why this is ineffective. One, it is a tired tradition of passing off these responsibilities to the ELA teacher. Two, there is a lot of repetition among teachers in who from Black History is studied. Perhaps the most important point is that there is such a broad spectrum of historical…

  • Curriculum

    9 Middle School Novels for Cross-Curricular Lessons

    I don’t know about you, but in the second school I taught at, my administrators were huge advocates for creating cross-curricular lesson plans. This was a brilliant idea to me, why not work together to create a unit in which the scholars can interact across all of their classes? It was such a positive way to show students that their subjects are inter-related. We had a successful unit regarding biographies in which science, math, social studies, and ELA were able to work hand-in-hand to make the material relevant to the students. It was one of the best buy-ins I have seen and the engagement was phenomenal. Needless to say, I…

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