Category Archives: Secondary Education

The Best Part of Back to School

I’ve always looked forward to back to school. From those early school days– including the first day at Kindergarten when I jumped off the bus steps in my joy– to, well, this year.  The classrooms have changed. The students are … Continue reading

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How to Plan for Back to School… When You Don’t Know What You’re Teaching

Summer is a great opportunity for teachers to rest, relax… and prepare for next year.  The more that can be prepared ahead of time, the more likely class will run smoothly.  There will be less last-minute lesson planning– and more … Continue reading

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Activities to Teach “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka.

It’s a cultural reference.  It relates to a sudden and unexpected change– something teenagers can usually relate to.  It’s an odd and dystopic story.  Any one of these things make “The Metamorphosis” a good choice.  Even if the language is … Continue reading

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Useful End of the Year Activities

The end of the year can bring special challenges.  Students are wearing down, distracted by summer, or pulled away by testing or other special events.  Seniors may get out early, which can disrupt any class with a senior.  It may … Continue reading

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Reasons to (Still) Use the Five Paragraph Essay in High School and Beyond (Even for Advanced Learners)

The five-paragraph essay is a formulaic, bland, rigid model.  But it is also an incredibly structured, challenging guide.  It is a tool that can either stifle a writer or push them towards growth.   I have something of a love-hate relationship … Continue reading

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Skip the Book Report! Analyze and Create Instead!

After finishing a novel reading, whether whole group or individual, it’s great to have an activity to wrap up.  While book reports and other retelling projects, are a common choice, especially when dealing with multiple or student selected books, they … Continue reading

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Skip the Book Report: Try these Creative Projects Instead

Book Reports area  common sight, still, in many classrooms, including secondary classes.  They’re easy to implement, for both whole-class reading, but also for the increase in small-group or individual book choice selections. In fact, book reports (and their close cousin, … Continue reading

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5 Activities for Studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech

Most secondary students are familiar with the speech, or at least the main idea, by the time they are in a secondary ELA classroom.  And that’s actually an advantage.  That means that additional study can scaffold on what they already … Continue reading

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“You Knew Teaching Had Low Pay”

Sometimes, a teacher might mention their low pay.  One of the most common responses is, “Well, you knew what you were getting into when you became a teacher.” Wait.  Let’s look at this. When I was 18, I knew that … Continue reading

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Thinking About Online Learning

Maybe you’re thinking about taking online classes for professional development or to work on your master’s degree.  Maybe your school is interested in adding online learning options for at-risk students or to expand your electives.  Maybe you’re considering work as … Continue reading

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