student created essay prompts

Have Your Students Create Their Own Essay Prompts

Sometimes the best lessons come not from great planning and preparation, but out of desperation and necessity. I had my students create their own essays prompts, and it definitely came from a spot where I felt like my back was up against the wall. However it was one of those

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Find Yourself Fridays

Find Yourself Fridays: Character Education in the Classroom

This year I’ve incorporated what I call Find Yourself Fridays. I’m giving my students something inspirational to read or watch. Sometimes it’s something quick, sometimes it takes up a good chunk of the period. But that’s ok. I have to remember I’m hear not just to teach students about literature

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Student Created Discussion Questions That Rock

Student Created Discussion Questions That Rock

Nothing is worse than the sound of crickets in a classroom when you are trying to lead a discussion. This was the situation I faced last year with a couple of my classes. I created thought provoking discussion questions, asked them of the whole class, and was met with silence.

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point of view

A Creative Way to Learn About Point of View

  In the first episode of Bates Motel, Norman Bates and his mother hide a body in their hotel room. A couple of police officers come by unannounced, just looking things over. As you might expect the tension in the scene comes from whether or not the policemen will uncover the body.

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Adding Creativity

Adding Creativity Into Literary Analysis

Preschools are hubs of creativity. When my children were in preschool there wasn’t a day that went by that they didn’t bring home some piece of artwork they made. We accumulated a lot of paper rapidly. Once students get into high school, however, a lot of the creative activities that

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moving from knowing to doing

What Should Students Know How to Do in Language Arts?

I know Othello really well. I have taught it for the past fifteen years and can recite entire passages from memory. I have read extensively about it – everything from scholarly articles to blog posts – and have seen at least three different movie versions of it and a stage production. I

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design thinking

I’ve Been Thinking About Design Thinking

This July I spent a week and a half at my family’s cabin in the Adirondacks. It’s a great place to dream big, and I spent a lot of time thinking about the new school year. And one of the things that I couldn’t get out of my head was

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Learning Stations in the ELA Classroom

Learning Stations In Secondary ELA Classrooms

Learning stations are no longer just found in elementary classrooms. They are a sound instructional strategy that can be found in many secondary classrooms as well. They provide student choice and a variety of ways to demonstrate understanding. Plus, they can be a great way to build in time for conferencing,

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