Reading – Fitness for the Brain

As I encourage my students to take part in our school’s summer reading program, I can’t help but remind them that their brains are muscles too that need “exercise” over the long summer break.  We’re all aware of the benefits of exercise to make us stronger and healthier, and we know how much knowledge we… Continue reading Reading – Fitness for the Brain

A Turkey and Talking Toys . . . A Girl’s First Writing

I splurged on composition books for each student in my reading classes this semester; to begin, I am asking students to bring in (or snap pictures of) an early piece of writing they created when they were young.  While the students will have their own web sites to post blogs, I believe good old-fashioned writing in an… Continue reading A Turkey and Talking Toys . . . A Girl’s First Writing

NCTE11 News and Notes 2

Need some inspiration during these last few days before Winter Break?!  While the following post does not give the NCTE 11 session, National Literature Project, nearly enough justice, I’m sharing a few inspirational tidbits that continue to stick with me since attending a month ago.  I continue to be inspired . . . ~ Meaning is… Continue reading NCTE11 News and Notes 2

NCTE11 News and Notes

My school district afforded me the wonderful opportunity to attend my very first National Council of Teachers of English conference held in Chicago, Illinois this year.  I met wonderful national colleagues, many of whom I’ve been conversing with online but never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, and I returned to school feeling completely motivated… Continue reading NCTE11 News and Notes

Involving Parents in the Classroom #1

One of my goals as a teacher this year is to improve my communication with parents and involve them more in the classroom.  Yes, I’ve been sending class newsletters, calling, emailing and meeting with parents more . . . but somehow there still seems to be a disconnect between a child’s day in high school… Continue reading Involving Parents in the Classroom #1

A Complimentary Lesson about Complementary Words

I just read an essay in which a  student wrote “I gave a complement to the author after the presentation.”   This prickly pair needs clarification.   Here’s my complimentary mini-lesson on these two complementary words:    Complementary vs. Complimentary Entities that go well together are complementary. The colors blue and gray complement each other. Two people who… Continue reading A Complimentary Lesson about Complementary Words

All Together Now . . . Don’t Be Altogether Confused

This particular prickly pair of words gets my students pondering.   All Together Vs. Altogether A.  All Together means: 1.  at the same time One, two, three, all together, sing: “Sweeeeet Caroline, bum, bum, bum . . . .” 2. as a group Let’s go to hot yoga all together: it’s much more fun that… Continue reading All Together Now . . . Don’t Be Altogether Confused

Move Your Memory

1.  To memorize lists, use acronyms.  For instance, to remember the names of the Great Lakes, think of HOMES:  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.  NEVER EAT SOUR WATERMELON will help you remember the four directions:  north, east, south, west.  ROY G. BIV will help you remember the colors of the rainbow:  red, orange, yellow,… Continue reading Move Your Memory

You’re Wearing My Color

It’s winter and we could all use a little more color to brighten our day . . . yes, even my West Coast friends!  Just as the sun affects our moods, gazing at, wearing or surrounding ourselves with certain colors evokes different feelings.  Check out my post on Colorstrology for details on the intriguing belief… Continue reading You’re Wearing My Color

Which Punctuation Marks You?!

You know the line from Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall?” – “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop.” Which punctuation mark below would you rather be?! . . . . .                    !                    ?                    ,                    ; :                    –                   (   )                *                    # @                 /                    ?!                 &                   = ”                  {   }               … Continue reading Which Punctuation Marks You?!

I Am a Mini Cooper

WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Letter of Introduction a.k.a. Using Metaphors to Identify Ourselves I probably should have posted this at the very beginning of the school year but it’s been a whirlwind of a year already – and we’ve only reached the very first midterm.  Yippee yikes!  This is the first writing assignment I gave to my… Continue reading I Am a Mini Cooper