#12 Using Twitter to Your Advantage — Starr Sackstein

Starr Sackstein  English and Journalism teacher (World Journalism Preparatory School —  Queens, NY)    January Contest: Win a Copy of Carol Jago’s With Rigor for All by emailing me a lesson that worked (email)    Segment I – Background and Inspiration Tell your story. Where are you from and how long have you been teaching? What classes … Read more…

Speed Dating for Research Papers

Teacher:  Mary Tedrow School:  John Handley High School, VA Class:  High School Speed-date your research papers. There is nothing worse than taking home a pile of papers, spending a weekend marking them up only to have students ignore the marks, repeat the mistakes, and learn nothing in the process. The next time a major paper is … Read more…

#11 The Maker Movement with Jeff Charbonneau (2014 National Teacher of the Year)

Jeff Charbonneau  2013 National Teacher of the Year STEM Teacher (Zillah High School —  Zillah, WA)    January Contest: Win a Copy of Carol Jago’s With Rigor for All by emailing me a lesson that worked (email)    Segment I – Background and Inspiration Tell your story. Where are you from and how long have you been … Read more…

Reading Slaughterhouse Five to Battle Senioritis

Community IN THE (3)

 

What works for me in the English classroom is the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.  Something truly transcendent happens to second-semester high school seniors when they read Slaughterhouse-Five.  They begin to see the potential that they possess to act with purpose and conviction in the world.  Many second-semester seniors who have excelled for four years and been accepted to college, those who have in every sense but the physical already matriculated, live in the grips of an odd malaise.  They see high school as infantile, the remaining weeks of their high school career as a series of inevitable and useless events (aside from prom, of course) that will have absolutely no bearing on their prospects for future success or happiness.

As a teacher of second-semester seniors, I share a plight nearly as hapless as theirs.  My lot in life is to find ways to keep them engaged.  Last year, I attempted this by instituting blogging in my classroom.  I knew that I might be on to something when my wife, observing the blog over my shoulder one night, exclaimed, “They’re really writing essays, but they have no idea that they’re doing work!”  As students began to respond to the novel, to me, and most importantly to one another, I discovered the true power of this novel that has held teenagers in its sway for decades. … Read more…

#9 Debating in the Classroom with Tim Averill

Tim Averill HS English Teacher (Waring School, MA), AP Community Moderator, St. Johnsbury Summer Academy Facilitator   January Contest: Win a Copy of Carol Jago’s With Rigor for All by emailing me a lesson that worked (email)    Segment I – Background and Inspiration Tell your story. Where are you from and how long have you been … Read more…

Reading-Writing Reciprocity in the Intermediate Classroom

Teacher: Justin Stygles School:  Guy E. Rowe School (Norway, Maine) Grade:  6th For our maturing writers, classrooms are not truly conducive to real-life writing or curriculum demands so many examples of writing aimed at demonstrating application and understanding of particular writing concepts, developing a student’s craft or voice becomes a challenge. When writing narratives, students … Read more…

#8 The Teaching Channel’s Sarah Brown Wessling

Sarah Brown Wessling HS English Teacher, 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Host — Teaching Channel (Johnston, Iowa)   January Contest: Win a Copy of Carol Jago’s With Rigor for All by emailing me a lesson that worked (email)    Segment I – Background and Inspiration Tell your story. Where are you from and how long … Read more…

Showing-versus-Telling & The Walking Dead

Name: Rebekah O’Dell (@RebekahOdell1) Class: English 9 Standard School: Trinity Episcopal School, Virginia Intro The first twenty minutes of the pilot episode of The Walking Dead is virtually silent. I hadn’t remembered that when, out of desperation and end-of-October exhaustion, I agreed to show the episode to my ninth graders on Halloween. They begged. I was weak. … Read more…