Becoming the Techie Teacher in the English Language Arts Classroom for the New School Year



Hi Friends!

I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start!  I hope you are enjoying time with your family, the beach, vacationing and relaxing!  We know teachers need relaxation!

I know, I know. How can I already be thinking about the new school year when my summer break just started?  I actually had the chance to experience some new technology this past year that I wanted to share with you that works wonders in the English Language Arts classroom.  I wanted you to have a chance to explore the technology before you go back to school and be able to ponder how you can incorporate it into your classroom.

The Best End of the Year Activities for the Middle School English Classroom




Hi Teacher Friends!

I know some of you are lucky enough to be rounding out the end of the school year in the next few weeks and days.  My school finishes at the end of June, as most Northeast school districts do.

I have been trying to plan out my last five weeks of the school year, and this year, my school is doing finals differently.  We are actually not going to have a "finals week", and the kids are going to be in for regular periods for the last two weeks. In the past, we have always had half days where the kids would come in for the test and then leave.  We will be actually giving our finals during the school day, rather than holding half days! This now leads me to have to plan for an extra two weeks of school.

I thought I would put a list of items together that are some of my favorite activities to do the last few weeks. I am definitely going to be utilizing these, and they will be in full effect!

Fortnite Has Taken Over My Classroom! How I Beat My Students and Created Relevant Classroom Activities



Full squad. Take shelter. Zombies. Kills. Wins. This is the language of Fortnite, and this is the game that has taken over my middle school classroom. Literally.  I have come accustomed to some of the vocabulary my boys talk about constantly, and I watch my girls roll their eyes at them.


It was only about two or three weeks ago I starting hearing about this game called, Fortnite.  Just like anything, it started by trickling in, and then within in a week, it became a full-fledge obsession not just in my classroom but throughout our entire school.  Whether it was a break in our lesson or a second to open their notebook, Fortnite has become the topic of conversation within my classroom.  I know it is not only my classroom, but this game has infiltrated many classrooms and schools nationwide.  I was about to pound my head against the wall if I heard "Fortnite" again, and I knew I  had to think of a solution to survive yet another craze...and that's when the lightbulb went off!

It Will Take MORE Than Gun Control-A Closer Look at Our Students, Parenting, & Respect




This is a very different blog post for me.  As many of you know, my blog is filled with teaching tips, ideas and tricks to help other teachers. I often share posts about some of my new products that may assist you in your classroom.  Honestly, I had to think long and hard about posting this one, but as a teacher who is on the front lines with students on a daily basis, I knew I had to share this.

Like so many others, last week my heart was torn once again by another school shooting. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faced an incomprehensible tragedy no parent, teacher, faculty member or administrator should ever have to bear.  Just like all of our schools, everyone has their procedures for their "code red"; we drill, we discuss, and we practice state protocols for a "God forbid" moment. MSDHS did everything they were suppose to do and followed all their protocols; however, as Cynthia Rylant said, "But those with an evil heart seem to have a talent of destroying anything beautiful that is about to bloom."  There was only so much the teachers and faculty could do in these few moments, and they did their best, as all of us would do.

In the following days, the voices of the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School students, parents, teachers, and faculty raised their voices and have called, yelled, and screamed for government action on gun control.  I am so proud of these young students for standing up for their school, their peers, their lost friends and the nation.  I ask my students all the time to stand up for what they believe in, to speak up, and to advocate for oneself and others.  It is refreshing to see this take place; unfortunately, we tend to speak louder in a time of tragedy. This was a teachable moment for me: Speak up NOW, not LATER.  

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