Read > blog > discuss > repeat

Blogging isn’t new. In fact, blogging came on the scene a full decade before my current students were born. But have our students discovered the power of their own blogging? If your students are writing, I challenge you to move that writing to blogs. And if your students aren’t writing, blogging is one way to change that. When students move their work from paper to blogs, they: publish … Continue reading Read > blog > discuss > repeat

Oh, the skillz they will learn!

Asking middle school students to write (and share) book recommendations isn’t new.  It gives them the opportunity to write about literature they have enjoyed, be inspired to check out books that their peers have loved, and demonstrate their growing reading and writing skills for their teacher. But move those book recommendations to the students’ own blogs, and suddenly they are learning a whole hard drive’s … Continue reading Oh, the skillz they will learn!

What’s up in Digital Media (now Design Lab) class?

2018 update: if you are interested in the details of this class, check out my latest article about it here. I’ve been teaching English language arts for over 20 years, and as much as I love it, I have always wanted to add some variety to my work load by teaching an elective class.  I envisioned this class as a break from the deluge of … Continue reading What’s up in Digital Media (now Design Lab) class?

Final Project 2.0

Our junior high semester ends with three days of finals: two classes per day, two hours for each class.  I could easily create a semester final exam that would take my students two hours to complete, but I’m not sure that would be the best use of our time (nor am I convinced that junior high students should be taking two-hour finals).  So each year I … Continue reading Final Project 2.0

Call me NaNo…

It’s Day One of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and my 8th graders wrote for a full hour in class, tap-tap-tapping away on the first chapters of their novels.   They wrote in a Google Doc, which they shared with me, so when I should have been working on my own novel, I was taking peeks at theirs.  Wow!  Some great stuff.  Here are just … Continue reading Call me NaNo…