Posted in Question of the Week

Question of the Week #10

How can an active writing community be fostered in the classroom?

Posted in Classroom Ideas

Classroom Libraries

I love Edutopia. I think it’s a great teacher resource. The articles are easy to read, informative, and have great ideas. I have so many of their articles bookmarked on my iPad so that I can use the ideas in the future.

One idea that I’m really interested in is classroom libraries. Personally I think that every English/Language Arts classroom should have a class library so that students have easy access to a variety of books. It’s just something I think is really important, and I know that I want to have my own classroom library someday.

I found a great article on the importance of classroom libraries on Edutopia. You can read it here. The author talks about the different types of readers, how to bring students into the classroom library, and how to incorporate the classroom library into lessons.

What I like about the article is that it’s broken into the three sections. I like the array of ideas that are connected to a single topic. I also like how the ideas are there and are detailed enough to work with but the article isn’t overwhelming. It’s just the right amount of information to be a springboard, which for me is all I need.

Read the article. Tell me what you think.


Posted in Food for Thought, Regular Update

Updating and Pondering

First, a simple update. I have finished grad school! My certification paperwork is in the works. I am moving into the next chapter of life, and I am very excited about all of that. I am currently substitute teaching and looking for jobs. I am also very excited about the holidays and everything the future holds.

Now to move onto the pondering. I have a journal where I keep notes for this blog, teaching ideas, teaching resources, professional development notes, and all sorts of other job related things. This journal goes to work with me every day. And sometimes when I’m at work I just sit and think. Today I started thinking about technology and the classroom and how the two relate and all sorts of other related things. And as I thought I came up with a list of questions. I thought that here would be a great place to share those questions and see what all of you thought.

  • What are good ways to use cell phones in the classroom?
  • What are good ways to bring technology into the classroom?
  • How can technology be used for differentiation?
  • How can social media connect to English class?
  • How can students connect with English class?
  • How can writing be made fun and accessible?
  • What are ways students can connect with older/classic texts?
  • What are students reading and how can that be brought into the classroom?
  • How can grammar be fun?
  • How can I get my students to read on their own and on a regular basis?
  • How can I make a great class library?
  • What are good ways to connect texts to today’s world?
  • How can I make reading and writing relevant?

I’m sure that with time I’ll add more questions to the list. And please feel free to share your own questions with me or give me your thoughts on my questions.


Posted in Classroom Ideas, Food for Thought, Teaching Techniques

Writer’s Workshops

I think that writer’s workshops are very important. I also think that there are a variety of ways to implement¬† writer’s workshops into the classroom and that writer’s workshops need to be implemented correctly or so much chaos could ensue.

First I want to talk a little bit about why I feel writer’s workshops are so important. I’m fairly certain that not everyone likes or will like them. And that’s OK. But hear me out before rushing towards an opinion. Writing is and of itself a very solitary activity. It’s possible to write in groups and whatnot but basically it’s the person writing, the paper, and the pen. It’s not a partying activity. But in writer’s workshops, you get to interact with people. You hear feedback and opinions and get a fresh perspective. You get to talk to people. It’s really kind of a big deal. Plus, your writing grows and develops and gets better because of everything you’re hearing.

So now that I’ve explained why I think writer’s workshops are so fabulous, I want to talk about how I think one should be run. This isn’t a time for absolute chaos or for a free for all or to just talk about anything. Writer’s workshops are about discussing writing, your writing, and how to make it better.

There are a couple of ways I think a writer’s workshop could be run. You the teacher can work individually with students while the rest of the class works independently. You can work individually with students and have the rest of the class work in partners or small groups. You can have the class work in pairs or small groups and you can float around the classroom. Any of these methods will work, depending on the makeup of your classroom, your own personal style, and the goal you are working towards.

Go forth and try something new. Maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t. But at least you would have been bold and tried.