8
May

Teaching

Middle Schoolers Love Mythology!

If there is one thing I can count on with each new class that I get every year, it's that they will love mythology.  No doubt that they know more than I do about it, as the characters are all around them in video games, movies and books. They are the experts, so my 8th grade Mythology […]

Using a Journal in Middle School Language Arts

I'm often asked to explain how I use an interactive journal in the Middle School Language Arts classroom. I'll attempt to give my best overview of how I use it with my students, and give some tips as to how to set up the journal. I have used them in class for the past 4 […]

#COOLKIDSREAD - Making a READ poster

I love those "Read" posters of celebrities holding up or reading a book that you see plastered around bookstores and libraries. I decided to use some local celebrities, namely my 8th graders, to pose for a READ poster which we proudly hang at the entrance of our school library. Each year, I create a new poster. […]

Metaphorically Speaking....

Ask any grade school student what a simile is, and they will tell you it's a comparison using "like" or "as". Somehow, they all memorize that definition, and can easily identify one.  Ask any grade school student what a metaphor is, and somehow, they get tongue-tied and confused. Metaphors are just more difficult for kids […]

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For... Alliteration!

Once a week, I have a 40 minute period with the seventh graders. Aside from their daily Language Arts class, this additional weekly class allows us to explore aspects of grammar and writing in more detail. We call it "Language Arts Lab".  This is the class that is mixed with general education and special education […]

Language Arts Bingo: A Week of "Do Now" Writing

I wanted to find a way to keep my Middle School students writing often, but to do that, and to keep them from being overloaded with all of the large writing assignments and long-term writing we were doing in class, I tried to come up with some options for writing short-and-quick. I came up with […]

Middle School Non-Fiction Activity: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

One of the most engaging activities I do in class with my Middle Schoolers when we tackle non-fiction is our quest to find the real killer of the Lindbergh baby. You may ask, "How can that be? Bruno Richard Hauptmann was tried, convicted and executed for that crime 80 years ago!" Well, yes, he was. […]

The "Key" to Creative Writing in Middle School

The key to creative writing in Middle School is...  keys, apparently. Inspired by a pin I saw on a pinning site, I searched for some inexpensive, ornate keys to use with my 7th graders in a writing activity.  We've been spending so much time working on structured writing - essays, formal letters,  responses to questions […]

All I Need to Know.... Writing Activity for Middle School

I did a quick writing activity with my 7th graders, and it was based on the book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. You remember the lessons - sharing, saying thank you and please, taking naps, enjoying a simple snack of milk and cookies.... Everyone can relate to […]

There's more to learning than reading, writing and 'rithmetic...

When an opportunity presents itself that allows the students to get out of the classroom, I always take it. So when my colleague and I were asked to pull together the Veteran's Day assembly this year, we took it as a great opportunity to allow the students the chance to learn firsthand what it means […]