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Let’s be honest. Book reports can tend to be a bit, well…boring. Although a book report is the traditional way to assess student reading comprehension, they bring to mind Chris Lehmann’s quote, “If you assign a project and get back 30 of the same thing, that’s not a project, that’s a recipe.” When we assign […]

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Do your students have a strong understanding of irony?  In my experience, getting students to grasp the meaning of this literary device, particularly situational irony, can be a bit of a challenge. They tend to use the word loosely, often confusing irony with what is actually just coincidental. Over the years of teaching English, I […]

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Valentine’s Day is sure to be met with mixed emotions in your classroom. Although some of your students will look forward to February 14, others will celebrate when it’s over—in true Anti-Valentine’s Day fashion. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, kindness, and friendship. Regardless of how you feel personally about the annual day […]

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Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate love, kindness, and friendship. With love being the focus of so much great literature, this holiday naturally lends itself well to the English Language Arts classroom. There are lots of high-interest ways to combine curriculum with creative Valentine’s Day activities to engage your middle school ELA students without […]

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Exit slips (also known as exit passes) are a type of informal assessment tool used by teachers to check student understanding and engagement. As their name suggests, completed exit passes serve as the students’ tickets to leave the classroom at the end of class. Often, they prompt students to answer a specific question about something covered […]

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Getting all of our students to sit silently at their desks, undistracted, and honestly engaged in independent reading can feel like wishful thinking at times. As English teachers, we quickly learn to be realistic with our expectations for silent reading. Some students come to class with a love of books while other students couldn’t be […]

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Growing up, did you ever have a fixed mindset? Did you ever think that your level of talent, intelligence, or even your personality could not be changed over time? This way of thinking is not uncommon. As a teacher, you likely see this within your own classroom and are looking for ways to instill a growth mindset, the more […]

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