Filed under write

Banana Bread! (brings us together)

Banana Bread! (brings us together)

This week has been HEAVY, yes? I have felt weighed down. Last night, regardless of the 90+ degree heat, I decided to make some banana bread. We had three, big rotting bananas and I am trying not to waste food, so I borrowed a cup of sugar from my lovely neighbor Jess and turned the … Continue reading

Undoing the Five Paragraph Essay Zombies

Undoing the Five Paragraph Essay Zombies

I feel that by the title of this post alone, you all will understand what I’m talking about. Students today have the five paragraph essay format drilled into their brains to the point of writing paralysis. They are five paragraph essay zombies. The five paragraph essay structure is essential for survival in the public school … Continue reading

Writing Anxiety

Writing Anxiety

After I attended two conferences back-to-back in late April/early May, my semester swirled around me like a fierce tornado until about a week ago when I was deposited back down on the ground, classes done, curricula written and re-written, loose ends tied up, and an overwhelming sense of relief and exhaustion from having survived my … Continue reading

Put Your Peer Review Practice to the Test

Put Your Peer Review Practice to the Test

I have so much to say from the conferences I attended that it will most likely take multiple posts. AERA is a big conference for those of us who do anything that has to do with education research. The American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting is huge. In fact, this year I decided that … Continue reading

Author Jean Kwok is amazing.

Author Jean Kwok is amazing.

This is one of those stories that proves when you give love you get it back. That amazing things can happen from the smallest transactions. That teaching can blow your mind apart. I am still awash in shock, awe, and happiness that it all transpired. I posted months ago about a young man reading our … Continue reading

The Teacher’s Tale

The Teacher’s Tale

The Teacher’s Tale Here begins the teacher’s tale: Once upon a time, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, There lived a sixth grader, the embodiment of sin And a first year teacher, who, innocent as a daisy, Had a confrontation with this child that about drove her crazy. First let me forewarn you that this tale is quite … Continue reading

The Teacher’s Tale Prologue

April is National Poetry Month! I wrote this after my first year teaching. I had my students each write a tale from a modern person modeled on The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I was 28 years old, I had taught one year of 8th grade and was teaching high school for the first time, … Continue reading

The Race Card Project

The Race Card Project

In my last class we discussed racial stereotypes and how stereotyping, racism, and discrimination affects various immigrant populations as well as the protagonist of our novel Girl in Translation. I have done this lesson in various forms many, many times and each time I learn something new about how my students see the world. I … Continue reading

A New Take on Peer Revision

Peer Revision in my class has been lukewarm at best. I have tried everything to get the exercise to move out of the pocket of mediocrity where it seems lodged but to no avail. I have created checklists for students to complete on each others’ drafts, scavenger hunts of things to search for, warm/cool feedback … Continue reading

Demystify Writing Complex Sentences

Demystify Writing Complex Sentences

Had the best teaching day today, so I have to share. My students writing is improving and I am proud of them. I don’t think I can take much credit for it because I feel they improved greatly during our Winter Term (when I didn’t teach them), but the essays I just graded were ions … Continue reading