Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blame the messenger

Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash You have heard the phrase before. Someone brings you some bad news, and, as you begin to get upset, he says, “Hey, don’t blame the messenger!” In a school I worked at, our team … Continue reading

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Never Make A Slide Like This

This came up on my Twitter feed after someone took a screenshot of a presentation slide and tweeted it. I’m sure the intent was to share what the tweeter thought was a great idea. What jumped out at me wasn’t … Continue reading

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Mind the Gap: How We Make Kids Hate Speaking

“How do you teach speaking?” I ask that questions when I do workshops about the #1 language art. Inevitably, teachers respond by telling me about an assignment they give. We do biography presentations. Students spend three weeks reading about some … Continue reading

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Speaking Well Does Not Mean Speaking White

I didn’t think I would have to clarify that. But I had an interesting experience over a tweet I wrote. My tweet: An irate response to that tweet: “How dare you tell students that you must speak a certain way! … Continue reading

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100 English Teachers Walk Into a Bar

Originally published in California English          One hundred English teachers walk into a bar. One by one, the bartender asks them why they became English teachers. The first one says, “I love poetry! I write poetry and … Continue reading

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Creating an argument worth delivering

A fairly typical classroom current events discussion: Kids shouldn’t be allowed to play football.             Yes, they should! Football is fun!!             Denver won the Super Bowl!             Yes! That was a great game.             But kids get hurt playing … Continue reading

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Don’t hit record yet!

  Fourth graders are learning about the Reconstruction. The teacher wants to test out his new green screen tools. He has students speak and posts the video on YouTube. A huge problem: he is so focused on the tech tool … Continue reading

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