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118: Big Ideas for Better Writing Instruction, with EB Academics



When it comes to writing instruction, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Which of the many wonderful strategies out there should you go with? Writer's workshop? The writing makerspace? Writing stations? Should you use peer editing? Self editing? Conferencing? How many types of writing should you teach in a year? How much should you differentiate your instruction, given that all your writers will be in different places?

117: 10 Ways to Encourage a Reading Culture in your (Online) Classroom

With so many schools online right now, it may seem harder than ever to get your students reading for joy. But I'm here to tell you, there are still a lot of ways you can help a reading culture flourish in your classes! Here are some of my favorite ideas - try one or try them all! 

116: Connect with your Students as 2021 Begins

One thing 2020 has taught me for sure is the importance of connection. 

For students, it's a constant struggle right now, to feel part of their friendship groups, their class community, their school. Whether they're in person - but not allowed to come close to anyone, sit together at lunch, give a high five, or engage in group work - or at home, feeling like a tiny cog in a vast spinning wheel of technology, it's very easy to feel alone. 

No one exactly knows how to fix this. We just do the best we can. We keep trying, and keep caring. 

So today, I want to share some projects and programs you might want to consider for January to help students connect more with you and with each other. Just as the beginning of the school year is a great time to build community and get to know students, the beginning of the calendar year is a nice time to take a week or two to refresh your relationships within each class, and never more so than this year. 

115: 5 Creative Digital Poetry Activities

I know poetry can be a sensitive subject. Maybe you love it and it's tough to see how many students arrive in your classroom already anti-poetry. Maybe you're pretty lukewarm, and you look forward to teaching it each year like you look forward to February slush. Maybe you had a perfect way to teach it, and now you're trying to figure out how on earth to move all your awesome activities online due to, you know, global pandemic.

I get it. And I'm pretty excited for you to read this post. Frankly, there is not one activity I'm about to share with you that I don't LOVE. So let's do this! 

114: Easily Reduce your Digital Paper Pile

When I first began teaching, I had no clue when it came to grading. The week before my first term grades were due, my computer crashed, along with all my grade data. The night before my first grade comments were due, I worked on them until three in the morning, despite the fact that I had been working constantly on them in all my free time for days. 

113: Breakout Rooms, Community Building and Grading Policies for Online Teaching

Today, in episode 113, we're getting a sneak peek inside the fully online classroom of my friend Christina, known online as The Daring English Teacher. She’s sharing her strategies for conducting successful breakout rooms, doing writing workshop online, overcoming student tech issues with one consistent method, building community and positive energy with students online, using sketchnotes during online lessons, and much more. This episode is going to give you so much that you can put straight into practice.

112: A 2020 Gift Guide for Creative English Teachers

Today's post contains several affiliate links. 
That means I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you purchase through my link. 

I've been walking in the mornings, before my kids get up, and listening to podcasts. I like seeing the sun streak the sky as I tune into a whole range of shows, learning about what's happening the world, getting ideas for travel when my family and I depart for our three year expedition to Bratislava next summer, listening to interviews with great educators, and more. Aren't podcasts the best? 

Anyway, on vacation last week not one but TWO of my chosen podcasts aired gift guide episodes, and I was unexpectedly delighted. It was so much fun to hear the advice of people with really similar interests to my own about what to gift. Now to be honest, I got a lot of gift ideas for other people, but I also found out about a lot of things I wanted to get myself! So I'm hoping this gift guide will do the same for you. Make you smile, give you ideas for your friends and colleagues, and also share a few fun things with you that you might want to ask Santa for. 

You can listen in on Apple Podcasts, Sticher, Blubrry, or Spotify. Or just read on for all the photos and links! 

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