Thursday October 30th 2014

Free Curriculum: Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fahrenheit 451


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#TeacherHack : How You Need To See Your Students Without Getting All Mad About Who They Are

#TeacherHack : How You Need To See Your Students Without Getting All Mad About Who They Are

At the beginning of every school year, I immediately teach a lesson on using the word “seen.” Specifically, I inform students that the word “seen” should never immediately come after the word “I.” “‘I seen’ does not exist in the [...]

Why Teach Shakespeare?

Why Teach Shakespeare?

It’s hard to explain to someone the difficulties of teaching something like Romeo and Juliet when they have never been alone in front of 33 urban teenagers. I mean, the content, the stuff everyone thinks about when teaching texts like [...]

5 Tips For Getting Through the Month of October

5 Tips For Getting Through the Month of October

Beginning the year is the most stressful time of a teacher’s life. You have a bunch of kids you don’t know, and you have to calm them down, keep them from sexually harassing each other, and actually teach them something. September is a whirlwind [...]

Cartoon: Dealing With Student Phones

Cartoon: Dealing With Student Phones

This cartoon is actually a strategy I stole from a colleague of mine who is an unbelievable urban educator. He plants phones on students in the first few days of class, pretends to hear it vibrate, and smashes it on the floor in front of the entire [...]

I’d Rather Teach Refugee Kids Than Americans Who Hate Refugee Kids

I’d Rather Teach Refugee Kids Than Americans Who Hate Refugee Kids

It deeply saddens me that there are people in this country who hate seven-year olds. It is befuddling. It is offensive. It is crazy. And even if you do hate seven-year olds, what is even more amazing is to hate a seven-year old so much that you make [...]

Incorporating Thug Notes into the Urban Classroom

Incorporating Thug Notes into the Urban Classroom

At the end of the year students ostensibly tell me one lesson has stuck with them more than others. It is an activity I do every year to start the year, and here at the end of the year I am always surprised how deeply urban kids take that lesson to [...]

The Nuances of Teaching While White

The Nuances of Teaching While White

Last week, one of my black students was looking at a family picture I have on my wall by the door. He noticed my sister is married to a black man, and therefore my nieces and nephews are half black. “She married a black guy?” my student asked, [...]

How Shakespeare Explains Game of Thrones

How Shakespeare Explains Game of Thrones

(Spoiler alert, this post is for those who have finished all the Game of Thrones books)Richard III: Now is the winter of our discontent.Eddard Stark: Winter is coming.I’ve recently immersed myself in all things Shakespeare. I’m [...]

We Need Teachers Who Specialize in Teaching

We Need Teachers Who Specialize in Teaching

I just finished Amanda Ripley’s book The Smartest Kids in the World. Not a bad read if you are interested in a quick look at how Finland, Poland, and South Korea structure education. A bad read if you want to know anything about American schools [...]

F@#% What You Heard—There Ain’t No Money in Education

F@#% What You Heard—There Ain’t No Money in Education

You’ve probably heard this statement before: The United States spends more money per student than any other country in the world.Ninja please.I think this oft-quoted “fact” needs to be drastically reworded. It is like a sentence one of [...]

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