Classroom Resources

Closet OverflowsIt's inherently vain to post lesson ideas. It’s a rare educator who doesn’t know many things I don’t or do numerous things in their realm far better than I could ever hope. I’m equally certain there are things which work for me that not every other teacher could pull off. It’s the nature of the profession – we talk about it like science (and some of it is), but we live it like art. 

But I digress.  

The point is, I originally hesitated to post my personal pedagogy for all the world to ignore. I’m doing it anyway. I encourage you to use anything you find useful, and to adapt it to your circumstances, style, and druthers, as you see fit. I'd love to hear from you if something works particularly well - especially if you changed something to make that happen. 

My Teaching Philosophy – Because what could be a better use of bandwidth than one more opinion about how teaching should work?

Virtual Teaching (ELA) - I was looking for a change of pace and got certified in English. Then the pandemic hit, and the pace changed more than I expected.

Asking Questions, Pre-Reading, and the Voices In Your Head – Asking Good Questions, Pre-Reading, and other Miscellany generally applicable to whatever content you're teaching this time 'round.

Post-Reading Assignments (Artsy Fartsy Stuff) – Things to do after the material has supposedly been ingested to make it a bit stickier. Quick-Writes are also tucked in this section, despite being very much NOT artsy-fartsy.

Causes, Triggers, Events, and Results – Great end-of-semester or end-of-year review or exam prep. Use it to recap main ideas or explore connections more deeply.

Those Circle Things - These can be great bell-ringers, small group activities, assessments, or whatever else you want to try. Go deep or keep them festive; your call.

Primary Sources (Text) & Political Cartoons – Primary Sources and, um... well, you probably figured this one out already.

Reading in Social Studies – Book suggestions for specific grades and topics, along with why I think you should read more in Social Studies. Your suggestions are strongly encouraged.

Oklahoma History Resources - I'm sure you out-of-state readers will find it amusing that this is even a subject - but we do teach it, and there are good parts. So, in the words of the immortal philosophers, shut up. 

Document Activities - Maybe the coolest things I've ever created for class, so I thought they deserved their own segment.

Comments

I want to share a moment with you...
I have been using a post of yours in my classroom for the past few years, the 2017 essay, "It's Not About Them (It's About Us)" as a springboard for discussion and journaling. My students love your "Blue Cereal" handle, but more importantly, they find your insights revelatory. Visualize lots of "exploding brain" gestures when they react to it!

Yesterday I received this message from a parent:
~~~
My daughter [Student Name] is a junior in one of your dual credit English III classes. I just want to thank you for helping her to love school again this year.

[Student] has always been a great student, but last year, like many kids, school was tough and it wasn’t “fun” or “interesting”. This fall, I’m not sure she was super excited about it still… but last night when she was working on her homework she talked about what you have given them to read - “It’s not about them. It’s about us”. And when I say she talked about it, I mean she read the entire blog post to us, all four pages, and then told us what she thought and how she felt about it. For a 17 year old girl to do that, is unbelievable most days… and not to be overdramatic, but I was afraid to move because I didn’t want the moment to end :-)

SO thank you for all you are doing… and know that you are having an impact on at least one student :-)

Have a great Wednesday!
[Parent Names]
~~~

I credit you with this lovely experience. Thank you.
-Holly

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