Shakespeare Lives! Making the Bard Relevant to Your Millennial Students

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49_eNotes_WilliamShakespeare (3)In “Home-Thoughts, from Abroad,” Victorian poet Robert Browning declares wistfully, “Oh, to be in England / Now that April’s there . . .” Well, it’s April again, and this month would be an especially great time to be in England since it’s the four-hundred-year anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 1616. It’s also the month to celebrate his birth. We don’t know exactly when Will was born in 1564, but he arrived one day in April, and the rest is literary history. Continue Reading ›

Spring Cleaning Your Lesson Plans

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The term “spring cleaning” often evokes the image of a jam-packed closet, filled with items that have accumulated over time and that may or may not still be useful. Spring cleaning usually isn’t associated with lesson plans, but it’s a good practice to apply to them, too. In fact, it’s more than good. It’s essential! Continue Reading ›

Making the Most of a Missed Day: What to Do When You Need a Substitute Teacher

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While the teacher is out, the students are still in class ready to learn. Your absence does not automatically mean that the students have to watch a video or do busy work to fill the day. Follow these tips to ensure that students continue to be engaged and productive while you are away. Continue Reading ›

March’s Teacher’s Corner: Blended Learning

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In the olden days—really not that long ago—technology in the classroom was an intercom connection with the office and a 16mm projector that showed black-and-white documentaries. When film strip projectors arrived on the scene, they represented real innovation; a film strip machine with audio and auto advance was cutting edge. The term “blended learning” didn’t exist because there was nothing to blend. Continue Reading ›

January’s Teacher’s Corner Column: Homework – The Great Debate

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The philosophy of education in the U.S. is always subject to disagreement and controversy, but everyone can agree on this: It’s never, ever static. The dynamics in education often seem like those of a pendulum swinging back and forth, from one extreme to the other, as policymakers, curriculum designers and book writers continue to define and redefine what are now called “best practices.”

The current Great Debate over homework is a perfect example of the way the pendulum swings in education. In “The Case For and Against Homework” at http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar07/vol64/num06/The-Case-For-and-Against-Homework.aspx, Robert J. Marzano and Debra J. Pickering summarize how homework has been accepted or rejected as a good practice since the early 1900s. Reading the summary is enough to give you whiplash:

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December’s Teacher’s Corner Column: Are We Expecting Too Much, Too Soon?

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

I recently read an article by Laura Katan in which she shares an anecdote I keep thinking about. At a fair, Katan saw a ten-year-old boy and his mom pass a massage vendor, and she heard the mother ask her son, “Do you want a massage? It may relax you.” Katan recalls she was “incredulous” as she overheard the comment. “Since when do 10-year-olds need to relax?” she asks. Well, apparently now. In fact, there seems to be a lot of kids who need to relax, and most of them are in our classrooms.   Continue Reading ›