6 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Keep Your Students Engaged this Year


As a teacher, you know firsthand that students often respond to experiential and interactive learning methods, not to mention they often remember these lessons more vividly. Regurgitating information from a textbook might be today’s prevailing academic model, but you understand that students are more likely to absorb this information when they recognize the real-world applications. Continue Reading ›

Shakespeare Lives! Making the Bard Relevant to Your Millennial Students

shakes enotes blog he lives

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

Blog headers (15)

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


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


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


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:

Continue Reading ›