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Love this idea from Cult (and am jealous of her cute little hair flippy-do)! To my ELA local peeps–if you have ideas about books we can share with a middle level/YA book club, I think we should do some home-grown discussions. One of our issues is the…


So…how about we take some time, meet over appetizers and beverages, and figure out just what do we have, what digital resources we have, how to get audio books, etc. for our students? Our best brains work better together, and mapping out what our students need and want (even if they don’t know it yet) would be invaluable. Consider yourself tagged!


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Read or perish.


This week I posted ten educational books that have helped me. That list could be pages long. But it made me think — while those books help with lesson structure or instructional strategies (recipes and formulas) they haven’t necessarily shaped who I am as an educator.

Here’s a short but impactful list of books that have shaped me, in chronological order:

Harriet the Spy

Are you there God, It’s Me, Margaret

To Kill A Mockingbird

East of Eden

The Shining

Great Expectations (specifically Miss Havisham)


Still Life with Woodpecker

The Handmaid’s Tale

Life of Pi


Keep reading. Keep questioning. Keep thinking.

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Keys to the kingdom…

kelly love

Great post from Nerdy Book Club on books adolescent boys may enjoy. Most I’ve read, but there are quite a few new/surprises:

Top Ten Books to Give to Adolescent Boys*

And not only that: that blogroll. Talk about some link love! Check out the blogroll on that site–so many good resources.

I’m not accepting students not reading anymore. This is a ridiculous and terrible situation. After watching #13th, I’m more convinced than ever that access to knowledge, literacy, is the only thing that changes anything…along with the grand conversations, which is creating new knowledge.

*Postscript: I admit – it does make me question the practice of finding ‘books for boys’ or labeling books as girl books or chick-lit. Not sure what to do with that right now, so I’ll just leave it there for the time being.

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Chivalry isn’t dead.


Here is my attempt to help students using the Notice and Note strategies for one of my favorite short stories, ‘Chivalry‘ by Neil Gaiman.




n and n pinterest

Wait, you know what? I think you might enjoy doing this yourself. I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

I believe there is an example of every signpost in this story. Read it out loud to your students in your best English accent (if you don’t have one already). Enjoy.

This book of short stories is well worth it:

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Make a note of it.

This is a portrait of me done by a student: I added the glasses. All the better to see you with, my dear.

Two Thoughts:

*Annotating the world

Here is a follow-up list for my Duly Noted post:

More annotating on-line tools: (some of these aren’t available)





All this stuff is great, but turns out writing annotations by hand is best. Meh. I still say this is pretty cool stuff. But all these annotation tools don’t help me with my real problem, and that’s how to capture all my ideas that pop in my head?

*Annotate my brain

Well, I guess I have this blog. I am getting quite a rep as an idea person. Ideas are great, but I also possess a skill for follow-through, too.

Here are just some ideas I need to remember to see through for next year–most are done, but I don’t want to lose them:

  1. Grading calendar with mid-quarter progress report dates
  2. Staff training on brief writes across content areas
  3. Digital citizenship
  4. Room clean up and design
  5. Planning new units
  6. Planning books, short films, etc.
  7. Planning writing projects
  8. Planning project based learning
  9. Technology integration
  10. Reading skills that are engaging
  11. Cleaning out my digital hoarding
  12. Field trips?!
  13. Book/author talks?
  14. Pacing?

Okay, that’s enough for now.

How do you keep track of ideas and design for teaching?