Grades and Grading

I’m getting my gradebook up to date today, attempting to quantify the unquantifiable.  I teach seventh grade.  Assessing their work is a bit like comparing butterflies.  Or buttons. Each child is different. Seventh graders come in all shapes and sizes (look at a seventh grade girl and a seventh grade boy – they can appear…

Two Places at Once

I’m getting some traffic here from Constructing Modern Knowledge‘s website, and if ever there was a way to be in two places at once, this year I would love that ability. If I could, I would be in beautiful Manchester, NH, July 9-12 this year.  I learned so much at CMK10 and CMK11 about learning…

I can haz this to write?

I have discovered that I like to sit at the end of this enormous dining room table with the sun streaming in behind me (but not shining on the screen of my computer because then I couldn’t see) to write. I am sitting on two giant, soft bench cushions with a cherry red, linen pillow…

Get Out of Jail Free Card

I’m a sucker for tired students.  So today, when the seniors dragged themselves into class I moved the assignment from Thursday before break to the Thursday after break. And then I let them do homework in class – Mind and Brain projects, reading for my class, working on drafts, studying for the Chem IV test,…

Powerful memories

Paul over at quoteflections posted today about Clementines.  He’s got me thinking and remembering. In South Dakota in the 1960s foods were good and the measure of a cook was how well she (usually) could capture summer in the freezer bag, the canning jar, the jam pot, and the pickle pail.  Fresh fruits in the…

An open letter to the NCAA Clearinghouse

How dare you? How dare you say that Journalism is not a “real” English class?  How dare you say that my curriculum is not rigorous?  What do you know about the day to day challenges of the student journalist? What do you know about how hard they work to report and write stories?  What do…

Flowering from within

Well, thinking about poetry and teaching again, I looked at my class rosters and I realize that I have a couple of students who take a lot of my courses.  One girl that I taught in seventh grade and again last year in American Literature is taking both of my senior electives next year and…