An abundance of reading

In my AP Literature class (which doubles as a dual-enrollment Survey of British Literature course), the months of September and some of October were largely taken up with the reading of Jane Eyre. I purposefully slowed down how we worked through the novel, and I was pleased to have the majority of the class reading... Continue Reading →

My Christmas Memory

Once again, this year I was able to teach Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" as a mentor text for my students to write their own winter narratives. The full lesson plan is available on Moving Writers. I am sharing one of my own Christmas Memories here. The assignment encourages my students to use both their written and... Continue Reading →

Reasons to have a classroom library

This may be a very obvious post for some English teachers, but until recently, I never understood the real reason to have a classroom library in a high school setting. We have a wonderful librarian with an unbelievable open door policy who orders nearly every title that a faculty member or student can suggest within... Continue Reading →

Reaching reluctant readers

Thankfully more and more middle school and high school teachers are embracing independent choice reading in the classroom.  Whether you were inspired by Penny Kittle, Donalyn Miller, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, Kelly Gallagher, or your co-worker down the hall, you are going to have some obstacles to navigate in your quest to get students... Continue Reading →

Why I read (1200+ essays in 7 days)

Many of my family, friends, and co-workers are confused by my excitement to join the AP Literature Reading with teachers and college professors from across the country to read essays for 7 days straight. My family has affectionately labeled my time at the AP Reading as “Nerd Camp.” I first applied to the reading pool... Continue Reading →

Hosting an African American Read In

We hosted our first African American Read In this year inspired by the National Council of Teachers of English Black Caucus. Ingredients: 1 part--Enthusiastic students with a renewed love for reading gained through choice and time in class to read. 1 part--An excellent librarian willing to do just about anything to foster student engagement in... Continue Reading →

38 is a very attractive age

Happy Birthday to me. 38. As I look around the pages of books that encompass my life, I find very few heroes, heroines, or even villains my exact age. To me, this is disappointing. Thirty-five was my favorite birthday of literary significance with Lady Bracknell of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest boldly proclaiming,... Continue Reading →

Dolly delivers dreams

Today my son Liam turns five. This really is a birthday to celebrate as he begins his final year of preschool.  He is growing and changing, while still keeping his love of cooking, crafts, and his “doggy”. This birthday also marks the end of Liam’s excited trips from the mailbox each month for a new... Continue Reading →

A reader’s journey in four books

One of my first assignments for my AP Literature students the past two years is to write about their lives through a journey of four books.  I made a commitment in my teaching manifesto to write alongside my students, so I will attempt to narrow this list to choose four books that have been significant in... Continue Reading →

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