Category: Simple Strategies

Do you ever find yourself struggling to reach your students? I know I do! Here I'm discussing how I have started tweaking my lectures to make them more accessible to Generation Z. Click through to find out what I do!

How To Spin The Old-Fashioned Lecture for Micro Attention Spans

My count-down to summer series this year is all about teaching those unfamiliar beings in our classrooms popularly referred to as Generation Z. In the introduction to this series, I identified five traits they collectively share (give or take): 1. They have smaller attention spans than previous generations.2. There’s a lot of “noise” in their lives.

Read More »
As teachers, even if we swore we wouldn't, we sometimes find ourselves saying, "Kids these days!" And with good reason. Generations change, and more rapidly than ever before with rapid technological shifts. Check out this introduction to a new series on reaching the latest generation--Gen Z. Click through, my fellow educators, and we'll strategize together.

The Next Challenge in Education: Teaching Gen Z

Every year since 2015, I’ve done a spring series that counts down to summer. Last year, I discussed Simple Spring Engagement Tips. Before that, I did Spring Tech Tips. In 2016, I did Google Classroom Hacks, and way, way back in the balmy days of 2015, we all learned about some Spring Survival Tips together.

Read More »
Interactive Student Notebooks are not just for lower grades. They are extremely beneficial for high school students if we implement them mindfully. They are valuable organizational tools and provide tangible visual learning opportunities. Click through for frequently asked questions and answers about using ISNs in the high school classroom.

Why Use Interactive Notebooks in High School?

Most high school teachers have strong opinions about Interactive Student Notebooks (ISNs). They either love them or hate them. They see the benefit of using them or they see them as too juvenile and a time drain. Students are the same. When first trying to implement them a few years ago, I heard the common

Read More »
There is a lot of pressure on teachers -- pressure we put on ourselves and pressure from outside sources. Moreover, there is a lot of pressure to be perfect. But, perfection isn't always attainable in the classroom! Click through to read this blog post about why it's healthier for teachers to start focusing more on being good teachers and less on being perfect teachers.

Teachers, We Need to Scrap Perfection And Go for Good

There’s something about me that you may not know–I am an extremely high strung introvert. I often come across as laid back, but that’s only if you don’t know me. If you walk into my classroom on a given day, I am calm and smiling, and my desk looks like Einstein’s (that would be fine

Read More »
Are you still taking late work? You're working harder than you have to. Click through to learn about this simple method for NOT taking late work and still giving students a second chance.

Solving The Late Work Problem

“A student slaves from dusk till dawn, but a teacher’s work is never done.” Okay, I made that one up, but it sounds good…right? Our society counts “busy” as a virtue. And teachers are busy. So working in a classroom must put us all up front for those shiny halos. We teachers work hard, and

Read More »
Teachers sometimes can't avoid teaching using lecture or assigned readings in ELA or social studies classrooms, but class can still be engaging for students. This blog post shares three simple ways to encourage active learning. High school students will appreciate these activities that are hands-on and authentic! Click through to read the full post.

Three Simple Ways to Encourage Active Learning

In the ELA and social studies classroom, sometimes we simply must lecture or, heaven forbid, assign readings. I used to assign readings, my students would do them, and we’d have a class discussion. When I’d lecture, the students were genuinely interested in the stories I told (or did I imagine these things?). I’ve either become

Read More »
Debates can be a really effective instructional tool in the secondary classroom, but they have to be very structured in order to be really effective. In this blog post, I'm sharing detailed information for how to implement structured debate in the classroom. Click through to get these teaching tips!

Structured Debate in The Classroom

This post is also featured on the TPT Blog. I have to admit that in the past, I haven’t been very good at implementing debate in the classroom. I get the idea in theory, but it always seemed to degenerate into a string of unsupported opinions and logical fallacies. I see that everyday in my

Read More »
Current events have an important place in social studies instruction because they're great for comparing to historical events. This blog post shares five ways to bring current events into your classroom - and they're easy! Click through to read more.

5 Ways to Bring Current Events into Your Classroom

Every Teacher New Year, I have a classroom resolution. The first year I taught it was to survive. The second year, it was to make it another year. I don’t remember what it was the third year, but I do remember being confident enough my fifth year to make the resolution something about pedagogy, even

Read More »
Back to school season always sneaks up on us teachers, but we CAN prepare for it by thinking ahead! In this blog post, I'm sharing three ways to make back to school better, including classroom setup, planning for substitute teachers, and creating student avatars. Click through to read the full post!

Three Ways to Make Back to School Better

I don’t want to say it. I mean, I really don’t want to say it. Saying it somehow makes it true, and as much as I love my job, I have to confess that I don’t want it to be. I want to keep staying up late and sleeping later. I want to keep not

Read More »
You've made it to the last week of school, but you're seriously burned out. What to do?! Read this blog post, of course - it rounds up 10 activities that are perfect for secondary grades during the last week of school! We're all tired at the end of the year, so these activities will help you and your high school students stay sane. Read more here!

10 Activities for the Last Week of School

We’re finally in the last week of school–that long-awaited moment in time that feels more like an eternity. Some classes have exams the final week, and others do not. So here, in this final post before summer break, I want to discuss ways to keep students engaged (and yourself sane) whether your course has a

Read More »

Welcome! Stay a while and browse classroom-tested tips, strategies, and resources that will take your teaching to the next level!

Learn More


An occasional email from me to you about what’s new in secondary education…