Author Archives: wkathena

Homeschool Writing – News and Editorials

This past election cycle made my job as a teacher very difficult.  It seemed as though each week, some conversation would start up about the presidential election.  As someone who ardently believes that middle school and high school students need … Continue reading

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By Student Request: The Book List

One of my writing and book club students came to me about a month ago and said that she had set the big goal of reading 300 books this year! How exciting, right!?! The problem was that she was running … Continue reading

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In The Footsteps of Giants: TED Talk Examples

Students will begin giving their TED-style speeches next week at Enrichment. Often, the best preparation for something like this is to really watch how others have done the same thing.  While our speeches will only be 3-5 minutes in length, … Continue reading

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Book Club resources: To Kill a Mockingbird

My hsap book club members have been participating in some very insightful conversations about our current book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  For instance, this week, we took part in a “gallery walk,” looking at photos of people … Continue reading

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The Power of Their Ideas

WAY back in college, I read a fantastic book titled “The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem” by Deborah Meier.  This week, I was reminded of just how powerful students’ ideas can be, … Continue reading

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Project Pitches for Genius Hour

Are you ready for start your Genius Hour project?  Not so fast!  First, you’ll have to “sell” me on your research idea by giving a speedy, 60-second project pitch.  Based on your pitch, you will either be approved to move … Continue reading

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Genius Hour What and Why (a video explanation for parents)

Last night, I hosted a parents meeting to introduce parents to the concept of the Genius Hour and explain to them how and why I planned to implement a Genius Hour as a replacement for the traditional research report. The … Continue reading

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Pep Talk and Prep Work – Day 1 of The Genius Hour

Thursday’s writing classes started off with a little pep talk, not just for the students, but for me, also. Let’s face it, it’s hard to do something completely different!  Building on what we learned in our 6-week speech unit, but … Continue reading

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Finishing Strong – A Satisfying Outline Pt. 2

Satisfying Outline Pt. 2 Final speeches are just a few days away! I am amazed at how quickly 6 weeks can fly by! For those of you still working on your speeches, I have a few more notes to help … Continue reading

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A Satisfying Outline Pt. 1

Last Thursday, students in 6-12 writing began outlining their speeches.  When the students presented their “40 Chances” speeches earlier in the term, I made notes of common areas where students struggled.  Organizing seemed to be at the top of that … Continue reading

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