Posted in ELA, English, Humor, Lesson plans, Literature, Shakespeare, Shenanigans, Tools

Chapter 21: Roasted by the Bard

NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of four posts on easing your students into Elizabethan English without terrifying them.

You’ve taught your kids scansion. You’ve introduced them to Shakespeare’s poetry. You’ve given them a little taste of his humor. You’ve pushed them to think about his language. But they’re still not quiiiiiiiite convinced they’ll be able to understand his plays. He’s just too fancy.

Today is the day you take him down a peg or two. Continue reading “Chapter 21: Roasted by the Bard”

Posted in Classroom environment, DIY, Timesavers, Tools

Chapter 9: A Useful Tool

When I hired in last year, I was delighted to find that two walls in my classroom were covered with big chalkboards like the ones I had in my very first classroom. I was less delighted to learn that we didn’t have any of those big chamois erasers like I remembered using 20 years ago, and the┬áteacher-supply stores in Amarillo and Albuquerque didn’t carry them, either.

Enter my husband, who came in one day with some leftover pipe insulation — the kind that’s about as big around as a Coke can, with a split seam along one side — and asked whether I thought it would be good for anything.

I certainly did. I cut a section about a foot long, wrapped a soft car-wash rag around it, and tucked the ends into the seam. Voila! Instant chamois knockoff.

I made a pair of them and took them to school, along with some spare rags. They work really well on my chalkboards, and they’re easy to maintain: When a rag gets too dusty to use, I just swap it out for a clean one and throw the dirty one in the laundry.

This fall, we got new Promethean boards, which are basically ginormous iPads the size of a big-screen TV. My faux-chamois erasers remove fingerprints from the touchscreen on my Promethean board as effectively as they remove chalk residue from a blackboard. In fact, they’ve come in so handy that I wound up making one for each of my colleagues for Christmas. I hope they find them as useful as I have.

Emily