Archive | January, 2010

How to Organize Lesson Plans and Materials: Day 4

Nothing troubles us more than the challenge of organizing our materials so we can find, use, and improve upon them each time we use them. I have tried it all: all on the computer, file folders (color coded!) for each handout, each unit, each class. This year I have arrived, after twenty years–twenty years!–at a […]

We Have Mice

Okay, so we live in an old house, one that has been in my wife's family since about 1918 here in San Francisco. When it gets cold outside, mice try to come inside. They are a nuisance. Even a source of fear and disgust for some in the house. But they are an inevitable part […]

Playing the Teaching Game

Remember these old-school puzzles? You scramble them and then have to move everything to one side to move another over till you get them all in order. This is what our periods feel like: we have to sometimes move everything over there to get that one thing–a lesson on, say, adjective clauses–over here. It can […]

Less Noise, More Signal

On the radio there is noise (static, hiss, garble we can't understand) and signal (clear voices saying or singing what we want to hear). Noise is bad; signal is good, useful, event pleasant. The same concept applies to our life and our teaching. Listen in closely to it all: what is noise and what is […]

Less Noise, More Signal

On the radio there is noise (static, hiss, garble we can't understand) and signal (clear voices saying or singing what we want to hear). Noise is bad; signal is good, useful, event pleasant. The same concept applies to our life and our teaching. Listen in closely to it all: what is noise and what is […]

Every class is a sentence

Every class you teach is a sentence in the paragraph of the week, which is part of the chapter of that month, which is, in the end, part of the book that year becomes. What is the subject of each day? Is it clear, focused, and compelling as all good sentences should be? And the […]

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