Levels of Questions Reading Strategy (FREE)

Levels of Questions (Open via TPT)

demoLevelsofQuestionsLoQs3846282 (1).png***This works with any text. It’s a strategy I learned while in PD at Empire High School. I’ve been using it for years, and it engages students while keeping them accountable during the reading of a text. I’ve used this strategy when teaching 9th, 10th, and 12th grade.


****Levels of Questions (LOQs) is a reading and critical thinking strategy to drive discussions with student-based personal question/answer. The strategy Levels of Questions is structured around Questions for Critical Thinking via Bloom’s Taxonomy. Continue reading

FREE Teaching Resources

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 5.51.41 PMAfter about three years, I’ve decided to reactivate the blog. The blog will be used for several of the following purposes: offering educational resources, posting about miscellaneous educational topics, and I’m not quite sure what else. I figured I would start off by sharing a few free resources. Who doesn’t like free? 

There are 9 free teaching resources, below, that I’d like to share with others. The only request that I will make is that if you find them useful, share them with others. You’re able to directly go to each individual resource, below, by clicking on the title, or you may view all of them on my TPT Store. I also have over 30 resources for sale… Enjoy!

Continue reading

The Reversal via iTunes + Amazon

The Reversal - White Cover VersionThe Reversal via iTunes

The Reversal via Amazon – paperback + digital

This is a story about a country boy from rural South Jersey who fought hard to overcome poverty and low academic standing by reversing his life’s circumstances. After earning his college degree, he became a social studies teacher, head wrestling coach, and school administrator. He spent over three decades reversing lives of many other young men throughout the country. With a few good people in your life, it’s amazing what a student can accomplish many times over against all odds.

The book will be available for digital download on iTunes via iBooks. This book is also available for download & paperback order via KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Continue reading

The Old Man & The Sea – Trivia Game

The Old Man & The Sea - Trivia

The Old Man & The Sea – Trivia

On Friday, I wanted to liven up the class with some sort of competitive game, so I put this trivia game together in the morning. In case you’re adverse to reading, here is The Old Man & The Sea Trivia Game [here]. I grabbed a few things on several sites as well as came up with a few questions on my own. Feel free to take it, share it, add a few questions, point out any errors, or play the trivia game… The students loved it, and it really brought out their competitive side. I split them in teams of four, and they went at it. The main objective was simple – collaboratively be able to display understanding of the book they had just completed. Today, they will get their essay assignment [here], and we will also watch the T.V. movie starring Anthony Quinn [here].

Overall, the majority of the students enjoyed the novel. It was above their grade level (7), but we had plenty of dialogue to break down the conflicts, inner struggles, themes, and overall meaning. We will continue to gain understanding through our essay assignment, and then we will finish the 6th book of the year (Of Mice & Men). I am very proud of my students for completing 6 books during the school year. I try to have trivia for all the books we read because it’s a fun way to display/recall knowledge…

Continue reading

Letter Writing Activity #Dreams

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it...

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it…

I decided to do an impromptu writing activity in Language Arts/Writing today. The students will participate in a letter writing activity about their future aspirations. Students will begin class with a bell work question, “Describe 3 realistic life goals that you want to reach by the age of 18.” Once they have completed that, they will be given the following instructions:


1) You will be writing a letter about your future dreams and aspirations.

2) Address the letter to yourself (future you)

3) List specific goals that you hope to attain by the age of 18 and beyond.

4) For every goal, give yourself advice on how to reach that goal.

5) Open the letter upon high school graduation or when you feel yourself getting off track later in life. Continue reading

Are You Smarter Than an NFL Football Player? (#WonderlicTest Part II)

Take Sample Test [here]

Take Sample Test [here]

This will be the second year that I’ve decided to have a little fun with my Language Arts/Writing classes. I know you’re thinking, how does taking a test equal fun? Last year, I was reading an article, How Smart Are you? Take the Wonderlic Test and Find Out on the Bleacher Report, and I thought I’d take it. I wanted to say I aced the 15 sample questions, but I didn’t. I received an embarrassing score of 8 out of 15 last year – this year I scored a 10 out of 15 😉 I know what you’re thinking, you only improved 2pts and knew the questions! I’ve never been a good test taker. Give me a written exam, and I will make magic happen;] I digress, for those that are scratching their heads wondering what exactly a Wonderlic Test is, it’s basically a cognitive test that NFL football players are given to gauge their intelligence. In more specific terms, “Players are presented 50 questions to be completed in 12 minutes. The questions are designed to test a person’s capacity to learn and ability to problem-solve, although the correlation between a high Wonderlic score and NFL success is debatable.” If you would like to take the sample test and see how you measure up, go [here]. Continue reading

Caring – Character Counts

Class Caring Display

Class Caring Display

Today the class (Language Arts/Writing periods 1 & 4) participated in a lesson based on the character of Caring. The lesson will start with an introduction as to what Caring exactly is. I will share information from a document I obtained from the Character Counts website [here] with the students – only using the 1st page of the document. We will then watch a montage of commercials via values.com I will then open it up for a brief discussion on what the students feel Caring is to them and how it applies to their daily routine. We will continue the lesson on Caring with an arts and crafts activity in which the students will design 8 by 11 inch posters about what Caring means to them in collaborative groups. We will then conclude the lesson by having each group select a speaker to present the groups poster to the rest of the class. The posters will be displayed in the classroom as well as near the library. If time permits, I would like to do a quick view & respond to Michael Jackson’s – Man in the Mirror. I would like to provide a visual to reinforce that Caring as well as change comes from within. I think this video will be a good discussion starter. That being said, I’m not sure if they are old enough to connect with some of the images used in video… Continue reading

Valentine’s Day View & Respond – [History Behind the Holiday]


I had a lot on the agenda for February, 14th during Language Arts/Writing, but I thought it would be nice to add this. I think I will let the kids enjoy Valentine’s Day for a portion of the class. We’re currently working on investigative reporting, so this view and respond will tie in quite nicely. I will need to adjust the lesson plan and take out a previously planned activity, but I think this will be well worth it.

I will be working on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with this view & respond about the history behind Valentine’s Day. Students will begin class with a light-hearted bell work prompt about their favorite memory from Valentine’s Day if applicable. For those who don’t have favorable memories, I will prompt them to answer this question, if they could find out the history behind any holiday, which one would it be and why? After the bell work, students will be given a handout [here] in order to give students a synopsis of the multimedia clip as well as discussion questions. The class will then move to the viewing portion by watching this video [here]. Students will be prompted to actively watch by using the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why)… Students will be given about 5 to 7 minutes to answer the questions from the previously mentioned handout. Once students have completed the handout, I will open up the floor for discussion. Continue reading