Andrea Yarbough

Hand Helping Those in Crisis

Preparing for the Unexpected: Crisis Management in the Classroom

The desks are arranged, the pencils are sharpened, and stacks of syllabi are waiting to be dispersed. Your classroom is ready for the new school year. Or is it?  When most of us think of preparing for the new school year, we think about who our students will be, what units we will cover, how …

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Hands holding a globe made of puzzle pieces

Making Connections: Reimagining the Beginning of the School Year

It seems like every August the question on every teacher’s mind is: what am I going to do with students during the first few days of school? No matter how long we have been teaching, that question never gets any easier.  I cringe when I recall my very first day of …

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Girl Reading a Book Outside

Summer Olympics: Keeping Students Engaged in the Waning Days of School

I hadn’t stopped speaking before the glares began. Angry face after angry face greeted my words.   I was thrilled.  Why was I so happy that my students were so angry? Because it was the last class of the last Friday before finals week began. Schoolwide, students were disengaged. If they even bothered to …

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Treasure Box with Stop Watch

Encapsulate Your Learning: Time Capsules in the ELA Classroom

In December 2021, historians in Richmond, Virginia, uncovered not one, but two, time capsules that had been embedded in the base of a Confederate statue. The country watched with anticipation, eager for the chests to give up their secrets.  It seems no matter how old we are, time capsules never …

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hello summer banner

Writing into Summer: End-of-Year Menu Boards

This time of year, it seems one question is at the forefront of everyone’s mind: What are we going to do with our students after “the test?” Whether “the test” is an AP Exam or your state’s high-stakes standardized assessment, testing season is in full-force around the country and teachers …

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Fun & Functional: Developing Learning Activities That are Both Meaningful and Engaging

Fun and Functional Like many educators, I strive to develop learning activities that are both meaningful and engaging. No matter how important an instructional task may be, the truth is that many students will simply refuse to complete an activity if they find it “boring.” And if they don’t complete …

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Strong Writers Make Strong Readers

One of the central premises of the upcoming Writing Wednesday series is that by engaging students in meaningful creative writing tasks, we can improve not only their writing fluency, but their reading fluency as well. And by reading fluency, here I mean their ability to closely read and analyze a …

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Being Wrong in all the Right Ways

When I began my journey towards Writing Wednesdays, my educational goal seemed fairly simple: to develop a year’s worth of standards-aligned creative writing lessons that would challenge students to move beyond writing formulas in order to recognize the deliberation that goes into writing choices.  It became almost immediately obvious, however, …

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