Why I Use CodeHS in My Classroom


From Silicon Valley to Washington, DC, it has become clear that our country is not providing enough opportunities for children to access high quality computer science education. Only 1 in 4 high schools offer any form of computer science; these lack of opportunities are especially prevalent in our neediest schools.

This year I started a computer science program at my school, where the student population is 92% Black and 7% Latino with over a third our community living 200% below the poverty line. I now teach an elective coding course and AP Computer Science.

5 Resources to Encourage Your Students to Pursue Higher Education

5 Resources to Encourage Your Students to Pursue Higher Education

Today is College Signing Day, the day we celebrate high school seniors across the country who have chosen to take control of their future and commit to higher education.

College Signing Day is a now an annual tradition thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative. So how can you encourage your students to reach higher? Here are five resources you can use to support your students as they take charge of their future and pursue their education.

  1. American College Application Campaign

How to Analyze a Poem in 6 Steps

How to analyze a poem in 6 steps

Happy last week of National Poetry Month! We’re kicking things off this Monday with a few tips for helping your students unpack all that poetry has to offer. Check out these six ways to analyze a poem.

Step One: Read

Have your students read the poem once to themselves and then aloud, all the way through, at LEAST twice. Feel free to play a recording of the poem or show a video of someone reading the poem, too.

6 Ways to Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poem in Your Pocket Day

As your students’ pockets are lined with their favorite poems in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day, you may be wondering how to put these pocket poems to good use. Here are six creative ways to celebrate this special day that will guarantee National Poetry Month becomes your students’ favorite month of the year.

  1. Organize a “Poems for Pockets” giveaway

4 Easy Poetry Exercises for Your Classroom

4 easy poetry exercises for the classroom

A blank sheet of paper can create a tremendous amount of pressure for even the most seasoned poet. So if your class is having trouble crafting their own poems in honor of National Poetry Month, don’t fret—these easy poetry exercises are sure to get the prose flowing.

1. Mad Libs

Mad libs are a humorous way to engage students and make poetry a little more approachable.  All you have to do is take a famous prose poem and replace each noun and adjective with a blank space. Have your students fill in the spaces with either their own nouns and adjectives, or provide a word bank for them to choose from.

6 Ways Math Teachers Can Answer the Question: “Why Do I Need to Learn This?”

Happy Math Awareness Month! Chances are if you’re a math teacher, you’re probably used to being asked something along the lines of, “why is this important?” or “why do I need to know how to do algebra?”  In our world of standards and tests, I think it is important that we remind ourselves just why we spend so much time learning math, and why we’ve changed the way kids are learning the subject.

1. Math is the great connector in our increasingly global world.

Math is the great connector!

9 Online Poetry Resources for Teachers

9 Online Poetry Resources for Teachers

In celebration of National Poetry Month, here are some of our favorite (free!) online spots where teachers can find what they need to inspire young minds.


If you’re a primary and secondary teacher looking to bring poems to your classroom, Poets.org is the perfect spot. The site features a great selection of lessons plans that align with Common Core State Standards.

What’s to Love

Teach This Poem: A series featuring a poem a week from their famous online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help K-12.

How to Use Behavior Narration in the Classroom

How to Use Behavior Narration in the Classroom

Behavior narration has always been one of my favorite classroom management strategies because it positively points out those students who are meeting expectations, instead of leaning towards our reflex to call out the students who are not meeting the expectations.

When I first started teaching, I applied behavior narration to my 3rd grade math classroom. I would first give clear and specific instructions and follow up with behavior narration. Without fail, it worked flawlessly.

In the video below I show you how use behavior narration to get 100% of your students on task and follow your instructions the first time.