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June 19, 2019
068: Confronting Teacher Exhaustion, with Angela Watson
Ready for an end to the teacher tired? The teacher guilt? The teacher busy? In this episode, I'm chatting with Angela Watson about her work helping teachers become more productive and purposeful in their choices. We're talking about her new book, Fewer Things, Better, and her course, The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.
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23 min
June 4, 2019
067: Look Forward to Teaching Vocabulary
Wish teaching vocabulary could be more creative and fulfilling? Try these ten strategies to make studying vocabulary more engaging and the words memorable. Find the show notes with all the links and images at www.nowsparkcreativity.com.
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21 min
May 21, 2019
066: Diversifying our Booklists: More Voices, More Stories, More Understanding
We need diverse books in our ELA classrooms. In this podcast episode and blog post, discover title ideas for diversifying your booklists in American Lit, British Lit, World Lit, and Independent Reading. It matters so much for our students to see their own stories reflected on the page! Please visit the show notes at www.nowsparkcreativity.com to find out how to participate in a new project connecting readers in classrooms around the world called The Modern Voices Project.
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18 min
May 8, 2019
065: Meaningful and Creative Final Exams
Want to finish off the year with as much meaning and creativity as you've brought to your curriculum all year long? If you can, skip the multiple choice and short answer and try a creative final exam. In this episode, you'll discover five great options.
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14 min
April 24, 2019
064: A Beginner's Guide to Writing Workshop
In this episode, discover how to structure a successful writing workshop, what a workshop mini lesson is, and how to trouble shoot common issues that come up. Learn with Amanda Werner, experienced workshop teacher and host of The Workshop Teacher podcast.
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30 min
April 10, 2019
063: Using Stations Creatively in ELA
Want to try out stations in your ELA classroom? Find out how to set them up for success and get inspiration for crafting your own as we walk through eight examples.
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24 min
March 27, 2019
062: When Students Choose their Own Assessments, with David Rickert
In this episode of The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, we're focusing in on student-choice assessment. By the end of the episode you'll know how to get students started in creating their own assessments, how to structure your class unit, how to grade this epic project, and a few tips and tricks to make it all go smoothly.
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28 min
March 11, 2019
061: Using Podcasts Successfully in ELA
Discover great podcasts to use in your ELA classroom, and get tips for how to use them successfully. Find out how to keep students focused as they listen and how to make it easy for them to access podcasts individually.
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23 min
February 28, 2019
060: Students won't read? Don't care? One Year to Change That
Students won't read? Don't care? In this podcast episode, discover one year's worth of strategies to help you defeat apathy and make connections, paving the way for students to develop their love of language so they can be successful students. You can't read every book out loud to them forever. Use blogs, podcasts, Ted Talks, spoken word poetry, independent reading and more to create a curriculum that will truly make a difference in their lives.
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20 min
February 17, 2019
059: Maybe Teaching doesn't have to be so Lonely
Though you're constantly surrounded by people, teaching can be lonely. This episode is all about finding ways to build positive personal and professional relationships with other teachers at your school and in your area.
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24 min
January 30, 2019
How to Match Student Readers with Books they'll Love
Your independent reading program will be most successful when you can help student readers find the books they'll truly love. Check out this episode for nine simple strategies to make it easy for you to match your students with the right books.
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21 min
January 15, 2019
057: Creative Tech Tools for ELA Teachers, with Jennifer Gonzalez
Want tech that unlocks student creativity instead of replacing what's already working? Join me as I chat with Jennifer Gonzalez, from Cult of Pedagogy, about her favorite creative tech tools and tech-based class projects for English teachers.
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32 min
January 3, 2019
056: The Dos and Don'ts of Donors Choose for Teachers
If you're spending too much of your salary to equip your (public school) classroom to meet your students' needs, find out how to leverage Donors Choose to get what you need. Follow these eight easy tips for Donors Choose success.
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23 min
December 18, 2018
055: Hyperdocs, Authentic Audience, and Screencastify with Kristy Louden
In this episode, I'm talking to Kristy from Louden Clear in Education  about using hyperdocs to teach writing more effectively, a speech project with a true authentic audience, and how to use Screencastify to save so much time.
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30 min
December 4, 2018
054: Engaging Students in December: Winter Holiday Activities for ELA
Sick of trying to compete with holiday madness in December? Stop trying! Bring the holidays in and enjoy teaching all your usual ELA skills in a new context. My favorite option? Gingerbread house short stories! Listen in for the details.
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17 min
November 20, 2018
053: How to Plan a Unit in 30 Minutes
If you're finding it a struggle to figure out how to plan your days, weeks, and units, this episode is here to help. Learn the simple three-step strategy I've always used to plan my ELA units and keep my teaching life organized.
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10 min
November 7, 2018
052: The Easy Guide to Blackout Poetry
If your students would rather eat a ghost chili than dive into poetry workshop, blackout poetry is your new best friend! In this episode, I'll teach you the simple steps you can use to guide them in creating stunning blackout poems.
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10 min
October 24, 2018
051: Mock Trials, E-mail Etiquette, and PAPA Squares with The Daring English Teacher
Learn about how to get started with mock trials, a funny way to teach your students to write a good e-mail, how to wrap up a unit with a board game final project and much more in today's jam-packed episode with Christina from The Daring English Teacher. Find the show notes at www.nowsparkcreativity.com.
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29 min
October 10, 2018
050: The Power of Imperfect Action
If you've ever felt like you just didn't have time to learn enough about something new you want to try in your classroom before rolling it out, this episode is for you. It's time to take action, even if it isn't perfect.
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18 min
September 26, 2018
049: Take Flight with Google Classroom, with Matt Miller
Google Classroom sounds great, but how does it work? In this episode of The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, learn how to leverage this platform to create more creative, more organized lessons, and to make your feedback process faster and more effective.
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45 min
September 19, 2018
048: Reading Program Accountability that doesn't Ruin Everything
Keeping students accountable to some expectations while helping them fall in love with reading is not easy! In this show, discover four creative ways to check in with your readers in a way that won't make you feel like the book police.
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14 min
September 6, 2018
047: The Power of the Writing Makerspace, with Angela Stockman
Guiding students in using maker elements to build their arguments and ideas leads to greater complexity in their thinking and writing. Find out how to get started in this conversation with Angela Stockman, author of Hack the Writing Workshop.
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32 min
August 23, 2018
046: Sketchnotes are Awesome, with Mike Rohde
In this episode, find out what sketchnotes are and why they matter to your classroom as I interview Mike Rohde, the creator of sketchnotes.
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39 min
August 16, 2018
045: Memes, Interactive Notebooks & YA with Tracee Orman
In this episode, I'm chatting with Tracee Orman about some of her favorite classroom strategies. Discover how to use memes to help your students connect to literature, when and why to use interactive notebooks, and the true power of YA fiction.
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25 min
August 9, 2018
044: 25 Creative Assessments for Any Novel
Looking for more creative assessment options at the end of your novel units? Discover twenty-five new ideas in this episode, plus the secret sauce to keep them meaningful in terms of analysis.
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17 min
July 25, 2018
043: Tips for New Teachers with Kristy Avis
In this episode I'm chatting with Kristy Avis, the blogger behind 2 Peas and a Dog and co-host of the 2ndary ELA Facebook Group and Twitter Chat. She's sharing ideas to help new teachers make their first year more positive, effective, and fulfilling.
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18 min
July 12, 2018
042: The Perfect Theater Project
Coming up with a great theater project is hard work. In this episode, I'll walk you through a few easy steps to split any play into key scenes and then have students perform them, in order, on the final day of your unit. You're going to love it!
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8 min
June 26, 2018
041: Teacher Mindset & Happiness with Angela Watson
If you're feeling overwhelmed in your teaching life, and you'd like help with how to adjust your mindset, routines and goals to feel happier in the profession, this interview with Angela Watson will help you find your way.
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28 min
June 14, 2018
040: Dream Classroom Elements
Planning the layout and components of your ELA classroom? Get ideas for what to put inside to make it a great space to work and learn, for you and your students.
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21 min
May 31, 2018
039: Using "The Ideal Week" to Cut Overwhelm
In this episode, I'll share a simple strategy that can help you prioritize what is most important to you and schedule your week so you don't always feel like you have a thousand different things you should be doing.
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10 min
May 17, 2018
038: 10 Ways to Fill a Hole in your Curriculum
Discover ten great options for that hole in your ELA curriculum, whether it's large or small. This is the perfect episode for you if you are writing a new course, restructuring a course, or looking to add a unit into a course you've already got.
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19 min
May 2, 2018
037: 5 Ways to Cut Stress at the End of the Year
Discover five simple strategies for ending the year with less stress and more creativity. In this episode, I'll share some small tweaks you can make so you head for summer feeling less exhausted and more fulfilled.
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14 min
April 19, 2018
036: Host a Successful Class Play
In this episode, Danielle from Nouvelle ELA, theater guru, shares her structure for a successful class play. Don't be intimidated! This awesomely engaging activity is more doable than you might think, and OH so much fun.
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23 min
April 5, 2018
Episode 035: Using Book Clubs Successfully
Join me as I talk to special guest Melissa Kruse of The Reading and Writing Haven about how to use book clubs to encourage choice reading with your students. Get the information you need to get started with a successful book club program right away.
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25 min
March 29, 2018
034: 4 Ways to Integrate STEM into ELA
In this episode, discover how you can bring STEM into your ELA class through creative novel projects, nonfiction articles that will peak student interest, starting an ELA makerspace, and helping students launch social media campaigns for change.
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12 min
March 15, 2018
033: Get Started with Genius Hour Now
In this episode, I'll give you the rundown on and the roadmap for an ELA genius hour. Find out how it fits the standards, how to structure it, how to grade it, and where you can find an amazing free resource set to get you started.
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22 min
March 2, 2018
032: Shakespeare Activities for Any Play
Teaching Shakespeare? Find six creative new ideas for writing and performance activities that will work for ANY Shakespeare play. Help students connect with the Bard.
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10 min
February 22, 2018
031: 3 Lessons You'll Love
Learn how to use murder mysteries, Ted Talks, and SNL clips in this episode with special guest Amanda from the "Engaging and Effective" blog. You'll love her fresh take on engaging students and helping them to buy in to your curriculum.
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24 min
February 16, 2018
030: The Simplest Method for One Pager Success
One-pagers combine visuals with text to make ideas come alive in students’ minds and memories. This episode is all about how to make this powerful activity successful, whether or not the majority of your students love art.
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6 min
February 13, 2018
029: A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Abroad
If you've ever considered teaching abroad, listen to this episode. I'm sharing my biggest takeaways from two years teaching overseas so you know how to get a job, what challenges you'll face, and what strategies will help you succeed.
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19 min
January 18, 2018
028: Creative Classroom Inroads with John Spencer
In this episode, my guest John Spencer shares strategies teachers can use to start moving in more creative classroom directions, even when feeling trapped in a system of mandates and test prep.
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26 min
January 11, 2018
027: Turn your Class into a Discussion Panel with Audience Tweeters
In this episode, Jenna Copper from Doc Cop Teaching and I dive into one of her most successful and engaging classroom strategies, a discussion format in which students rotate between the roles of discussion panelists and audience tweeters.
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24 min
January 5, 2018
026: My Teacher Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
In this episode, I take a look back over the various big and small picture mistakes I've made as a teacher, and give you a roadmap for how to avoid them.
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20 min
December 22, 2017
025: The Best of 2017 for ELA
In this episode, I take a look back over the trends, resources, and strategies that stood out to me as the most interesting during this year in ELA. Get inspired for 2018.
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20 min
December 15, 2017
024: A Beginner's Guide to Student Blogging
In this episode, I'll share five fabulous ways to empower your student writers through blogging. Getting the hang of blogger takes about ten minutes, and it is so worth your time! Find out what doors will open to you and your students once you do.
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20 min
December 5, 2017
023: Discussion Warm-Ups
In this episode, I'll share my top strategy for success with any discussion. Helping students to prepare with a fun, easy warm-up activity eliminates the awkward silence and empowers students to contribute easily. Get ready for engagement.
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16 min
November 28, 2017
022: 10 Books to Hook Readers
Brynn Allison of The Literary Maven shares her top ten current book recommendations to hook reluctant readers. Get ready to help your students fall in love with books.
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36 min
November 17, 2017
021: The Best Websites for ELA Teachers
In this episode, I'm sharing my favorite sites for free creative lesson plans and ideas for English teachers online. Get all the links from the show notes at www.nowsparkcreativity.com.
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15 min
November 6, 2017
020: Giving Students Authentic Audiences
In this episode, I'll share five strategies for amping up student engagement by giving them authentic audiences for their work.
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11 min
October 20, 2017
019: Getting OUT of the Classroom
In this episode I'll share strategies for taking a break from your classroom space and getting out into other school spaces. Spend a day trying one of these mini-field trips and see if you and your students don't both feel better.
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22 min
October 5, 2017
018: Save Grading Time, My Favorite System
In this episode, I'll share the system that allows me to skip repetitive comment writing by using a list of common errors with my students. You can find the show notes and a free download of my own list of common errors at www.nowsparkcreativity.com.
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11 min
September 20, 2017
017: ELA Escape Rooms
In this episode, I'll introduce you to the concept of escape rooms, an engaging teaching strategy rapidly growing in momentum across the country. Emily Aierstok, my first ever podcast guest, will share her experiences teaching with escape rooms in her New York classroom. The show notes this week are EXTENSIVE and include a fun giveaway, so be sure to head to www.nowsparkcreativity.com to find them.
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26 min
September 8, 2017
016: ELA Maker Spaces
In this episode I'll be sharing two ways you can try out ELA maker spaces in your classroom this year. They are creative, doable and inexpensive, and I think you're going to love them! Head to www.nowsparkcreativity.com to check out the show notes.
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17 min
August 27, 2017
015: Building Professional Community
Ever feel lonely at work, even though you're surrounded by people all the time? This episode is all about finding ways to build a support structure for yourself as a creative teacher.
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11 min
August 23, 2017
014: Creative Secondary Decor
A beautiful and inspiring work space isn't just for primary students. In this episode, I'll share ideas for age-appropriate creative decor for your high school classroom. Be sure to check out the show notes at www.nowsparkcreativity.com.
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11 min
August 16, 2017
013: Creative First Day Activities
Engage your students from the opening moment with these creative first day activities. No need to read that syllabus out loud! 
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13 min
August 10, 2017
012: Simple Systems for a Creative Classroom
In this episode, I'll share with you three simple systems you can put in place at the start of the year to make class easier and more creative all year long. 
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12 min
July 28, 2017
011: Classroom Mini-Flips
In this episode, I'll share five ways to dip your toes in the classroom flipping ocean. There's no need to abandon your entire curriculum to experiment with this intriguing new trend.
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10 min
July 13, 2017
010: Creative Assessment
In this episode, I'll share why I believe in creative forms of assessment and share more than a dozen examples you can start using tomorrow in your ELA classroom. 
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20 min
June 29, 2017
009: Show your Administration your Strengths
In this show, I'll share seven strategies for showing your administration your creative strengths as a teacher.
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11 min
June 16, 2017
008: Harkness Discussions
In this episode, I explain how to use the Harkness method of discussions to help students understand how to share a rich discussion and navigate group dynamics more effectively for the rest of their lives.
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22 min
June 7, 2017
007: Poetry Slam
In this episode I'm sharing four easy steps to launch your own class poetry slam. It's a highly engaging unit that will help your English students fall in love with poetry. 
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11 min
June 3, 2017
006: Creative Professional Development
In this episode, I share ten ideas for creative professional development besides attending a conference to learn from others.
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11 min
May 28, 2017
005: Teacher Collaborations
In this episode, I share four tips for engaging in a successful collaboration and give you five ideas for a shared project. You can look for a collaboration partner inside our free Facebook group, linked in the show notes at nowsparkcreativity.com.
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19 min
May 18, 2017
004: Using Theater in the ELA Classroom
In this episode, I go over some ideas for getting students engaged through theater and performance activities in class. 
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15 min
May 17, 2017
003: Creating a Free Choice Reading Program
In this episode, I explain how to create a free choice reading program for your ELA students to complement your main curriculum, and give you six fun ways to spark student engagement with it. 
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19 min
May 17, 2017
002: Three Easy Strategies for Differentiation
In this episode, I explain three easy ways to use differentiation to let students play to their strengths in the classroom.
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14 min
May 17, 2017
001: Using Showcase Projects to Increase Student Engagement
In this episode, I'll explain how I use showcase projects to light up my teaching units and increase student engagement.
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18 min
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