Hello, teaching friends...sometimes we educators are simply swallowed by a tsunami of deadlines.  In March, it was the end of our grading period, I was enrolled in a two-credit night class,  and our students all presented their final projects (in the evening to panels of community judges), and those three things stole every free moment that I had to work on any of my websites.

So...I was and am behind; however, I have no grading to do this weekend, and I am catching up starting with this post!

Here are the last three weeks' worth of "winning" metaphors that my students submitted into my classroom's "Metaphor of the Week" contest.  My students write them and submit them, we choose a winner, and then my great student aide (Matt) illustrates them.  It's turned into a fine process and is a new way to offer legitimate extra credit points to students who are taking ideas we've discussed to an extra place.  I have a lot of students writing about the weekly metaphors in their writer's notebooks, I have also noticed.

So three weeks ago, the "Metaphor of the Week" prize went to seventh grader Ian.  I pointed out to the class that this really wasn't a a true metaphor, but I liked the statement's positive sentiment, and I like the implied metaphor about life having storms that we weather.  Thanks to Ian; I hope he inspires some of our kids to head out into the spring rains in April and dance their hearts out!

Two weeks ago, another seventh grade boy--Jared--submitted the following metaphor, which I felt was an appropriate one to end our unit on Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

And finally, last week, Nate became my first sixth grader to submit a "winning" metaphor to this classroom process.  Although it's supposed to be "Mr. Stick's Metaphor of the Week," I allowed Matt (my aide) to go a little-less-stick and more-Seuss-ian with the accompanying drawing.  If that unique creature doesn't remind you of a Star-belly Sneetch, then you obviously don't know that book!

After this week, we have our Spring Break.  I have a challenge on my Edmodo classroom site right now to create a spring-themed metaphor for this upcoming week.  I am betting that the next metaphor I'll be posting will be somehow spring-inspired.

Expect more posts this weekend!  I have a lot of student samples "back-logged" and two new lessons to post.


A great lesson is never truly finished.  As with a piece of writing, revision can always improve something--even if it's a pretty good lesson.  I learned that this last month.

I have taken one of my favorite lessons--Extended Metaphors Across the Curriculum--and added some new elements to it, which made my teaching of it better this last month.

One major change I made was that I taught a good friend's lesson (Holly Esposito) the week before I began my writer's notebook lesson.  Her "Four Metaphor Poetry Lesson" (with its use of Mem Fox's Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge) set my kids' brain in the right direction to do so much better with their notebook's metaphors.  This was the best set of metaphors I have ever received in my students' notebooks.  I totally appreciate Holly's lesson as a means of priming my kids' thinking, and I will always use her lesson the week before I introduce the lesson in the future.

I invite you to check out the new version of my Extended Metaphors Across the Curriculum lesson, which features new images of my students' notebooks after these changes.

Always remember...a good lesson (like a good piece of writing) can become better with a thoughtful revision.

We're finishing Flowers for Algernon this week, and my seventh graders will begin working on projects that explore this book's themes.  Two weeks ago, we had a metaphor about knowledge, then a metaphor about ignorance, then a metaphor about confusion.  I am hoping these three metaphors help my seventh graders arrive at some interesting discussion points that will lead to some discoveries of interesting themes about Charley Gordon.

Anyway....on her seventh grader--Wonje--had her metaphor chosen as the "Mr. Stick Metaphor of the Week" last Friday.  I finally had a chance to post it today.  Enjoy!

Good work (as usual), Wonje!