Jasper Roberts - Blog

The Road Back...

I'm attempting to get back into blogging again, now that I have my little cutie on somewhat of a schedule, and can usually find an hour in the day to sit down with my laptop. Who knew taking the laptop out would become such a luxury once a kiddo comes around?

So what's new? Not much, which is why I haven't been blogging. I settled into a routine this year that works, and with maternity leave sneaking up on me two weeks early, I kind of left everything, and didn't think about school once she got here. I never thought I'd be like that, but it really does change everything...

Since it's still January, I figured I'd start off today with some things I want to continue with my teaching, and some goals for when I get back in April. Yes, I'm staying home till April, which is amazing, and also requires some very strategic budgeting on our end, but I know it'll be worth it!

Things that work:

Grammar Invitations- Without a doubt, this strategy has been absolutely amazing for teaching grammar to students in an authentic way. Also, writing small assignments and then having choice for a larger piece is great for my students!

Which leads me to Writer's Workshop- Hands down, the best time saver and effective use of instruction and discussion I've done in my classroom. I love the feedback students give each other, and I've only had a few students not turn in a paper, which is a win on its own!

Google Docs- Students this year were all given google accounts at our school, and having all papers digital makes it easy for me to track progress, give comments, print for workshop, and note revisions! I also have students color code their grammar invitation sentences, which makes it easy to grade!

Classroom Management Strategies: I started using a paper gradebook in my EC Planner again this year, in addition to our online gradebook, because we switched to a new system (Schoology) that was a little glitchy at first. This, along with my No Assignment Forms, were a lifesaver when assignments didn't save! My While You Were Out spiral has also been great, especially for students with a lot of absences!

Things I want to try or transition:

1. Interactive Notebooks. I love them, I do... but I'm tired of justifying the amount of time spent putting pages in. It's worth it for students to always have everything, but I'm craving to have them be digital and go paperless. I want to find a balance for both, so this is something I'm currently working on!

2. Incorporating skills more with novel studies. Novel studies have been demonized a bit with common core, but I really feel they are valuable for teaching the CC skills. How can I justify using novels all year to teach skills, along with relevant nonfiction and fiction articles and stories? 

3. Advocating for change. I really want to see some changes in education, and I want to jump away from being a bystander to helping develop change in education. 

4. Streamlining materials in my classroom. I LOVE organizing, and I'm again on the hunt to re-evaluate how my classroom runs in a functional sense. I actually may survey my students on how my room layout is or is not meeting their needs.

5. Finally- providing valuable content to people who read this or follow me! 
  • What do you want to see more of regarding middle school language arts? 
    • Content/Lesson Plans, Classroom Management, Organization, Technology?
  • How do you want to get it? 
    • Blogging? Instagram? FB? Twitter? Periscope? 
  • What works for you?
Since my time is a little more limited, I want to make sure I reach the majority of you where it is easy and convenient. :) What are you working on for the new year/semester? I want to know, so comment here or on facebook!


  1. Yay, thanks for posting! You are one of my favorite bloggers! I'm also currently struggling with the ISN conundrum this year. This year our school started block scheduling, which ironically cut our ELA instruction pretty much in half! Thus, I have the same feelings as you about justifying the time spent on these note books. I'm continuing to do so this year, as it is the way we started. AND I really can't go 100 percent paperless, because we are nowhere near being a 1:1 school.

    Sorry for rambling! In any case, I'd love to see what you come up with or even just read more of your thoughts on this topic!

  2. It's great to see that you're finding time to write again, even with a little one in tow. Your goals for teaching and your classroom management strategies sound fantastic. It's great to see that you've found strategies that work for you and your students, like grammar invitations and writer's workshop i hope you're also good in care certificate standard 3 answers providing. Your plan to incorporate skills more with novel studies and advocating for change in education are admirable. It's always great to see teachers who are passionate about their profession and want to make a difference. I look forward to reading more about your journey and hope that you continue to find success in the classroom. Good luck with all your goals!

  3. we are going to the seminar and my friend asked a question: Explain the meaning of the word confidentiality, our teacher explained it clearly, and now he is comfortable with the topic of confidentiality terms.

  4. I empathize with the challenges of juggling blogging and teaching, especially with a little one. As someone engaged in Health & Social Care assignment, I'm intrigued by your effective use of digital tools like Google Docs for tracking progress and giving feedback.


Thanks for stopping by! JW