Valentine's Day Blog Hop 2015

Valentine’s Day has always been a fun holiday for me… It started when I was a kid, and probably had something to do with my birthday following close behind, but for whatever reason, I’ve always loved the red and pink cuteness of it all.  The first Valentine’s Day I can remember must have been when I was five, and my mom had ordered chocolate checks for my day, my brother, and me, each check with our names inscribed in the chocolate with hugs and kisses as the payment. She had the three checks sitting on the dining table with balloons, heart sugar cookies, and stuffed animals, and I can still remember thinking that a holiday about love has got to be the best ever!  So with keeping with the love theme, I decided to join the Secondary Valentine’s Blog Hop with Lauralee Moss, Julie Faulkner, and Brynn Allison

This year I’m marking my 15th year as a teacher.  As with any profession, there are ups and downs, trials and tribulations, cherries and pits.  But, for certain, there is something about teaching that no matter what, keeps me coming back for more.  The kids!  Teaching high school is not always easy.  Students are going through tremendous growth and change, figuring out who they are and where they fit into the world. They start as new teenagers and exit as adults.  But along the way, they come to school looking to be accepted, challenged, trusted, respected, and loved.  When my students enter my class, I want them to know that I see them for who they are as well as who they are trying to be.  I make the effort to connect with them and let them know I care, and as a result, I get students who are truly willing to work for me.  They know that I believe in them and care about their success, and that makes them loyal and willing to put in the work, that they otherwise might not care to.  And that is what keeps me coming back year after year.

One thing that I like to do to connect with my students is to approach literature with music.  Students love music and they enjoy making the connections between parts of a novel or poem and the lyrics to a song.  When I teach The Odyssey to my freshmen, I wrap up the unit with an allusion in song lyrics project.  I use songs by theme when I teach The Catcher in the Rye to my juniors.  And I also use songs in class to teach about Veteran’s Day or celebrate Valentine’s Day, all while sticking to the standards.  Kids immediately buy in, and I get more bang for my buck.  These projects are all available in my TPT store.

Finally, as an English teacher, I love to read.  I love mystery, romance, true crime, historical fiction, just about anything I can get my hands on.  But I also love reading young adult literature.  I’m a big believer in independent reading for students and my class library is bursting at the seams (in fact, I need to purchase another shelf to hold all the books that I can’t hold).  So, to wrap up this love themed blog hop, I want to share the books that my students are loving right now:


Hope you have a Lovely week!


  1. I love your idea of finding music to match what you are teaching! Now if you have any ideas for essay writing, please let me know! :)

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

  2. Thanks for sharing the titles--I'm always looking for more!

  3. I agree with Jackie - I'm going to look into those titles!
    - Julie

  4. Love the way your passion for literature pops out here! Thanks for sharing that priceless gift with so many! Ellen

  5. Melissa,
    Your products that connect music with ELA skills are awesome. Adding several of your suggestions to my reading list. I am a YA literature junkie too.
    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven

  6. Melissa,
    I love your book choices! I've read "If I Stay" and found it mesmerizing. The sequel, "Where She Went," is on my Kindle Sample shelf as a Must Read. Your, "I Facilitate Thinking" chart is awesome!

    Happy Teaching,


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