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The Angry Teacher

Surprise, celebration and happiness for teachers, parents and guardians as we step into FEBRUARY! IT’S TIME FOR FREE STUFF!

Hey Angry Teacher Fam,

As we come to the end of FEBRUARY the month of BLACK HEROES and LOVE, it is now the month of THE ANGRY TEACHER STORE FREEBIES! PICK UP A FREEBIE [OR MORE] TODAY!

I know times are rough for teachers and parents or guardians everywhere, so I wanted to remind each of you that you can still educate and reach your little student in our uncertain society; I’m looking out for you!

Here are some FREE Products and Teaching tools to use all this month. You are appreciated! (**Also don’t forget the value of my Youtube channel tips, tricks, entertainment, and ideas for you, your little student, and your classroom; I really want to see you thrive!)



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education, Positive TidBits


Surprise, celebration and happiness for teachers, parents and guardians as we step into FEBRUARY! IT’S TIME FOR FREE STUFF!

Hey Angry Teacher Fam,

As we come to the end of FEBRUARY the month of BLACK HEROES and LOVE, it is now the month of THE ANGRY TEACHER STORE FREEBIES! PICK UP A FREEBIE [OR MORE] TODAY!

I know times are rough for teachers and parents or guardians everywhere, so I wanted to remind each of you that you can still educate and reach your little student in our uncertain society; I’m looking out for you!

Here are some FREE Products and Teaching tools to use all this month. You are appreciated! (**Also don’t forget the value of my Youtube channel tips, tricks, entertainment, and ideas for you, your little student, and your classroom; I really want to see you thrive!)


I’m glad you were able to find something that you deserve! You need to be celebrated as you teach and reach young minds. This may not be a whole lot, but it’s something I felt I had to bring to your attention; we are all in this together!

Enjoy, Angry Teacher Family!



So this happened recently. I created a product based on something I’ve used in my classes for years.

My students and I discuss literature through literary devices and figurative language as any English or Literature class. We would play games, work assignments, complete worksheets, and engage in heated discussions on why an author used a particular devices versus another; it is always a fun time!

Students working on Literary Devices and Figurative Language

So this product [LITERARY DEVICES FLASH & TASK CARDS [SERIES#1] was created way back in the when I started my The-Angry-Teacher-Store, so it is a product that helped to start the store and my business career. (Oh, you see what I did with the name of this blog and the title of the product?) CRAZY PUNNY!

Can you imagine how flattered I was when someone purchased a copy last week? Yes, now I was nervous, so I checked to see if the product was good enough to be bought, since at the time it was made, I had no idea what I was doing. 🙂

I opened that old product up and WHALA! IT’S AMAZING!

300+ SLIDES, OVER 50 Literary devices and figurative language, each has a definition, black and white and numbered versions, with 1 to 2 activities/questions each (so that’s a ton and hours of academic interactions with your students. I mean, seriously, when my customer bought this awesome product, I was beside myself with glee – giddy as I could be.

Oh, and I forgot, it’s alphabetized for ease of navigation and it even has SUGGESTED USES – Ideas for how to use this massive tool every English classroom should have!

I mean…this is just fantastic stuff! Pick yours up today!

Check it out!



So we’re coming to the beginning of the school year…again…*sadface…and I realize that I need to get some stuff together to make my year seamless.

With that said, I was pondering what things I could amp up for the new year. I rummaged through my lesson plan binder from previous years (yes, I still keep them.; at least 2 years back), looked through my literary texts, even pawed through my bookbag.

And, I just put everything back because since I don’t start my full “Summer Prep for Back-to-School” for another few weeks, I didn’t feel like doing anything until I saw one of my students End-of-Year note to me and he missed used and misspelt a word.

And then it came to me! Amp up your vocabulary lessons!

I did a little self-reflection on what I’ve used in the past and researched some new stuff, and so here are 6 quick Strategies to help you (and me) with our vocabulary lessons next year.

Imagine how much fun getting your students involved in class, while learning vocabulary would be.

Yes, it’s a cliché, but it actually works. When students sing, rap, perform the words, they seem to retain it. They get really into it and once I remember a student brought his own soundtrack to rap to. Then, of course, the rest of the class borrowed his track, and ALL the songs…like ALL the remaining performances of the class period sounded the same. 😊

In any case, I also have them use it in their original poetry. After I’ve gone over a specific type of poem, I have them mimic the poet, but their original work MUST include at least 2 vocabulary words. I trips them up, but they usually produce some great authentic poetry.


Giving Students choice over their Vocabulary Acquisition does wonders for their self-esteem.

Success! You're on the list.

It’s safe to say that education experts recommend WORD WALLS. You know, the wall in the back or front of the room that after Christmas no one remembers is there, or the one that never gets updated? I have no problem with these. However, I believe those walls limit how many words students will know for the year (or whatever the allotted time).

They are prescribed words, most times, that come from the readings or lessons. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but students also DON’T know some of the words that DIDN’T make the words wall.

Have them keep their own running tally of words they DON’T know. Have them even turn it in for extra credit or something at the end of each semester or grading period.


These cards are so dynamic. Teachers can get so many activities out of them.

Anyone who knows my class, knows I sing the praises of MY VOCABULARY CARDS all the time. I mean, I just think it’s the most exciting and original idea ever. http://tinyurl.com/MIDDLE-SCHOOL-VOCAB-LIST-UNIT


[Check out the link to see what they are and how they work].

These VOCABULARY CARDS allow students to cover several words from their list without feeling like it’s a vocabulary assignment. They interact with one word several times and so it begins to stick.

Any content area can use these and any grade level, and part of the lesson works well also.

I use mine for Bell Ringers or Class Openers. My students know when they come in the room, these cards will be in the front waiting. They grab a card from the bag, and get to work without my even saying anything. That would be the first time that they interact with vocabulary for the day; other activities will be infused as the day progresses. Trust me it works!


Happy kids at elementary school; happy about using Vocabulary words.

Mandate it! Make students use it. I put it as a part of my instruction for some activities. “Hey, we’re discussing this play, but while I’m walking around to hear your discussions, I need to hear you use at least one vocabulary each time.”

In the beginning of the year, they sigh and carry on and think that it’s too much.  Yet, as the year progresses, they see that it is not asking too much at all. The words start flowing off their tongues…not really…but at least they become more familiar with the words – pronunciation and usage. 😊

As a teacher or instructor, when I am aware of it, I make certain to use the words when I speak with students. It makes the words real-life applicable and current. They realize how words work right in front of them.


Applying the words in context and usage is key!

Just as we had students use their vocabulary words IN THEIR CONVERSATIONS and DISCUSSIONS, we can mandate that they use the words in their writing.

This allow more thoughtful, critical writing, as students will slow down and figure out if a word belongs in a sentence. With that said, does it matter if the students use the words incorrectly? No. Not at all. That’s why we’re there to correct them, or they’ll start figuring out how to use it eventually.

These activities are not to be used once. They are ongoing streams of ideas and active learning that students NEED to navigate words and vocabulary.


So many skills are learned from anything students have to check off or keep track of.

Now, here is where more modern and hip language teachers will come at me; this way of teaching is taboo. However, I beg to differ.

Giving students official lists gives them guidance and awareness of the words we need to cover for this period of time. They will understand the context as we can all refer to a specific list and locate a wrd.

Why not just use word walls, you ask? Well, for younger students, that might work well. For older students, I believe they should be able to walk around with a list of words to refer to.

I give a list of 20+ words every 2 – 3 weeks. These students interact with this list constantly. From their writing to their discussions, to their projects, students start becoming aware of parts of speech, intonation, pronunciation, context, etc. It helps them understand how words work.

Now, do I expect them to know EVERY LAST word on the list? Heck no! I expect them to become familiar with them. To recognize them in other spaces.

Also, even though we could make them use the dictionaries to find the words and write the definitions down, I do the leg work for them. My lists have the parts of speech and the definitions.

So students are equipped to use the words and the lists are given.

              Wow…Guess what?

 As I am writing this blog, I received a review from one of the products in my store.


Stefanie K.***** Extremely satisfied. My students enjoyed.  Relevant and Rigorous that kept my students attention.  Thank you!”

That really warms my heart, as I’ve used these techniques for years. Now others are seeing the great ways we can lead our students to use and understand vocabulary. Now, teaching it won’t be a drag nor does it have to be taught in isolation.

Can’t wait to hear the stories, Angry Teachers. Let’s give em hell this year!


New Year Resolutions Classroom Activities

So we’re back at it, educators! The snow has lost its luster, the Figgie pudding is back in the freezer for next year, the gift wrap paper is stored away again, and the gifts have been return – yes, we are now getting back into work mode.

I sit and look through my window, just before planning for my dreaded return to work and a new grading period, “What do I teach?” “Where did we leave off?” “Did I return all me emails?” “What New Year Resolutions can I come up with for me and my students?” “what new year class activities can I use?”

So many questions, so little time left in my holiday break.

With that said, during this new year return to work, I think of the things I need my students to know, along with the content I’m supposed to cover. We only have a short time left (with testing and events) that we interact with our students.

This time of year is weird, as I teach seniors of different levels and one sophomore class. I know I have to cover the timeline of literature like the Romantics and Victorians all the way through Modernism, but I also have to cover a whole lot of real-life tasks like writing college essays, writing research papers, completing applications, writing and sending letters (including emails), getting students to remember how to write journals, etc.

So I start the year off with students revisiting their goal-setting that they did in the beginning of the year, and we work towards students completing these goals. We revisit what success looks like and how they can make sure that for the rest of the year and beyond, they are successful.

As my students work through these soft skills, we work on some content and some real-life tasks that enable them to survive beyond high school. As I mentioned before, I teach Seniors (for the most part), and high school will end real soon.

Here are some of the things I use with my students at the beginning of their new year:

I mix and match and get students to feel like they have something to do (because they do), but it also gives them a fun way to share their academics with their excitement for the last part of the year.

Try some of these out and let me know.

What do you do in the beginning of a new calendar year with your students?



So I was shopping in Walmart the other day and it happened!

Yes, the holiday displays and the Christmas music heralded throughout the store. I gasped!

I mean we haven’t even cleared Veteran’s Day or Thanksgiving yet.

In any case, I realized that I should be pleasantly surprised instead of flustered because Christmas is my favorite time of year! No, it’s not just because teachers get 2 weeks off (I mean there is that), but people move differently; they act…well…with civility.

So back to Walmart. I’m walking through picking up regular non-holiday groceries when one of my favorite holidays songs came belting through the store. Yessir, Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You!” (Don’t judge me!)

So I’m pushing my cart and humming, every now and then nodding my head from side to side. I even had passers-by smiling, and sharing knowing nods, as this was their favorite too. Some of my aisle-mates’ kids looked embarrassed as their parents hummed and hawed through the store.

That’s when I realized that some students have no idea how to discuss and analyze music, much less, Christmas or holiday tunes. We have a generation of students who do not understand the Christmas songs they hear once a year because we never give them an opportunity to hash out and analyze these songs.

Especially this year, I would love for students to feel the same joy I feel during this season; they need an emotional picker upper.

If you think students need to get in the spirit of Christmas, like I do, check out this product I developed. It’ll allow students to breakdown songs they’ve heard before and now will be able to impress their nodding and humming parents. Hey, they might even add new songs to their repertoire.

Check it out!


Some of my annual holiday songs include:

Toni Braxton’s “Santa Please” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwYCIeZy9Bs

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” https://youtu.be/aAkMkVFwAoo

Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” https://youtu.be/AN_R4pR1hck

Kenny G’s “Greatest Holiday Classics” https://youtu.be/49GhF-cboqk

Various Artists “The Real Meaning of Christmas” VOL1. https://youtu.be/0j7rGCgGnsk

Tamar’s “Sleigh Ride” https://youtu.be/KlOQp4LTXwA

Amy Grant’s “My Grown-Up Christmas List” https://youtu.be/RmF2rsDHOZc

Bing Crosby’s “It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas” https://youtu.be/z3vMisNaqd8

Salsoul Orchestra’s “Christmas Medley” https://youtu.be/rkIZ3HkomTk

Bebe & Cece Winans’ “Jingle Bells” https://youtu.be/-PISnJldG3g

Luther Vandross’ “This is Christmas” https://youtu.be/trFv63cMk4M

Cece Winans’ “Christmas Album” https://youtu.be/en2x-WKFMB0

                  And there are so many more! I TOLD YOU I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!

Until we talk again, have a wonderful holiday season! If you do or don’t celebrate it, know that you deserve some rest, festivities, and time to reflect!

Wherever you are around the world, Happy Holidays!

Diverse group of people taking pictures with christmas tree, celebrating festive season with holiday decorations in business office. Colleagues taking photos with seasonal xmas ornaments.
education, Positive TidBits

La Vida Loca: Celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month

Hispanic heritage month is here and in my classroom!

So I was reading a poem with my students about a poet’s crazy aunt – how she did her own thing, how she didn’t let others’ opinions of her stop her from being herself, how the speaker didn’t like her at first, but changed his perspective of his zany aunt, and that’s when our class discussions got really crazy!

Some of the things we hear as teachers are CRAZY!

As you know with kids, there is no or not much of a filter. Kids started telling me some crazy stuff about their families and, specifically, their aunties. Yikes!

“It’s true, Mr. Williams. My auntie Celia walks around in a bathing suit 24/7.” “My aunt believes she’s still in the 50s. I mean really.” “Mr. Williams, my aunt don’t talk to my family no more over a chicken bone. Nobody wants to tell me the story.” “Mr. Williams, my auntie in jail. She was doing fraud.” “Mister, my auntie makes the best sweet potato Pies ever.” “I have an aunt who still treats me like I’m 5. She still pinches my cheeks. I’m like lady…if you don’t…then my dad would gimme that look.” “Mr. Williams, remember my auntie who came to Open House? She want your number.”

These were actual words from my students once we read Luis Rodriguez’ “Tia Chucha.” My 11th Graders eat it up every year. I’m telling you; every year, I get nervous, but downlow excited about teaching this poem, as our discussion lead us down this crazy, loopy rabbit-hole of funny conversations.

This just makes me proud to be able to teach something with such great soul and richness. Rodriguez allows his readers (my students) to recount their times with their aunts and families, or to revisit their heritage, not matter where they’re from, or at least learn about others’ families and cultures. I make sure the conversations are safe, respectful, and healthy.

Group of diverse friends taking a selfie because that’s what our world needs.

Teaching these rich pieces excites me because students get to talk about what they’re experts in in – themselves and their families.

I wholeheartedly support any month that positively celebrates another culture or heritage without putting another one down or disparaging any because that’s what the world needs, understanding and acceptance, right now.

From September 15 – October 15, I try to include as many of these works with my students as possible, and you know what? I even sprinkle them in during the rest of the year as well, regardless of what the curriculum asks for.

As citizens of the world, I believe students need to know about each other, where they come from, where they’re going, and more importantly about themselves.

Here are some of the works that get me to accomplish the above goals per year.

education, Positive TidBits


So I was walking into a store and a young man held the door for me. “Thank you, sir” I said, as I walked in.

I was left a few minutes on the dryer at the laundromat the other day. “Thank you so much,” I told the lady who offered me her unused minutes in the dryer.

As I was allowed in the left lane infront of another driver, I put my hand outside the window and put a THUMBS UP for him to know I appreciated him.

Happy excited thankful guy. Joyful young man raising arms and looking up. Praying and success concept

I never realized how grateful I am.

I guess growing up and instructed to be kind, cordial, and grateful was just expected. After coming from little to nothing, I understand what it’s like to show respect to the universe when something is given to you, even if it is just a gesture or a few minutes in a dryer.

I am always grateful for life, love, and family that I whisper a prayer every morning

I am always grateful for life, love, and family that I whisper a prayer every morning when I go to the gym. I’m grateful for being able to go to the gym, my family, my job, my students, my pets, the weather, my truck, the stray animals that made it another day, my breakfast, the homeless man who found something to eat, my friends, my life, in general. Why?

Because others may not have it, may not get up, may not be able to drive, find food, feed their pets…there are so many without; I never want to forget that. So my “Thank You’s” are genuine. Coming from a real place of appreciation because you never had to do anything for me.

With that said, even sometimes when people try to intimidate or hurt you and you survive it. Be grateful for that too. I remember reading Langston Hughes’ “Thank You, Ma’am” when the teenaged boy named Roger got beatdown by Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.


Yes, buddy got his butt whopped, a beatdown, on the sidewalk, in public! It was awesome! Lol…but I digress.

But, after that incident, when Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones took him in and fed him. When he left that night he said “Thank you, ma’am.” He could have been in his feelings and hated the woman and not realize that he’d learned a lot about life and himself that day, but Roger realized he was taught life lessons through his seeming adversary.

So I want to thank those who tried to hurt me and my feelings or tried to stand in my way of personal, social, financial, or professional success because you’ve made me stronger and you’ve taught me about myself and life.

So “Thank You, sir.” “Thank you, buddy.” “Thank YoU, Ma’am.”

Be grateful over a few things. Be grateful over the little things.

Be grateful always.

Success! You're on the list.


[new students in high school]


Yes, Indeed! August is around the corner and schools everywhere (well, away from those districts that open after Labor Day in the USA), will be teeming with eager minds, flustered spirits, nervous laughter, gracious smiles, and roving hearts.

Students will flock back to the buildings they left a couple of months ago for the summer; now, they’ll be converging on the steps of school buildings everywhere, unless they’re new to the building…Like FRESHMEN.

These fresh new eyes, hearts, and minds will be nervously and excitedly exploring campuses and searching for their classes and themselves on a high school campus as the newbies. The little fish in a big pond.

Nervous Freshman student

Some will fit in right away, some will lose their middle school persona and others will remain how they were in middle school.

Regardless of how they come into their freshman year, their teachers must help them navigate it.

One of my girls tagged me in a Facebook post last week about a project I gave her when she was in high school (she has now graduated from college for about 11 years now); she claims this project is what helped her define who she is and what she wanted to accomplish – she thanked me for the project.

Stories, students, and wanting my freshman class to survive high school prompted me to develop this project that I gave to my Freshman Seminar or Freshman Experience classes – https://tinyurl.com/freshman-seminar.


I tried to have students [my little people, as I affectionately called them] be able to navigate high school from a fledgling point of view from their new attitudes towards school, grade point averages, friendships, sports, clubs, teachers, assignments, conflict, home life, and more. Because, let’s face it, First Year for students can be hard.

They must navigate a new building, new resources, new friendships, new schedules, new distances, new dynamics, new classes, and new feelings and emotions as well. Really tough stuff.

Some school districts have realized that students need help to move through this new part of their lives, and have developed Freshman Seminar/Experience classes. Kudos to them!

Success! You're on the list.

If we can remember how hard this year was for us, then it would be easy to help these students understand how high school works. It would be so calming for their socio-emotional well-being.

So teachers: smile graciously at these newbies meandering the hallways, offer assistance, understand that this is the generation coming in attached to their cell phones, remember that they are the Pandemic (stay at home for a year) generation, understand that they will need that friendly face and space daily. Remember they was the little ones who set tone for the next four years.

Gotta love Freshmen!

Oh, and if you’re one of the previously mentioned teachers tasked with teaching these wonderful new additions to your high school, check out the following products to help you get on your way to a successful academic year!


50 Journal Writing Prompts