Erin Ocon is an 8th grade teacher in Portland, Oregon.
Erin Ocon makes the transition from teaching children to mentoring adults, and finds that most principles and practices for literacy learning still hold true.
Erin Ocon compiles a list of the ways she publishes writing of her teen students.
As classroom budgets get tighter, teachers rely more and more on school libraries for books. Erin Ocon describes how she has changed the way she matches books and readers in her middle school classroom, depending more on school library resources and helping her middle school students navigate them.
Erin Ocon discovers that worldwide Cinderella stories are a wonderful tool for building community and cultural awareness in her seventh-grade classroom and with English language learners. Erin describes how she uses a range of Cinderella picture books with students, and provides an extensive booklist for expanding your library.
Erin Ocon discovers a surprising tool to help her middle school English language learners develop their writing and oral language skills — Powerpoint presentations. Erin shares some practical tips for using presentation software to support English language learners.
“Why read?” This is the question asked every spring in Erin Ocon’s middle school classroom, and in the process of answering it, she and her students rediscover a lot of what they’ve learned together throughout the year.
Writing about education is important in Erin Ocon's middle school classroom. Although Erin's students are in the eighth grade, this is a terrific project for readers of any age, and could even be used schoolwide for closure and celebration.
Erin Ocon highlights the life and work of William Stafford and how she uses the archives of his work to bring poetry alive for her middle school students.
What teenager doesn't enjoy critiquing everything in the world? Erin Ocon puts that judgmental passion to good use in her classroom with a book review assignment.
Erin Ocon and her middle-school students observe some political activists passing out pamphlets outside the building for a few moments. Voila – the pamphlet project is born.Â Pamphlets are the perfect genre for teaching persuasion and summary, two key skills highlighted in the Common Core.
Erin Ocon finds pamphlets are a terrific format for teaching her middle-school students persuasive writing and summary skills. In this essay she explains how to use pamphlets for book recommendations. This is the second installment in a two-part series.
First-year teacher Erin Ocon finds an old-fashioned way to build rapport with some of her struggling middle school students – she writes letters to them. This brief article would be a good reading for a middle school team meeting or new teacher group.
Erin Ocon finds it's hard to let go of her planning and perfectionism as she rewrites her goals for the summer. In "Lessons from My Summer Vacation," she discovers the process of changing her summer plans makes her rethink her classroom goals.