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A Peek Inside My Grad Course

If you’ve ever taken a graduate course during summer session, then you know how much work there is to do.  The course I’m teaching at Penn State Harrisburg is no different.  My students (who are the most punctual group of people with whom I’ve ever worked) take their responsibilities seriously.  They are in the classroom before class begins every morning and have working lunches daily.  We’re together for about eight hours each day, which is a lot, right?  But then, they go home and complete more readings each night, in addition to doing drafts of their assignments, two of which are due this Friday.  Talk about dedication!

I, too, have been very busy each night, which is why this post is short.  In addition to responding to student emails and reading over minilessons they wrote yesterday, I had a much longer dinner than usual.  You see, Maribeth Boelts is speaking with my students this morning.  Therefore, we hosted her for dinner at our home once her plane landed last night.  What a delight it was to finally meet her in person! (We’ve been corresponding since 2008.)  She was as kind as I imagined hoped she’d be.  Not only is she interesting to talk to, but she has an incredible way with children.  Maribeth had unending patience with Isabelle, my toddler, who was a little grumpy since she had a too-short nap yesterday afternoon.  In fact, by the end of dinner, Isabelle had taken to Maribeth much the way children take to Maribeth’s picture books.

Here’s a photo of the two of us after dinner:

I will certainly blog about the presentation Maribeth gives to my graduate students tomorrow.  That post will be up sometime next week.  In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the charts that are hanging inside of my classroom:

Students highlighted some teaching ideas from a few different authors’ books.
Brainstorming about the importance of teaching writing with children’s literature.
We studied Kalman’s Looking at Lincoln today. Students thought through all of the possible things one could teach from that text.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.

16 thoughts on “A Peek Inside My Grad Course Leave a comment

  1. I wish I could be in your class. Talking about why books should be taught and analyzing the book from that direction would be a great class topic!


  2. It is so great you are sharing this. I know you are encouraging and inspiring, just like you do here. Thank you for being so generous with your ideas and showing the process. There is amazing dedication from all of you. Cheering you on!


  3. It is my first day of summer break and I cannot imagine being in a summer graduate course today! How fantastic that you are working with such a motivated group (making the assumption that punctual = motivated); I have no doubt that your teaching is inspiring. What a delight to have a presentation by Maribeth Boelt! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more!


  4. I am glad that you gave us this glimpse into your class. It sounds like it has been rewarding and a great opportunity to learn for all involved. Continue to enjoy the process.


  5. Looking foreward to Maribeth Boelt’s presentation. Thank you for posting some pics of you classroom. You guys have been very busy.


  6. So exactly how far is it from Oklahoma to Pittsburgh? And will you be teaching this again next summer? Surely I can make it home for supper every night. Thank you for sharing since we can’t have the pleasure of being there. I can’t wait to read more!


  7. Thank you giving us a glimpse in your class. I’ve been wondering how it’s going for you. Such lucky students! Can’t wait to read about Maribeth Boelts’s presentation.


  8. OOOOH! I want to come to Pittsburgh and be in your graduate course. Our writing specialist read Happy Like Soccer to us during professional development and couldn’t get through it without cracking! Tell Maribeth Boelts that we can’t wait to share it with students in the fall!


    • @Melanie: I’m a bit further east in Harrisburg. Not too far from you (in CT, right?).
      Maribeth’s presentation was informative and engaging. I will share more about it next week. For now, I must go to sleep.


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