s a literacy coach, part of my role is to support teachers with how to work together with all the professionals who will come in and out of their reading and writing workshop. Lately, I’ve been brainstorming with some super smart teachers to figure out how we can get all the grown-ups in a classroom to be more consistent with one another.
When I first left the classroom to become a staff developer in New York City, I had to learn quickly to adjust to new schools, and new groups of teachers. I worked hard to have open conversations with the teachers I worked with, where teachers could ask anything. “No such thing as a bad question!” But there was one phrase that I dreaded. Four words that left me with no idea how to respond.
In a darkened concert hall, the members of an orchestra sit ready and waiting. The conductor, in black and white coat-tails walks across the stage, gives an appreciative nod to the audience, then steps up… Continue reading
Sometimes colleagues tell me that the feel intimidated or uneasy about setting out to teach phonemic awareness, because it all feels so technical. Even the terminology is tricky: phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics… I like to think of teaching phonemic awareness as being just like kindergarteners themselves–complicated indeed, but also a lot of fun.
Third grade was my favorite year of school. We had the best teacher ever. We sang songs and poems that I still remember to this day (Cumalada cumalada cumalada vista!). For math, we… Continue reading
You might be so completely used to your classroom arrangement that it seems normal to you — but it maybe could be better.
One of the biggest challenges you might face in writing workshop is this: getting kids to see the power and purpose of revision. Here are a few tips for helping kids understand how important and rewarding revision can be, organized by writing process phases.
When I visit a classroom, one of the first things I often say to kids is, “Today, please don’t erase. I want to see ALL the great work you are doing as a writer. When you erase, your work disappears!” Often, this is what kids are accustomed to and they continue working away. But sometimes, kids stare at me as if I’ve got two heads.
Kids do need room to grow. Not only do they outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye, they also grow as readers and writers. This is why we need classroom libraries stocked with a wide range of levels, and it’s why we need writing centers stocked with paper choices.
Welcome back everybody for another fantastic Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge! Write a story on your own blog. Leave a link to your story here, in the comment section. Then comment on… Continue reading
The summer is the perfect time to start stocking up on the things you really need. Whether you are hoping to get materials donated, or you teach in a community where families can provide a few things for your students, or you are planning to do some good old fashioned scrounging, this list can help you strategize a plan for materials.
Welcome back everybody for another fantastic Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge.
What would it look like if you were to make your classroom a “minimalist classroom?” A classroom where you only kept the things you actually use, and you gave away the rest to someone else in need?
Join us! If you’re new to our community, you’ll love reading what other educators have written.
In our family, bringing along a small notebook or a journal when we travel has become a tradition. Maybe you’ll make it part of your summer plans as well.
Share a story with us today, and every Tuesday.
Glue your butt to the chair, every day, or at least once a week, and you will not only become a better writer–you’ll become a better teacher of writing.
how do you become the kind of teacher who leaves plenty of think time? How do you go from rapid-fire, to more thoughtful questioning?
Here is a round-up of some of my favorite grammar-related websites and resources. You will notice that there are no worksheets here.
It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is already in sight. In the schools I where I currently work, mid-June is the end of the year–that’s just four weeks away!
That means it’s time to begin planning for next year!