Author Archive

Positive Post-It Day

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Inspired by a story about a brave high school student, I left a positive post-it note for each teacher I worked with earlier this week.

Conversations About Standards-Based Report Cards: Do Your Students Know How They’re Doing?

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And with November, comes report cards.

Creative Scheduling in Middle School

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The one question that comes up again and again, no matter what part of the country I happen to visiting, is TIME.

What’s An On-Demand?

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On-demand assessments allow us to check and see, rather than speculate, on what kids already know and can do. Then we can make well-informed choices about what to teach.

Top Five Lessons to Teach to Writing Partners of All Ages Right Now

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Writing partners can be an important source of inspiration and support for your kids. It’s the rare kid who truly wants to work alone all the time. Writing requires an audience, someone to give… Continue reading

Okay, But What Would You Do?

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This week has been full of writing workshop conundrums and dilemmas!

Minilessons: It’s All About the Link

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It’s all about the link. Make sure your minilessons link to ongoing work. Link to making choices. Link to all the other minilessons. Link to the charts and resources in the room. Most of all link your minilesson always to problem solving and independence.

There Are More Ways Than One To Teach A Minilesson

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Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.

How to Plan a Minilesson from Scratch

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Minilessons are actually really easy to plan, and fun to teach. What? You don’t believe me? Let me show you, right now, how to do it.

Sharpen Your Workshop Routines: Writing Centers to Organize All Your Materials

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Every year, around this time, I start having dreams about setting up my classroom. In the classroom of my dreams, I’m moving around small circular tables, unfurling a brand new rug for the… Continue reading

Two Writing Teachers Summer Vacation

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The six of us will be recharging our batteries, planning and brainstorming, coming up with even more great ideas to share with our lovely community of teachers and writers.

But don’t worry, we’ve got lots to keep you going in the meantime!

Summer Institutes Here We Come!

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Whether it’s an institute put on by your own district, or an expert is coming to town, or if you’ll be traveling many miles to take part, I hope that you are as excited about attending your institutes as I am about teaching them.

How To Read A Unit of Study

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As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading

Summer Writing for You, the Teacher

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You’ve got to practice writing to teach writing!

Get Out Your Calendars! It’s June Planning Time!

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If we do nothing else, we do this one thing…Read this post to find out what it is!

It’s Time for the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge

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Welcome to the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge! Did you know that there have been quite a few newcomers in the past few weeks? Take some time to spread the love by visiting at… Continue reading

How Are You Going to Read All That?

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It’s almost summer! Time for sunshine, flip-flops, barbecue grills, and reading student writing.

Join Us for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

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It’s Tuesday! Time to share a story from your life with our amazing community of writers. Here are some words of wisdom about writing from author John Green, who, if you didn’t already know,… Continue reading

An Interview with Educator and Author Chris Lehman

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Recently, I caught up with my friend and colleague Chris Lehman. For a little end-of-the-year inspiration, please enjoy our interview: Beth: Your books make it clear that you have a passion for reading… Continue reading

Time for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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Join us for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge!