Author Archive

Some Perspectives for Pandemic Teaching & Learning

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Recently, researcher and professor John Hattie released a paper regarding his research-based perspectives on what truly matters for education (and what does not) during this time of global pandemic. Thus, when I ran across his latest thinking, I became eager to share some of it with you here…

SOL Tuesday

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It’s the final Tuesday in April… Come write, share, give! All are welcome!

SOL Tuesday

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Today is Tuesday! Time for the Slice of Life Community to come together. Come write, share, give…

Passion Projects During COVID-19

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During the Teachers College Virtual Teaching Institute a few weeks ago, staff developer Natalie Friday introduced an idea for learning during the current global pandemic: Passion Projects.  With schools now closed, several of them for the remainder of the academic year, some students (and teachers!) may feel like they are actually living the movie, “Groundhog Day.”  So with this gift of time (if we can see our way to interpreting it that way), why not encourage students to pursue a passion they have or would like to grow?

SOL Tuesday

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Today is Tuesday! Time for the Slice of Life Community to come together. Come write, share, give…

SOL Tuesday

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It’s April! And now, back to our regularly scheduled Slice of Life Tuesday. Let’s get back together, Slicers! Come write, share, give…

Hanging On To What Matters: Feedback

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During this time, an important question nagging at me has been, “What elements of good teaching will be possible to hang onto in our current, stay-at-home situation?” One element might be effective feedback. Today I share a few ideas to consider as we all navigate this uncertain time in our world . . .

DAY 26 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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It’s the twenty-sixth day of our 31-day writing challenge. So glad you’re still here! Write your slice of life story, share the link to it in the comments section, and give comments to at least three other Slicers.

DAY 25 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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It’s the twenty-fifth day of our 31-day writing challenge. Don’t stop now! Write your slice of life story, share the link to it in the comments section, and give comments to at least three other Slicers.

DAY 24 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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It’s the twenty-fourth day of our 31-day writing challenge.
Write, share, give!

DAY 23 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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It’s the twenty-third day of our 31-day writing challenge. Keep going! Write your slice of life story, share the link to it in the comments section, and give comments to at least three other Slicers.

DAY 22 OF THE MARCH SOLSC! #SOL20

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It’s the twenty-second day of our 31-day writing challenge. Let’s keep the momentum going! Write your slice of life story, share the link to it in the comments section, and give comments to at least three other Slicers.

A Very Short List of Distance Learning Ideas

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How can we strike a balance between device-based distance learning support and tried-and-true physical experiences in a way that supports our writers in some positive ways?  While I am aware many wonderful and generous educators and authors have already compiled and curated extensive lists, allow me to share just a few that you may (or may not) find helpful in your efforts to guide and support students and parents at home…

Planning for Independent Writing Time: A Middle School Solution

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With the volume of students most middle school writing teachers serve, how is one to plan for differentiation? Using a basketball analogy, here is one play you can run…

The Importance of Knowing the Standards: Expand the Possibilities of Genres You Teach

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In expanding the possibilities of our different writing units, let us not forget the important guide points the Common Core State Standards – or whatever your local iteration of those standards are –  provide us. 

The Argument Scavenger Hunt

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Although I’m not typically a fan of stand-alone activities, this exercise, presented at last year’s NCTE Conference, incorporated many positive elements aimed at supporting writers working doing argumentative work…

Seeking Prize Donations for the 2020 Slice of Life Challenge

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The Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 is right around the corner! Would you consider supporting the cause?

Using Inquiry to Lift Language Conventions

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As middle school teachers, we know grammar and language conventions have likely been taught to our writers in previous years. But why don’t they stick? Here are a few ideas around teaching grammar and language conventions using an inquiry approach…

Why Writing Matters: Reaching Your Writers

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Kids need to know why writing matters. And we need to not only know, but presence that ‘why’, both for our students and for ourselves.

Finding Purpose Before We Write: Making the Most of Planning & Rehearsal

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Writers need a purpose. A foundation.  Yet sometimes we rush kids through the planning and rehearsal phase of writing. What are some ways to support kids in heading into writing grounded in purpose? Read on to learn a few strategies…