Author Archive

Six Essential Acts of Kindness

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Kindness is an essential part of teaching life. According to Fred Rogers, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

Turn and Talk

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One of the greatest benefits I have had in my classroom, that encompasses all things literacy, has been the addition of purposeful talk. When it comes to inviting students to think and learn… Continue reading

Rituals and Transitions: Reaching Your Writers

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When writing workshop rituals become woven into the daily grooves of the writing community, cohesive safe zones develop. The consistency of rituals in a classroom helps students transition within the workshop environment smoothly… Well-established rituals create the space for students to concern themselves less with movement and more with the work of a writing.

IT’S TUESDAY! JOIN US FOR THE SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE!

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Welcome! Join today’s Slice of Life Story Challenge by… writing a post, sharing the permalink in the comments section, and visiting at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them.

Putting Away the Deficit Lens in Culturally Diverse Classrooms

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All students have stories to share. All of them. Our challenge may be to undo what has been done to have students believe they have nothing of value to share.

IT’S TUESDAY! JOIN US FOR THE SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE!

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Welcome! Join today’s Slice of Life story challenge by… writing a post, sharing the permalink in the comments section, and visiting at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them.

IT’S TUESDAY! JOIN US FOR THE SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE!

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Welcome! Join today’s Slice of Life Story Challenge by… writing a post, sharing the permalink in the comments section, and visiting at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them.

Questions to Reflect, Expand, and Select

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If we are not intentional, we can easily rush into many teaching points, instead of only one. We can overwhelm ourselves and our students. If we are not careful, we can miss the most important reason we sit with a student―the opportunity to listen and learn.

IT’S TUESDAY! JOIN US FOR THE SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE!

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Welcome! Join today’s Slice of Life Story Challenge by writing a post, sharing the permalink in the comments section, and visiting at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them.

IT’S TUESDAY! JOIN US FOR THE SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE!

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Welcome! Join today’s Slice of Life Story Challenge by writing a post, sharing the permalink in the comments section, and visiting at least three other slicers to leave a comment for them.

Wait Time

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There have been many times I have had to hang on to patience, hold my breath, and wait. I have had students that do not hesitate to jump into writing and others, not… Continue reading

Spelling in a Writing Workshop

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The truth… I’d rather not talk about spelling. There are more important things in a writing workshop, than to talk about spelling. Spelling well is a good thing. When we edit what we write, it is profusely important, but it has nothing to do with growing a writer.
When we focus on spelling or grammar correctness, the growing writer becomes stifled.

Read Alouds for Writers

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For students, a read aloud is a serious tool. It is a source of building community, language, literacy, and much more. Read alouds offer a lot for the growth of a reader, but… Continue reading

Growing Writers: Eight Alternatives to Extrinsic Rewards

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“Social psychology has found the more you reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.” – Alfie Kohn (2000).… Continue reading

The Importance of Starting Practice with WHY: Nurturing Independence from the Start

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How often do we ask ourselves about what leads our thinking on the teaching of writing? Is our purpose curriculum, or something much more significant? Why do we teach the way we do? And… How do we articulate why this, not that?

Why Independent Work Time Matters

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In the spring of 2019, sitting with a small group of 6th grade writers, I shared a video of Jack Ma, speaking on the future of education.  “Education is a big, big challenge… Continue reading