classroom · education · independent writing · literacy · lucy calkins · noticings · plan · precise language · procedures · prompts · routines · scaffolding charts · scheduling · shared writing · speech · stories · storytelling · Teachers College · vocabulary · writing workshop

A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

It's been several months since I've written for Two Writing Teachers. In December my son was born, and I was on maternity leave until a few weeks ago. Then, in March I pushed aside all excuses and did the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Every day in the month of March I recruited my four year old daughter to tell… Continue reading A Mini-Crash-Course on Oral Storytelling

education · guest blogger · inspiration · international educator · public education

How the Finns Create a Sense of Community in Their Schools

How do we compare a country with a fairly homogeneous population of five and a half million people, with less than 5% of the population in poverty, to the United States? Well, forty years ago, when Finland was overhauling their education system and studying models from other countries, they could have followed our lead and jumped on our No Child Left Behind bandwagon, eventually moving to high-stakes testing and teacher assessment as a means to improve education.

education · quote · reflective practice · writing workshop

Filling Needs.

I have this job that I'm incredibly thankful for. It gives me a chance to focus -- really focus -- on the teaching of writing. Naturally I'm interested in all areas of literacy, as well as other content areas (for those of you who don't know I'm a licensed biology and chemistry teacher), but my… Continue reading Filling Needs.

digital writing · education · inspiration · standardized tests · standards

How do you know?

Often when I'm working with teachers, I get the question: How do you know? This can be in response to a number of things: minilesson ideas, conference teaching points, share sessions, anchor charts, unit planning, blogging, tweeting. Truthfully, the answer is often I don't know. I'm just trying things that make sense. I'm trying things that… Continue reading How do you know?

adolescent literacy · big picture · challenges · change · choice · education · inspiration · reflections · reflective practice · writing workshop

Teach the Writer

I wish we could change the world by creating powerful writers forever instead of indifferent writers for school. ---Mem Fox I just want to take a deep breath and read those words again. Exactly. "Powerful writers forever instead of indifferent writers for school." Sigh. This is why I'm thankful for writing workshop. It helps us… Continue reading Teach the Writer

education · standardized tests

Where are we running?

"Race to Nowhere" is a documentary that has been talked about, but has not been widely advertised like "Waiting for Superman" was earlier this year.  From what I've heard, "Race to Nowhere" is the documentary that gets at the heart of the issue with regard to what's happening in our nation's public schools.  Here's a… Continue reading Where are we running?

education · standardized tests

An Education Reform Article Worth Reading

Everywhere I turn these days, I seem to be faced with another article about education reform.  From Time Magazine to The New York Times, it seems everyone is covering education a lot more than they used to... or perhaps it's just that I'm paying more attention than I used to because I'm shocked about the… Continue reading An Education Reform Article Worth Reading


There are teaching jobs out there!

Educators around the country have received pink slips due to budget crises in districts across the country.  That being said, there are jobs in education out there (though you have to be somewhat flexible with regard to geographic location). Subscribers to ASCD SmartBrief, an e-mail newsletter, receive education headlines five days a week.  Additionally, at… Continue reading There are teaching jobs out there!

art · education


This weekend, during rest time, I heard a few sobs from my youngest daughter's room.  The sounds were odd, so I went to check on her.  As I approached her door, I heard a bit of pounding and -- oh dear! -- was that a growl?  Opening the door and peeking in, I asked, "Is… Continue reading frustration.