giveaway · inspiration · mentor texts · writing

The Opposite of Loneliness + a Book Giveaway

I rarely read collections of short stories or essays, but I made an exception for The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. It's a book written by a debut author. Unfortunately, it's her final title since she died tragically in 2012.

inspiration · writing

Climbing out of a Writing Rut

I’ve been writing daily for years, but lately I feel as if I haven’t written anything worthwhile. Sure – I’ve written blog posts about family and the teaching of writing.  Sure – I’ve jotted ideas down in my Noteshelf App.  Sure – I’ve worked on a nonfiction writing project I’ve been trying to move forward… Continue reading Climbing out of a Writing Rut

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.

inspiration · professional development · teacher of writing · teaching tools · thankful · Write: It's good for you!

A Little Writing Love

As an instructional coach, a key part of my job is to encourage and inspire teachers. This is one of my favorite things about my job. It isn't easy to be the person who is always nudging people to grow, but it is fun to be the person who gets to offer doses of encouragement… Continue reading A Little Writing Love

inspiration · nurturing · observations · professional development · reflective practice

Christy Is…

Last week I had the privileged of observing Christy Rush-Levine with her eighth grade language arts classes. Deb Gaby, the reading coach in my district, along with two middle school teachers went with me to check out Christy's approach to remediation. At the heart of her work is reading and writing workshop. I began a list a… Continue reading Christy Is…

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


Keynotes On My Mind

The first time I attended a conference for teachers (I was in college), I attended a keynote speaker lunch. At the end of it, I told the people I was with, "Someday I hope I can give a keynote for teachers." I love keynotes. I love when I laugh and cry and get goosebumps. I… Continue reading Keynotes On My Mind

inspiration · mentor texts

Mentor Text Thursday: Find a Personal Mentor

Here's how some of  the conversation went: Student: I'm writing a legend. Me: Wow, so what exactly is a legend? Her: Shrug. Me: Wait. Her: I guess it's like an explanation of something that happened, but the story doesn't have to be true. Me: Have you read many? Her: Yeah, some. Me: So what I'm… Continue reading Mentor Text Thursday: Find a Personal Mentor

inspiration · sundays for the soul

Sundays are Good for Your Soul

I love Sundays. (You know, I could say this about almost any day of the week.) The reason I love Sundays is because they slow down a little, at least around my house. We tend to stay home a little more on Sundays than the rest of the week. So I've been thinking how to… Continue reading Sundays are Good for Your Soul

books · inspiration · voice · writer's notebook

Yo-Ho-Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (link takes you to Wikipedia; here is the official site).  Next to Christmas, this may just be my favorite!  🙂  A little known secret is that I'm an avid pirate-lover.  I love all things Pirate (except for the baseball team)!  Today my little family of five is celebrating. … Continue reading Yo-Ho-Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me!