authentic writing · memories · poetry · professional development · Teachers College

I Remember

What is a memory? What makes a moment memorable? Were they moments of utter joy and warmth? Or was there embitterment, stress, and even trauma that made it special? For me, the 2020-2021 school year had many moments that were both. As much as I would like to move forward from last year, those memories… Continue reading I Remember

memoir · memories · mentor texts · notebooks · Notebooks as a Writer’s Tool Blog Series · writing workshop

Four Mentor Texts to Nurture the Relationship Between a Writer and a Notebook: Notebooks as a Writers Tool

Writers pause to notice the obvious and obscure moments in life. They preserve their memories in their notebooks by jotting words, tucking away photographs, ticket stubs, and other items that have left an imprint. Each of these items waits inside the notebook until the writer pulls them out and forms them into a story to… Continue reading Four Mentor Texts to Nurture the Relationship Between a Writer and a Notebook: Notebooks as a Writers Tool

memories · narrative · strategies · writer's notebook

Memory Chains: A Strategy for Writer’s Notebooks

Here’s a fun strategy you can try to generate writing in your notebook this summer. Come back-to-school time, you can teach your students how to use this strategy if they get stuck.

back to school · brainstorming · digital writing · heart maps · memories · NWP · sharing · writing workshop

Give Heart Maps a Rest! Try Writing Territory Maps

The heart map is a great tool for helping students find personally meaningful topics, but used year after year, it might feel a little stale. Writing territory maps is another option!

early childhood · guest blogger · memories · writing


Caroline Gonzalez currently works as an Instructional Support teacher for grades 1-3 in South Brunswick NJ.  After 21 years of teaching, she is completing coursework to attain an Administrator's License.  She is the proud mother of three children who is entering a new stage in my life as she prepare to send her child off… Continue reading GUEST BLOG POST: The Journey

key beliefs · memories · reflective practice

The Life Lessons We Teach

On Sunday, June 13th my husband and I attended a retirement celebration at Norwalk High School for Jeff Smith, who is retiring after 34 years as a music educator.   My husband played saxaphone with the Norwalk Marching Bears throughout high school.  He spent countless hours practicing for local football games and for special events, such… Continue reading The Life Lessons We Teach

authors · memories · writing

Memoir Monday: Origins of Writing

I've been thinking a lot about the questions Pam Muñoz Ryan posed to the audience at the TCRWP Writing Institute last week. There are many reasons I write: to communicate with others quickly, to persuade, to record family stories, to venture to new worlds, etc. However, none of those quick reasons really get at the… Continue reading Memoir Monday: Origins of Writing


Second Memoir Monday of August

It's now the second week of August. In Central Pennsylvania, it feels hotter and muggier. In fact, yesterday morning we even had a thunderstorm. While I wish it was a bit cooler, I'm sure that there are plenty of people who feel it's not hot enough for outside. It's funny how we all have different… Continue reading Second Memoir Monday of August


Memoir Monday

There's something about the transition from July to August that gives many teachers have a bittersweet feeling.  For those of you who live in the Northeast, it feels like summer began a week or two ago, rather than in late June, doesn't it?  However, summer is halfway over.  (And for some folks I know down… Continue reading Memoir Monday


I’m Back to Host Memoir Monday!

It's so great to be back and blogging again. In the past month, I've been in six states and have unpacked countless boxes (with the help of my dear family). So many memories to write about from this past month... what will I write about today? Hmmmm... (I'll post my entry on my online writer's… Continue reading I’m Back to Host Memoir Monday!