Springtime not only brings more poetry into our classroom, but it also ignites a desire for many middle school students to ask each other out. When I taught fifth grade, … Continue Reading Love is in the Air: Poetry in Middle School
I recently received an e-mail asking me: How do you organize your material (mentor texts, charts, minilessons, etc.) for Writing Workshop? I have just collected so much stuff this past … Continue Reading Organzing Teaching Materials
My husband and I spent last week visiting our families in the NY Metropolitan Area. When we returned to our home in Central Pennsylvania, we were greeted by bursts of … Continue Reading You Be the Poet!
Just as I have to think about how I can mentor myself after poets when I want to write vivid poems, I encourage children to make reading-writing connections with the … Continue Reading Teach Students How to Grow Theories About Poems (During National Poetry Month & All Year Long)
Sometimes, when we offer students choice during a poetry unit of study, they get come up empty. One topic that all kids have something to say about is school. Whether … Continue Reading Topic Choice Mentors
Color poems are popular things to have students craft, especially in elementary school Writing Workshops. There are many books that provide examples of color poems for young writers to emulate. … Continue Reading Color & Poetry
Last week I wrote about a book with very different types of acrostic poems, after which students can mentor themselves. Since National Poetry Month is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d … Continue Reading A Fuzzy Poetic Mentor Text
I had the pleasure of being part of the round two judges for the 2009 Cybils Poetry Panel. I really enjoyed all five of the books we had to judge, … Continue Reading Writing Different Kinds of Acrostic Poetry
In this month’s issue of The Reading Teacher, there’s an excellent article, “The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom: Modeling Sophisticated Word Use to Promote Word Consciousness and Vocabulary Growth,” which deals with ways … Continue Reading Building Bigger Vocabularies Through Books: Part 1 of 2
“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.” — Joseph Joubert When I was at NCTE less than three months I was … Continue Reading Yes, students CAN publish their writing in two languages!
On Monday we discussed endings to editorials in my ninth grade class. This is how the teaching went: Me: I’ve noticed many of you are ready to write an ending, … Continue Reading Teaching Endings
I am consistently moved by meaningful letters. When I write thank you notes, I am sure to take time with them so the recipient can feel my genuine gratitude. However, … Continue Reading Letters of Gratitude
We’ve all had that kid in our class. You know who I mean. It’s the kid who sticks out like a sore thumb because of his weight, because of his … Continue Reading A Mentor Text that Deals with Social Issues
Ruth was shocked when she learned that I had never heard of Scaredy Squirrel Books when we passed the Kids Can Press Booth at the NCTE Conference. Quite frankly, once … Continue Reading Scaredy Squirrel Books in the Primary Writing Classroom
I recently tweaked some of the record-keeping forms I disseminate when I consult with teachers about conferring. Some of the forms now have space to record the mentor text a … Continue Reading Record-Keeping Forms
The Fall of 2006 brought me the savviest class I ever taught. Nearly all 32 of them scoffed at me on Wednesday, September 6th when I pulled out Nothing Ever … Continue Reading Picture Books in Upper Elementary School