informational writing · video · writer identity · writing workshop

Energizing Information Writing

While none of these ideas for information writing require that students go through the entire process of writing an introduction-to-conclusion information piece, they do have the potential to inspire students to do some on-the-spot information writing, and sometimes these short spurts provide the practice or jump-starts that students need.

PD Possibilities Series · professional development · staff development · video

Video Case Studies: P.D. Possibilities

One of my favorite kinds of professional development is having an opportunity to visit other teachers' classrooms (aka: lab sites). It helps to see how other teachers carry out instruction with their students. Visiting other classrooms provides us with the opportunity to borrow ideas for our own teaching practice. However, sometimes small classrooms make it… Continue reading Video Case Studies: P.D. Possibilities

preparing students for the 21st century · professional development · video

Chewing On This

I watched a version of this video several years ago. In preparation for a workshop I'm leading on Thursday with a group of Career Tech educators (think culinary arts and auto mechanics), I pulled it up to watch again. I was glad to find the video was updated last December. I'm struck by the reality… Continue reading Chewing On This

reluctant writers · video · Write: It's good for you!

Voices Strong Reflection

Remember a few weeks ago I visited Christy Rush-Levine's classroom? As a reflection for our curriculum director, principal, and school board, we (Andrea Komorowski, 6th grade language arts teacher; Shelley Kunkle, 7th grade language arts teacher; Deb Gaby, corporation reading coach; and me) put together a video. It's long (and you know my rule about… Continue reading Voices Strong Reflection

Reflective Practice · research · sharing · technology · video

Another Kind of Share

We've been researching in Keith Bollman's 5th grade class. Because Keith and I have been working together for years, I know he will let me play a little in writing workshop. I can try out new ideas. I can test my theories. Often he gives a little laugh and then says, "Sure, go ahead and… Continue reading Another Kind of Share

celebration · poetry · technology · video

Kindergarten Poetry Celebration

This is great. We're going to play it this afternoon with the class. Popcorn, apple juice, and a movie to celebrate our work in poetry. Please watch the first minute, because the teacher, Lori Hickman, shares her genuine thoughts about teaching kindergarteners to write poetry. She begins by admitting she thought is was going to… Continue reading Kindergarten Poetry Celebration

common core · narrative · non-narrative writing · persuasive writing · video

Approaching Common Core + PARCC

Yesterday I heard James Kofi Annan tell his story of child slave to business man to freedom fighter for the children in Ghana. Check out this CNN video for a taste of what I had the privilege of hearing first hand. His story moved me and compelled me to think about how I can use my corner… Continue reading Approaching Common Core + PARCC

books · mentor author · mentor texts · video

The Book Stack…

Or maybe this post should be called: "The Book Stack?" with a big bold question mark. Seriously, I have stacks and stacks and stacks of books we've read, books we want to read, and books we are reading again and again. The problem is getting them from the stack to the blog. (Which is a… Continue reading The Book Stack…

illustrations · primary grades · research · resource · video


Words + pictures have always intrigued me. As a scrapbooker I use words + pictures to document life. As a blogger, I know when an image is included it always impacts me more. (I've been thinking of making this a goal --- to include more images in my posts.) As a teacher I'm well aware… Continue reading Infographics