My dad told me once, the mark of a good manager is how well things run when he’s not there. This thought helped guide my teaching life for over 30 years, but it has never been more tested than now, in the time of Covid-19. If
We know that reading is imperative for building great writers. We also are beginning to discover and practice the ways that writing is a critical component to creating great readers. For instance, we know that children, even in the earliest grades, often write before they read -- and students can read any word they
To stack the cards in favor of students leading small group discussions, stay with me as I recount a recent visit to an eighth grade class: Students sat in rows. They had just finished reading “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury. At first, students appeared excited about Bradbury’s story. Sitting in the middle of a
You will forever be a character in the story your students will tell. I learned this from our brilliant colleague, Jim Burke; the things we do today will determine which kind of character we will become when the story is told later. Let’s consider for a few minutes how we
Why don't they give spelling tests anymore? * How come teachers don't correct student spelling? * What can I do at home? * Should I buy one of those workbooks this summer?
I have been asked these questions more times than I can count. It makes
Choice is good for the soul.
Once upon a time I was a wild child adolescent, standing up to every “should” that came my way. If I was told to do something, I actively sought out any and every way to do the opposite. Looking
Both knowledge and paint have no use until applied. I’ve always liked this adage, perhaps because as a teacher and a parent, I see firsthand that knowledge… is not enough. Application is everything or to use the trendy term du jour, transfer, is the hallmark
Last weekend my husband and I began shopping for a mattress. We bounced on mattresses, laid down on mattresses, pushed buttons so our head or our feet would go up and down on mattresses. We tried out mattress after mattress, going from store to store
“As I began research for this book, I realized this over-emphasis on strategy instead of purpose was not only affecting students’ ability to write meaningful pieces, it was also affecting their ability to infer and interpret the stories they read. When students see no meaning
A few years ago, I took the Writing for Children and Teens course through the Institute for Writers. There were nine modules in the course, covering everything from “How to Write Effective Description” to “Revising For a Different Readership Age.” Each module ended with a