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Dedicated to Teachers


The Writer's Mindset: Conferring Around Strengths

When our students are writing with optimism, all sorts of questions and possibilities stream through their minds.  (continue reading)

Final Virtual PD Options for 2021

If you're hoping to attend some virtual PD this year to lift your practice—and your spirits—we have many options for you! However, we know that decision fatigue is real and too many choices can be overwhelming.  (continue reading)

The Power of Using Mentor Texts in Secondary Classrooms

We can prepare our students for academic writing tasks when we invite them to make the kind of writing real writers make.  (continue reading)

To Progress, We Need to Step Back

Clearly, it is time to stop doing what we have always done with our middle and high school students while expecting different results.  (continue reading)

Battling The Blahs Part 3: When Silence is Serious

If you, like me, suffer from bouts of the Blahs, I encourage you to develop your own plan too. To take care of our students, to do our part in ensuring Leticia and other young people like her don’t fall into the Abyss, we must first stay clear of it ourselves.  (continue reading)

Battling The Blahs Part 2: Helping Students Manage Stress and Stagnation

Last fall, I wrote about the Blahs, a predictable time of year when I struggle with energy, motivation, and self-doubt. A friend pointed out that our students battle their own Blahs as well.  (continue reading)

Poems Are Not Just Poems

In this video, Amy VanDerwater explains that if we are able to harness a love of poetry and use it as a way to demonstrate writing techniques across genres, students gain a better understanding of writing overall.  (continue reading)

Should I Introduce Whole-Class Novels into My Readers Workshop?

if you have a good readers workshop going in your classroom I give you a hi-five and say keep it up! There are, though, a few caveats that might cause you to consider the whole class novel approach...  (continue reading)

What Skills Can Poetry Teach Us?

Poetry is something that is happening now, everywhere, and we need to bring it into the classroom. In Poems Are Teachers, Amy introduces the skills and techniques involved in writing a poem and how it connects to writing across all genres.  (continue reading)

Cultivating Focus in the K-8 Classroom

It may seem strange to think about cultivating focus. Although natural abilities can vary, focus can be improved, cultivated, and taught.  (continue reading)

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