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A 4-Day Shared Reading Practice for Upper and Middle School Kids

A 4-Day Shared Reading Practice for Upper and Middle School Kids

When I taught first and second grades, shared reading was a regular part of our day. Each day for about 10 to 15 minutes, I’d take out the big book or the chart of the poem we were reading that week and lead kids in a choral reading of the text, stopping along the way...
Dreading Test Prep? There’s a Good Reason

Dreading Test Prep? There’s a Good Reason

Aaah, April — a month when we see signs of spring renewal — spring break offers time for rest and relaxation — and then testing season begins. This year like everything else, state testing will be different. At the very least, it will be shorter than other years, and...
Three Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care Daily

Three Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care Daily

Self-care is more important now than ever before. How can we take care of others if we’re not taking care of ourselves? You know the saying, “Put your oxygen mask on first before you help someone else?” It’s true — you can’t show up for others when you’re not taking...
Spring Break Reading Recommendations for Educators

Spring Break Reading Recommendations for Educators

Spring break is finally in sight! With winter break a distant memory and perhaps you’re dealing with the stress of moving back into the classroom, I’m sure it must be a huge relief to see a vacation on the horizon. Hopefully, you’ll find some time to relax, restore,...
How (Not) to Teach Grammar

How (Not) to Teach Grammar

I’m a grammar nerd. I listen to the Grammar Girl podcast just for fun. I’m delighted by TED talks about grammar — keep reading for some of my favorites. I even use the words affect and effect properly most of the time. So, I’m always taken aback when...
Learning and Growing From Our Mistakes in the Classroom

Learning and Growing From Our Mistakes in the Classroom

Whenever I visit New York City, I almost always look for rats scurrying about under and around the subway tracks. I blame Colleen Cruz for this. Nearly 15 years ago, I listened to Colleen talk about how she finds ideas for writing, and one of them was the rats of the...
Incorporating Passion Projects for More Joy at School

Incorporating Passion Projects for More Joy at School

As your partner in literacy, we’re always looking for more ways to bring joy into the classroom and into Reading & Writing Workshop. Passion projects are a fantastic way to give young readers/writers more choices and opportunities to discover the kinds of reading...
Bringing the JOY Back into Your Reading Workshop

Bringing the JOY Back into Your Reading Workshop

Maybe the 100th day of school has come and gone for you already. The excitement and hopefulness of the new year have begun to wane. And by now, it feels like you’re settling back into your own Groundhog Day of teaching online all day, ending the day exhausted, only to...
Culturally Responsive Read Alouds

Culturally Responsive Read Alouds

According to the lunar calendar, the new year begins on February 12th in 2021, ushering in the year of the ox. As this new year approaches, it’s reminding me of how I mishandled this important holiday for far too long. Each year, I’d search through my books to pull...
3 Simple Ways to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

3 Simple Ways to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

Let’s celebrate the read-aloud! Tomorrow (February 3, 2021) is World Read Aloud Day! According to the founding organization, Lit World, millions of readers from over 170 countries celebrated the power of reading last year. Reading aloud is such an important routine...
Reimagining the Practice of School Awards

Reimagining the Practice of School Awards

Why would I be writing about rethinking school awards right now with everything going on in our country and around the world? The teachers I work with have been working so hard to meet the challenges of these tumultuous times. And they’re tired. I’m tired. When you’re...