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An Introduction to the Action Plan: Breaking Up with the Traditional Research Paper

Image via Pixabay If you found yourself clicking on this article, you probably don’t need a lecture on why the traditional “research paper” is problematic and downright painful to teach.  My biggest reason for wanting to ditch it?  The lack of passion.  The lack of passion students have about writing it, the lack of passion […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: From a Certain Point of View

Mentor Text:  ‘Vergence’ by Tracy Deonn From From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back Techniques: Point of View Fan fiction as storytelling Background – In our house, it is a Christmas tradition that everyone gets new jammies and a new book on Christmas Eve. This year, as requested, I unwrapped the Empire Strikes […]

Balancing Inquiry & Support in Professional Learning: A Lesson from Bean Dad

A little while back, a dad took to social media to pat himself on the back about the lesson he’d taught his daughter when she wanted to open a can of beans but didn’t know how to use the can opener and the Twitterverse collectively cringed. In case you were lucky enough to miss it, […]

Voice Over, Camera Shots, and Conservationist Storytelling

Watching Faith E. Briggs navigate the ruts, inclines, and down hills as she runs through three national monuments – public lands protected under the Antiquities Act – makes for a vivid and immersive viewing experience.  Her exploration of what it means to be a conservationist amid the threat of rolled back protections for public lands […]

Talking Through it All: Conferring Through the Toughest Year

Conferring with students about their reading and writing is one of those things I never feel like I will completely master. There will always be new ideas for simplifying, streamlining the process + making those conversations even more productive for students. Especially this year. Fortunately, Hattie + Mike love this stuff + are sharing ideas […]

Play On!: Laughing, Moving, Close Reading, and Shaking Off the Winter Doldrums with Strategies from Folger Education

“You know what would be a great thing to try in the middle of a pandemic and a gray, icy winter while I’m teaching in two places at once? Teaching a brand new text!” Said no one. Ever. And yet…here I am! Last spring, I sent a survey to the juniors who would be in […]

Talking to Teachers: Reflecting on a Writing Process Unit (Non-Genre Specific)

This is a follow-up conversation with Caitlin Wingers, a grade 3 teacher in Jubail, Saudi Arabia (The initial conversation, that occurred in October, can be found here). This time around, Caitlin reflects on the unit she implemented at the start of the year — a Writing Process Unit that was Non-Genre Specific. A unit that […]