Talking to Teachers: Finding Time to ‘Write Beside Them’ and Confer (in an IB Classroom) (during a pandemic)

This is a follow-up conversation with Matt Foss, the IB Language and Literature teacher from the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. I spoke with Matt in a previous post where he focused on three main topics: (1) writing beside his students, (2) how remote learning has shifted how he confers, and his goal of […]

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 […]

Talking to Teachers: Gift of Remote Learning, Flipped Classrooms, and Differentiation

I have heard numerous teachers say that although the end of last year was crazy, the start of this academic year is crazier. With even more uncertainty of what the year as whole will look like, teachers are navigating unexplored territory. Yet, amidst all of this (along with the increased tension of a pandemic, politics, […]

Critical Connections with Ourselves, Our Students, and Each Other

Recently, my friend’s 10 year old son asked: “How is retirement going?” First reaction: ummm…say what now?! But he explained himself: “You are no longer going to teach kids in a classroom, so you are retiring from that.” And he is right…the teaching that I have been doing for the past 15 years is over […]

Rubrics, Metacognition, & Writing

In this post I want to talk about how I have started to use analytic rubrics in the formative process to help students reflect more purposefully—to help them increase their metacognitive skill set. The consultant Tom Schimmer was at my school recently…I might have mentioned him before?! He is all things assessment—he makes assessment sexy. Seriously. […]

Fun with Words: Neologisms (and leveraging a student’s native language)

This post is a reminder for those of us who have students who, whether overt or not, speak English as a second or third language… First of all…what the heck does “quockerwodger” mean? It is one of those English words that we don’t use in the everyday sort of way…crapulous, buss, and zafty (anyone?) Quockerwodger […]