How Single Point Rubrics can be a Game Changer

One day, a few years ago, I was doing what all teachers do at some point: writing a rubric. And it looked something like this… Grammar and Mechanics The writer has a strong command of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The writer has command of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The writer has little command […]

Did They Really Love That Lesson as Much as You Think?

In my first semester beat, I’m exploring the life-saving power of routines–but not just any routines. I’m talking about routines that make life easier, more efficient, and more familiar–even in the most daunting of times (cough, 2020, cough). I’m talking about routines that allow students to thrive whether you are teaching in person, virtually, hybrid, […]

What Comes After Mentor Texts? Student-Created Mentor Text Rubrics

I’ve been on a journey this fall to think about ways to move students toward increasing writing independence. We know mentor texts benefit writers of all ages. We know that isolating the moves writers make helps newer, less-experienced writers demystify the writing process and take their own work to new heights. But we also want […]

Lesson Plans: a New Look at Data and Agency

In my first semester beat, I’m exploring the life-saving power of routines–but not just any routines. I’m talking about routines that make life easier, more efficient, and more familiar–even in the most daunting of times (cough, 2020, cough). I’m talking about routines that allow students to thrive whether you are teaching in person, virtually, hybrid, […]

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. […]

“The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” (and How to Help Your Writers Deliver it with Assessment Reviews)

I came across one of those well-intended but ultimately wrong-minded tweets today while scrolling through Twitter.  It offered advice for “ELA teachers” from someone who isn’t one. It suggested encouraging students to try out a new Microsoft Word feature that will basically auto-suggest (or replace, if I interpreted the gif correctly) segments of student writing […]