When students are asked to introduce themselves in writing, it can be difficult figuring out the best way to stage this encounter between self and stranger, writer and audience. For my seniors who are drafting college application essays, the first attempt is often characterized by tentatively offered assertions about their motives for applying, or the […]
What does healthy literacy look like? What does a healthy reading life look like? What does Writing Health look like?
By now, you’ve met Sam. Isn’t she a delight? I continue to win the co-worker lottery. I used to teach next door to Allison. Now, Sam teaches directly across the hall from me + stuns me with her brilliance and insight on a daily basis. Last year, at the height of COVID school and the […]
Breather Routines and the Misdiagnosis of Writing Stamina I produce a podcast called Write Answers, and about a month ago, Beth Rimer (co-director of the Ohio Writing Project) and I recorded an interview in which she talked about a between-unit-plans break that she called “Breather Routines.” A Breather Routine can be a 1-3 week series […]
Teaching students to hear the music in words, we can help them create writing that is not just efficient, accurate, and clear, but also playful, dramatic, and arresting.
A few weeks ago I outlined my peculiar teacher headspace this year as I face the challenge of teaching AP Lang after years of working to perfect English 11, a course I helped design from the ground up and continue to approach eagerly every day. In that post I outlined my major goal for the […]
Closeup elements are how the story is told. Big Picture elements are the story itself.
This year in my school district, my colleagues and I have held rich and ongoing conversations about ways to be more culturally and historically responsive in our curriculum and instruction. Within these conversations, we discovered that part of being more responsive in these matters involves valuing our students’ sense of identity in their learning. In […]
This is a follow-up conversation with Jordan Moog, the AP US History & Grade 9 Global Studies teacher from the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. In a previous conversation with Jordan, we focused on the following topics: (1) writing beside her students, (2) time for revision, and (3) how hybrid learning has affected her […]
I write this post coming off of a “grading high.” Assessing student work does not always leave me feeling cheerful and refreshed. There are times it leaves me feeling discouraged and plagued with questions: “What went wrong? How did so many of my students miss the mark on this skill?” But as we race into […]