When They Get It (But Can’t Quite Say So…)

As an MTSS support coach, I’m constantly reminded that students at the losing end of the achievement gap are very rarely deficient in their ability to take an academic interest in a subject.  But when a student’s reading and writing gaps are so far behind grade level that traditional assessments bar them from demonstrating their […]

Making Research Relevant: Teaching Students to Synthesize Evidence

Every time I go to a workshop about research writing and synthesis (and I’ve been to a few since I teach both AP Language and AP Seminar), we talk about making smoothies or chocolate chip cookies or chili. In every instance–much to my disappointment– we’re not talking about eating, we’re talking about blending evidence effectively. […]

The Most Essential School Supply (Plus 3 Instructional Practices to Make the Most of It!)

It’s that time of year. Yeah, we may sometimes feel like we’re in survival mode with eager tallies marking how many Mondays are left in the school year, but as much as we might be counting down, we’re also starting to plan ahead for next year. We’re waxing reflective and submitting school supply lists to […]

“Word by Word”: Thinking About Close Reading, Revision, and NCTE

The title of Anne Lamott’s book on writing, Bird by Bird, comes from a family story that a favorite colleague of mine also liked to tell when she was helping students get started with their writing. As Lamott tells it, when her father saw her brother overwhelmed by the task of a report on birds […]

Punctuation Study: A 5-Day Writing Study to Set the Tone for the Year

This year, I am teaching two new grades in a new classroom in a new school with new colleagues and a new schedule. And with all that comes the delightful insecurity that comes with every new school year to some degree — the feeling that I’ve never taught anyone anything before, the fear that I […]