Identity Synthesis: Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Revision

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 […]

Discovering Students’ OWN Language through Field Guides

This semester, I’m sharing how my students create language field guides to intentionally and systematically explore words in their reading, their writing, and their lives, not just memorize parts of speech and definitions. My first installment shared the basics of choice word field guides, the easiest and most fundamental way we explore words. My second […]

Bios, Threads, & Retweets: Moving Writers with Twitter Simulations

We know that writing strategies are everywhere. And, I am amazed at the amount of writing skills and strategies that are embedded into social media platforms. Although the student writer may not actually notice the author’s craft and intention that goes into well-crafted tweets, they are there in abundance, and I realized recently that these […]

Picture Book-Driven Inquiry: Reframing Research Investigation

“The river’s rhythm runs through my veins.  Runs through my people’s veins.” My student unmutes herself in our video conference, identifying these two lines as her favorite in Carole Lindstrom’s We Are Water Protectors.  The day before, I had read the book aloud to my students, enjoying the novelty of holding the pages close to […]

A Video Tour of What You’ll Find in A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts

It’s true: six years ago, we wrote another book on mentor texts. So, you might be wondering: what’s new in A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts? How is it different? What will you find there? The answer? SO, so very much. I made a quick little video tour to show you some of our favorite […]

Focusing and Guiding Student Writing with the Three C’s of Language

Recently, my eleventh grade writers have been drafting their own Opinion-Editorials – a student (and teacher) favorite. Writers are tasked to select a topic of recency for an immediate and practical audience: peers, friends, teachers, parents, and/or the local community. Students have a lot of fun and put a great deal heart into this piece, […]