The PD Wars and Why We Must Fight Them: A Super-Fun Guide to Influencing Your Colleagues

I finished reading the outstanding Why They Can’t Write by John Warner recently, which was filled with excellent writerly advice.  But it also got me thinking about the somewhat accidental path that got me engaged in continuous professional development. When I first started teaching, I was eager to get involved in things that would help […]

Assessing Writing Workshop: FAQ

Gentle readers, when we were last together, I shared some ideas for assessing the spirit of workshop with an emphasis on assessing both process and product without looking for perfection. Instead, in writing workshop, we look for growth. When we consider assessment separate from grading (something too personal, too school-by-school to really make broad recommendations […]

Making Research Relevant: Beyond the Research Paper

Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been writing about the different ways I try to make research relevant for my students. We have to help them build context so they can research effectively and ask nuanced questions, we have to support their reading and give them strategies for wading through these complex texts, […]

Writing Our Way In Reader Mail: Creating Authentic Assessments

My beat this year is all about exploring how students can write their way INto texts and use their writing (or others’) to learn more about literature. If you’re looking for new ways to use writing in a literature study or hoping to blend writing workshop into a course where it doesn’t seem like a […]

Navigating Vulnerability Part 1: Content-Related Skills

Anyone who takes on a coaching role likely finds themselves navigating the deep waters of vulnerability several times a day. It’s tricky and oftentimes uncomfortable. Vulnerability can manifest itself in many different ways. We’re all learners, and we’re all human, after all. Some of us shrink back; others get defensive. Sometimes, as a coach, I’m […]

Moving Writers Creates a Classroom Writing Routine

I started this morning as I begin nearly every weekday morning when my writing alarm goes off: throw on my oversized sweater, tiptoe down the stairs (being oh-so-careful to avoid the stairs’ creaks and cracks so my babies don’t wake up, rending my writing time null and void), hit the coffee maker’s switch, light the […]