7 Winter and Holiday-Themed Writing Ideas for This Week

I’m interrupting my regular series this week to share a few writing ideas to round out the last week of the 2018-2019 school year. Many of us will struggle this week to hold the attention of our vacation-bound students, and while maintaining our regular schedule can be the perfect antidote to candy-crazed kids, spicing up […]

GUEST POST! Literary Analysis: Hold the Essay

Today’s guest writer is Jennifer Brinkmeyer, who teaches Reading Strategies and U.S. Lit Honors in Iowa City, IA. Jennifer loves teaching students how to commit rebellious acts of literacy. She is constantly seeking ways to bring her writing life into the classroom to help students validate their own writing lives. Today, Jennifer shares about teaching […]

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 […]

Getting some perspective: Choice and Authenticity in the Learning Process

When I think of increasing student choice and voice this leads me to think about increasing student motivation and happiness. And when these ideas coalesce I can’t help but think of Malcolm Gladwell’s Ted Talk (I realize this is a strange connection to make, but hear me out). Gladwell discusses how Prego, back in the ’70s, took over […]

Life Happens: Mentor Texts vs. The Curse of Knowledge

There’s a John Lennon song that addresses an issue that teachers know all too well: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making [lesson] plans.” Even the most responsive and differentiated approaches can fall victim to the different kinds of chaos that life throws our way (Technology, I’m talking to you). On top […]