A few posts ago, I wrote about what Beth Rimer calls “Breather Units.” A Breather Unit is a 2-3 week mini-unit in which a teacher engages in something lighter–or perhaps does a bit of review–after a deep and intense unit of study. Inspired by a Graphic Novel Writing unit Rebekah posted to the Moving Writers […]
Balancing Support & Autonomy
Questions Instructional Leaders Can Ask To Support Their ELA Teachers I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or seen teachers complain about how they are expected to go to professional learning where the facilitators teach in ways that would never fly for classroom teachers. As someone who does an awful lot of facilitating […]
Old Connections Made New
Despite all that the pandemic has stolen from us, it has given us a few things too. I’m sure that over the course of the last thirteen months, everyone can relate a story of a connection they have restored thanks to the speed of technology and the slowdown that coping with COVID has imposed. Through […]
Talking to Teachers: Finding Time to ‘Write Beside Them’ and Confer (in an IB Classroom) (during a pandemic)
This is a follow-up conversation with Matt Foss, the IB Language and Literature teacher from the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. I spoke with Matt in a previous post where he focused on three main topics: (1) writing beside his students, (2) how remote learning has shifted how he confers, and (3) his goal […]
Talking to Teachers: FeedForward Conferring and Student Voice
In this post you will meet Matt Foss—a colleague from my most recent teaching post at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. Right away you will pick up on Matt’s passion and openness for teaching as we discuss his IB Lang/Lit classes. Below is a breakdown of the main topics we covered so that […]
Preview, not Review.
You can feel the anxiety in the air. A buzzing current at present, but one that will steadily increase in intensity as the days close in on the AP Language and Composition exam (May 15th). So my focus right now is on my juniors—a group of 21 bright, young individuals who I have worked with […]
Feedback: Providing Multiple Access Points
“Praise addressed to students is unlikely to be effective, because it carries little information that provides answers to any of the three questions: Where am I going? How am I going? and Where to next?, and too often deflects attention from the task.” – Hattie & Timperley: The Power of Feedback If you aren’t already […]
Workshop Process Non-Negotiable (Part 2): Revision & Determining Importance
Last month I wrote Part 1 of this topic. It focused on the “messiness” of the writing process. Actually, it focused on the necessity of it. For it is within the messiness that student engagement and ownership over their writing increases. This post is about what comes after that messiness…what to do with all of […]
Beyond the Baked Goods: Appreciate Teachers by Supporting Them
Don’t get me wrong; at this time of year, a lunch or a coffee cart can seem like a godsend. But, I’d argue that more than appreciation, we need support.
Coaching Writers to Provide Quality Feedback
Use these five tips and the tools provide to coach high quality peer review sessions.