One of my favorite summer traditions is not dependent on sunny, dry weather. It costs little to no money. And it fills my heart with more joy than watching contestants from The Bachelorette duke it out over a woman who has no intention of actually marrying a dude she became engaged to after six short weeks of simultaneously dating him… Continue reading Why I Reread A Childhood Fave Every Summer
Well, folks, it's that time of year! Time when we reflect on the past school year, dream about all of the ways we will be a better teacher come September, and curse the custodial staff for refusing to let us install air conditioners in our classrooms. It's also that time of year when we begin… Continue reading A Better Summer Slide Graphic?
One of the aspects I like best about being a teacher is the freedom we educators have during the summer. Not in the sense of having our summers "off"--because who, among us, truly do nothing work-related over the summer?--but in the sense of having the space and the time to reflect, to learn, and to dream… Continue reading Free, Easy, & Fun Summer Learning (Sangria Not Included)
There are hundreds of people making hundreds of thousands--some, even millions-- of dollars off of the business of developing units of study for reading and writing. As a classroom teacher, I was a fan of units of study, albeit ones that I personally developed each summer in between beach days while my kids were holed up in… Continue reading The Problem with (Most) Units of Study
What does your Facebook news feed look like? If yours is anything like mine, it's full of text--but not the kind we typically value most in schools. Sure, there's written text. But we'd be hard-pressed to find a news feed that doesn't also have images, videos, and links to other web content. Am I right?… Continue reading Creating a Digital Poem: Thoughts on Process
Hi everyone, I was asked to digitize a poem as part of a UNH course I am taking this semester on integrating technology and "new" media into the language arts classroom. I chose to digitize Georgia Heard's poem "Straight Line," as it is one that is near and dear to my heart. I would definitely… Continue reading Digital Poem: Georgia Heard’s “Straight Line”
Last week, I found this fantastic infographic by communications designer Kristen Meyers and immediately posted it on both Facebook and Twitter: Then I remembered this story I'd read recently about author Shannon Hale (Princess Academy, Austenland), who recently posted on her Tumblr page about her appalling experience visiting a school a few weeks ago. She wrote… Continue reading How to Tell If a Book is For Boys or Girls: A Guide
When I would sit on my Grammy's porch reading my Nancy Drew books, the soft summer breeze wafting through the screens, the scent of my Pop's lawn clippings mixing with the mildewy odor of my beloved mysteries, I remember how frequently I would peek forward to the next Rudy Nappi illustration, would use that next sketch of the… Continue reading The Mystery of the Disappearing Visual
Today is an important and magnificent day. Today marks the day that Ms. Wright, kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, launches writer's workshop with her students. The scene is expertly and purposefully set. Reams of paper sit patiently, waiting to be filled with swirling colors, bold lines, and grand ideas. Brand-new markers gleam. Pencils capped with bright pink erasers lean… Continue reading An Important and Magnificent Day
Even if you haven't read Rob Buryea's debut novel Because of Mr. Terupt, you are likely familiar with its plot: Mr. Terupt, a fifth grade teacher, is such a phenomenal educator that he manages to bring his students together both as a community of learners and as a family, even as an unforeseen tragedy threatens… Continue reading ‘Mr. Terupt’ = Good Teaching?