dyslexia, Education, learning, Literacy, reading

The Problem with Dyslexia (It’s Bigger Than You Think)

I'll never forget the day I was told never to speak the word dyslexia by a colleague with whom I was about to endure a particularly difficult parent meeting. Our student*, a sixth grader, was experiencing an enormous amount of difficulty reading and writing the sorts of things the majority of his classmates were breezing… Continue reading The Problem with Dyslexia (It’s Bigger Than You Think)

comics, digital writing, Education

New Comic: Valentines for Teachers

Happy Valentines Day, loyal readers! As a gift to you and a thank you for following my blog, I made a special digital comic that I hope many of you will relate to and get a little giggle from. (If you’re anything like me, V-Day is “just another day” of us slugging toward our ultimate… Continue reading New Comic: Valentines for Teachers

Education, learning

The Question of the Day: Not Just for Primary Classrooms

In many primary classrooms I've visited, the Question of the Day (QoD) is as much a part of the daily routine as is morning meeting, read aloud, and unabashed nose-picking. (I kid. Not really.) On websites such as Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers, the QoD is as benign and as devoid of substance as a… Continue reading The Question of the Day: Not Just for Primary Classrooms


RENEW! #ISTELitChat with Shawna Coppola January 29, 2018 9pm EST

Looking forward to this Twitter chat on Monday, 1/29 at 9 PM ET! Hope you’ll join me.



Shawna Coppola is a K-6 literacy specialist and the author of Renew! Become a Better–and More Authentic–Writing Teacher from Stenhouse Publishers (2017). When she is not teaching, presenting, or consulting with colleagues, she writes comics and posts for her blog, My So-Called Literacy Life. You can connect with her on Twitter (@shawnacoppola) or Voxer (ShawnaCoppola) to talk books, education, or The Bachelor.

Anticipated questions:
  • In RENEW!, I ask readers to rethink & revise five common practices in the teaching of writing: 1) how we teach writing process, 2) what it means to “write,” 3) the tools we use to teach student writers, 4) how we assess and evaluate writing, and 5) our role as teachers of writers. Which of these do you think most needs to be renewed, and why?
  • Tonight, let’s rethink the holistic scoring of writing. What “story” does this practice tell our student writers about writing–and/or about themselves as writers?
  • Our most pervasive practices almost always have merit. In the case of this particular practice–the holistic scoring of writing–What merit does it have?  How does it fit in with what we know about children and/or learning?
  • Let’s look to revise & renew this practice. How can we tell a more engaging or authentic story about writing–and about our…

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comics, comics, jargon, education, buzz words, Education, Illustration

A Collection of My Latest Comics for Your Reading Pleasure, Vol. 1

I wanted to publish a blog post before the new year so that y'all could see how COOL it is when WordPress makes everyone's blog "snow" when you visit it. (*insert heart eyes emoji*) ALSO, I've published several comics lately independent of this blog, and wanted you to be able to find them all in… Continue reading A Collection of My Latest Comics for Your Reading Pleasure, Vol. 1

Education, learning, Literacy, writing

Your New Favorite Form of Writing, Revealed

If you, like me, have ever clicked on a social media post with a headline that reads, "5 Reasons Your Eyes Are Puffy," "10 Ways to Look Less Like a Frumpy Mom" or "50 Times Judge Judy Proved She's Our Bae," you've engaged with a form of writing that can be found virtually everywhere these… Continue reading Your New Favorite Form of Writing, Revealed

digital writing, Education, Literacy, technology, writing

“Getting It Write” on the Dr. Will Show

This week, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Dr. Will Deyamport for his podcast/vlog, "The Dr. Will Show," which focuses on issues around learning and education and has featured such incredible educators as Rafranz Davis, Christina Torres, Pernille Ripp, and Sarah Thomas, among many others. In this episode, Dr. Will asks me about… Continue reading “Getting It Write” on the Dr. Will Show

books, Education, Literacy, reading

“But they only read graphic novels!”

I often get questions about how to "deal" with students who prefer, almost exclusively, to read comics and graphic novels as opposed to other kinds of texts. Underlying these questions (and the language embedded in the concept of "dealing with" any student) is often an assumption--fair or not--that the ultimate end goal is for students to… Continue reading “But they only read graphic novels!”