Building an Empathy-Based Classroom

Take a look at my friend’s recently published book for all grade levels: Building an Empathy-Based Classroom: A Teacher’s Survival Guide. I’m excited to read it because I know the author, Ken Klieman, to be an outstanding teacher who truly practices what he preaches. I’m looking forward most to reading the sections on working with colleagues and holding meetings. There’s always room for improvement there!    

I May Have Coined a New Term…

For years I’ve been working with the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing in my classroom and have been so pleased with the results. I have learned a lot myself about writing, instruction, and recognizing what authors have done well in their work. When I first learned about the Traits I liked the idea of circle story organization. If you haven’t heard the term before, a circle story is one.. Read More

Mentor Texts

I’ve added a new drop down menu here called “books”. I’m hoping to add some of my favorite mentor texts to use with students for both reading and writing lessons. I plan to link them to amazon.com with thumbnail pics of the covers. But I’m struggling with how best to organize them. I’m thinking of just adding the newest book to the list by placing it at the top of.. Read More

Considering Self-Publishing

I’ve been toying with the idea of self-publishing for quite some time and it’s been a real education reading up on the self-publishing world online. Anyone out there a self-published author? I only know of a couple of people personally, and they’ve been gracious enough to answer some of my questions. It seems as though writing the book is the easy part! Marketing your book is a big task. I.. Read More

Organizing Read Alouds

I love to read books aloud to my kiddos so I have a large collection of picture books so I can do just that. I organize my books into categories that most resemble the 6+1 Traits of Writing. Most of the time when I read a book to my students we write about it too, so organizing my books this way makes things easier for me when it comes to.. Read More

Organizing a Book Room

I’ve seen many book rooms over the years, both in person and in photos, and there’s something I’ve noticed about most of them – they are over-organized. Well-intentioned teachers or other staff members have devised complicated check-out sheets involving cards, binders, clipboards, and the like. They’ve labeled boxes with titles, alphabets, numerals, colored dots, address labels, clothespins, and Ziploc bags. All for the sake of keeping the school book room.. Read More

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