Free Resource for Conferring with Writers

Today I found a surprise in my inbox. The California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced team selected my Confer and Learn: Writer’s Workshop Conferencing Tools as a featured resource in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library! Pretty neat, eh? You can learn all about this resource here and try it free! Let me know how it works in your classroom by commenting below. 🙂

Archive Those Anchor Charts and Save Space

Anchor charts are a teaching tool I would never be without. In case you haven’t heard, anchor charts are reference posters teacher co-create with students that serve as a scaffold for learning. The key word here is “co-create”. Beware of some of the most beautiful charts you see online – many if not most of them were made alone by the teacher. These are essentially no different than a poster.. Read More

Mindset and Today’s Teacher

I came across this post today and instantly connected to it.  This post from Wayfaring Path really resonated with me because it’s about dreaming, believing, and having faith in the learning process, in our students, and in ourselves as educators.  How many of these habits of mind do you possess?  Which habits do you need to work on?  Are there any that your school or district need to adopt in.. Read More

Writer’s Workshop Conferencing Tool

Year after year I hear from teachers about how much they value the writing conferences they have with their students.  But they also confide that there never seems to be enough time to get to everyone and give the feedback young writers deserve.  Exactly!  It’s no secret that it feels impossible to make it to every student writer every day.  And realistically, can we expect that of teachers?  The best.. Read More

Writer’s Notebook – Space for Revision

Writer’s notebooks are all the rage these days and they’ve led to notebooks for all subject areas. They are a fantastic tool for housing student work in various stages of the writing process. But how do you make space for revision in your writer’s notebook? Even if you skip lines or pages, sometimes you need another way. Enter the Revision Sidebar! A sidebar is a nonfiction text feature where additional.. Read More

Planning an Integrated Unit – CCSS Style!

Fellow teachers often ask me how I am able to fit in so much teaching and so many learning experiences into each day and across the year. The truth is, we will never have enough time to give every topic its due. But I am able to do a lot with the time I have by organizing my instruction into units. Teaching a unit of study is certainly not a.. Read More

Thank You Laura Candler!

Wow! A teacher leader I’ve admired for years read my blog posts for Words Their Way today. Laura Candler is a talented educator and author with a wonderful site – Check her out! I’m so honored to have her even stop by my lil’ ole blog. She also repinned my word work notebook on Pinterest on her board called “Best Blog Posts and Teacher Resources” and single-handedly created a.. Read More

Tackling the Alphabet Avalanche

How do we keep all the different types of letters in our classrooms organized and under control? Magnetic letters. Make and Break letters. Sound-Along phonics letters. Letters for centers. Letters for spelling lessons. Letters for word sorts. Letters for task cards. Letters for stamping. Aah! It’s enough to drive a teacher crazy! When we don’t have our letters under control we run the risk of losing them. Losing a lot.. Read More

Just Pitch It!

The new school year is just around the corner (for some of us it’s already here!) and many teachers will be hired in the last few days before the first day of school. That means a lot of time will be spent setting up classrooms until they’re just right for those bright, shiny faces in the morning. But let’s be real. Setting up a classroom usually means that first you.. 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

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