Three Simple Steps for Finding Solutions to Instructional Issues

Just Do It

We make a big deal in education about the importance of reflection. Teachers are admonished to take time to think about their instruction, or more importantly to reflect on student learning. It’s a powerful process to engage in methodically thinking through how to improve troubling issues that arise in the classroom. Teachers typically begin by […]

What Young Writers Need

When I taught kindergarten years ago my favorite time of the day was writing workshop. I loved modeling a simple lesson, sending students out to write on their own while I moved around the room conferring with as many young writers as time allowed before we closed our notebooks for the day. They were enthusiastic […]

That Thing You Do! Dr. Mary Howard–Breathing New Life into our RTI “HEART”

Dr. Mary Howard and I have never met in person, but she has had a profound impact on my continuing education in literacy. Through the power of social media, I learn (sometimes daily) critical information about the state of reading and writing instruction in our country. Dr. Mary Howard is guest blogging for today’s That […]

Best New Year’s Resolution for Teachers in 2017: Do Less.

Prioritizing Responsibility versus Accountability

When have teachers ever been asked to do less? At the beginning of each school year, new initiatives are rolled out, multiple resources are prescribed, numerous trainings are scheduled, stacks of forms are introduced and teachers start out feeling crushed beneath the weight of it all.   Never, I repeat never, are teachers asked to […]

Top 10 Posts from 2016

Last February I started blogging weekly and in September a second weekly segment, That Thing You Do! was added. It’s a post by invitation where authors and educators share a strategy that teachers can put into practice in their professional lives. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who contributed this year. Thank […]

Response to Intervention: We Know the Models, But Where’s the Magic?

Much has been written about RtI. We have protocols and models, research-based practices and progress monitoring tools, charts, graphs and forms ad nauseam. Where is the growing number of children who love to read, and read voraciously on their own? (And, I might add, without silly incentives?) Isn’t that what we were after when “The […]

That Thing You Do! Christal Hollinger–School Leadership: What if It Is About More?

Christal Hollinger is the guest blogger for today’s That Thing You Do segment. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Christal for almost a decade. We worked together as literacy coaches before Christal moved on to an assistant principal position in our district. Late last year, Christal accepted a principal position in a nearby district. I […]

Book Smuggling: An Unconventional Way to Hook Readers

From 1985 to 1992 my husband traveled behind the Iron Curtain and engaged in an operation that only a select few of our family and friends knew about. Before he could meet up with his contacts in the Eastern Bloc countries where he traveled, there were other individuals who smuggled materials into secret locations for […]