Let Them Learn

Reframing Attitudes About Our Most Fragile Learners

Let’s pretend for a minute that next year your campus will no longer provide pull out services for students with unique instructional needs. Neither the SPED teacher nor the ELL teacher will be taking students from your room to provide “special” services. How in the world is that going to work? Meetings are scheduled with […]

Reading; Rehearsal for Real Life?

It’s been months since I read Kelly Gallagher’s book, In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom, but something he wrote there has hounded me ever since. I want students to take the wisdom they encounter in the books they are reading and apply that wisdom to the […]

That Thing You Do! Melissa Hassell–Bringing Families Together With Books

My good friend, Melissa Hassell is writing today for That Thing You Do! Melissa has been in the elementary classroom from first to fifth grade and is now an instructional coach on a PreK-6 campus. A couple of years ago, Melissa experimented with a family book club on her campus. I got a chance to […]

That Thing You Do! Ariel Bealer–Giving Our Youngest Writers the Gift of Choice

I’m so honored that Ariel Bealer is today’s guest blogger for That Thing You Do! Ariel is a first grade teacher on our campus. She and her students write daily and when I’m able, I sneak into their Writer’s Workshop. You can follow Ariel on Twitter @a_bealer and on Instagram @iheartpenguinz   Once a month […]

Taking Instruction in Text Structures to a Deeper Level

If we want students to fully comprehend nonfiction text, we must provide powerful instruction in the types of text structures authors typically use. In the past I gave a gentle nod to the text structure unit, but lately I’m rethinking my mild indifference. Non-fiction text structures guide the reader in knowing how an author organizes […]

That Thing You Do! Aubrey Steinbrink–Discovering Your Why So the What Makes Sense

I’m so excited today that my friend and co-conspirator, Aubrey Steinbrink is the guest blogger for today’s That Thing You Do! Aubrey is an instructional specialist on a K-6 campus. She’s currently working on her post graduate degree and that makes this blog post even more important. Aubrey took valuable time away from family, studies […]

Five Simple Tips for Engaging Middle Grade Students

Pop Culture in Upper Elementary Learning

You’ve seen it. The slack-jawed expression from two dozen (plus a few more) tweens staring back at you. It’s terrifying and in my role as instructional coach on our campus there’s nothing that ties my stomach in knots more than that look of indifference. When I accept an invitation to co-teach or model a lesson […]

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

This post generated a lot of interest when it first went live back in December. I’m re-posting this week in an effort to continue this very important conversation. Intervention must be thoughtfully designed for our most fragile readers. Much has been written about RtI. We have protocols and models, research-based practices and progress monitoring tools, […]

That Thing You Do; Kari Yates Shares Conferring – A Conversation Between Readers

Heartfelt thanks to Kari Yates, author of Simple Starts for sharing in That Thing You Do! today. Kari is a program manager for literacy and English Learners supporting teachers and administrators in literacy instruction. You can follow Kari at her site SimplyInspiredTeaching.com and on Twitter @Kari_Yates. Ah, the one-to-one reading conference. I know of no […]

Disruptive Innovation in Education

Improving Outcomes for All Our Students

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we spent more time and energy in education trying for “business as unusual” than supporting a system that works to maintain the status quo? I’m intrigued by Clayton Christensen’s work on disruptive innovation and I believe there’s compelling application for teaching and learning. “Disruptive innovation, a term of art coined […]