To try to bring back a regular blogging habit in 2020, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite lessons/units/ideas/learnings from 2019. I'm starting with the one that has the biggest impact on my teaching - Teaching Strategies, Not Texts. This is not a new concept, by any stretch of the imagination. I knew … Continue reading Teaching Strategies Not Texts – The Outsiders
Last year at this time, I set an ambitious goal to write one blog post per week. My goal was to be reflective on my practices, thinking about both celebrations and challenges. However, life happens - and I only blogged once. The entire year. Oops. Since setting a weekly blog goal for myself didn't seem … Continue reading Long Time No Blog
In August, I set the goal for myself of one reflective blog each week. I thought that I would be able to maintain that during the year. I had achievable goals of celebrations, challenges, and changes. My initial goal was 5 celebrations, 3 challenges, and 2 changes each week. It's December (2 weeks before break), … Continue reading Getting it Together: Celebrations, Challenges, and Changes
The importance of self-care for teachers is growing. It's come up at several workshops I've attended recently, where I feel like for the first decade of my career - we didn't hear about it at all. I thought of myself as someone who "did self-care". I do yoga every morning because it creates a noticeable … Continue reading Some Thoughts On Self Care
A student at my school died this week. Because of the timing of the universe and how news travels these days, we had to tell them all their classmate had passed. I had to look out at a room of 30 middle schoolers and tell them that a child that was in school yesterday would … Continue reading Nothing Prepares You
How long should you try something before it's enough? Before you can say "Well, I gave this my best go, and it's not going to work out?" I've been thinking about this a lot lately. As I've written about before, I take aerial arts classes. I am not very good at it. I've been at … Continue reading When Do We Give Up?
I've kept a blog on and off for about 10 years now. I've had this blog for about half of that time, though I'm hit and miss on keeping up with posts. I love to talk to people about starting a blog, and I often hear questions like What if no one reads it? What … Continue reading Should You Blog?
"You're in 8th grade, and that's not an 8th-grade book." I can picture myself in the library, looking at a student with a book in their hand, saying, "Choose something else." When I first started as a teacher, I had certain thoughts about what literacy instruction was supposed to be. About holding students to "high standards". … Continue reading What counts as reading?
When I realized it was #NoWorksheetWeek, I decided to jump right in with something I've been thinking about for awhile - #BookSnaps. (This idea originated with Tara Martin - Check out her website for the details.) At this point in the year, I have spent a lot of time working with my striving readers on the skills they … Continue reading Just Jump In! – #BookSnaps
I was at a meeting a few weeks ago where a few leaders from my school's community were presenting. One thing the mayor said stuck with me. "You have to know what's important to your people." This got me thinking about what is important to my students. So - I made a three-question survey to … Continue reading You have to know what’s important to your people.