June 11, 2020

“When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something.” - Pema Chodron

My favorite genre in which to read and write is memoir, but I wasn’t always a reader. In fact, one of my earliest school memories in regards to reading was fairly scarring. It was the tradition in my childhood first grade classroom (my teacher, she-who-shall-not-be-named) for stude...

April 28, 2020

Image from Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but the more I’m hunkered down at home, the more I feel myself drawn to books that have nothing to do with instruction, but rather titles that offer me reflection and connection. It seems whenever we experience trauma, there is an almost immediate need to fix or mitigate (or better still control). For me, this looks like pouring myself into tutorials and r...

April 10, 2020

In one of my favorite Katrina Kenison books The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir, she muses, “the good life is always the life of now, that the only moment is the present moment.” This mindset is ever embrace worthy while requiring a bit more discipline and intentionality during these days of uncertainty. Without the familiarity and comfort of brick and mortar schools, I’m finding my att...

April 2, 2020

While doing a bit of professional reading as a new second grade teacher, I came across something called a craft study. My grade level colleagues and I were so inspired by the notion that we each created an oversized laminated chart to capture the learning we were about to embark on with students. The chart covered half of my front white board and had room for three to four picture book studies tha...

March 16, 2020

As a parent and an educator, one of the hardest things about a dramatic change in our daily living is the lack of structure and predictability. When the news rolled in from our home school district that schools would be closed for the next two weeks, I began to mentally prioritize what might be helpful for my own children amidst this new reality. 

My husband and I briefly sat down to outline our sc...

December 4, 2019

The economic bubble burst in 2009 and so did my sense of invincibility. By this time, I had been teaching in the primary grades for six years and having recently relocated back to my home state, I was first on the chopping block in this new district. Regina, my principal, called me into her office and sat me down. Her eyes told the story I begrudgingly saw coming. Words like “I’m so sorry...budget...

November 12, 2019

What is Shared Reading?

As literacy instructors, we aim for the reading and writing instruction we provide to fit together in a way that makes sense and that allows for each to compliment the other. Deeper and lasting learning occurs when reading and writing are integrated in this way. We hope that while reading nonfiction texts with depth and curiosity that we can also be writing to capture our re...

October 22, 2018

Like so many novice teachers, I recall spending hours before and after school in my second grade classroom while communing with Liz and Denise, who were also new to teaching. The three of us were self-taught workshop teachers. We attended professional development offered by education publishers,  pored over teaching books, and constantly talked our way to understanding and out of our fears that ou...

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