April 16, 2020

As a consultant, my daily work life consists of learning with teachers and being a side-by-side thinking partner. We study, experiment, and explore practices with the goal of supporting students. It is joyful work, and I have always loved the connection and community that it brings. Coaching and consulting are equal parts instructional conversation and human connection. However, over the last few...

March 27, 2019

Photo credit: Belle Co

Inside every writing conference, I have a favorite moment. It lives in those few seconds right after I’ve given feedback, and I watch as it registers in a series of expressions that crosses the child’s face like sun rays breaking through clouds. There is a moment of surprise, followed by the smile that says, “You get me.” In that space of human connection, my heart surges. I...

February 24, 2017

The words we use hold power-- the power to nurture, inspire, and teach. A small adjustment to our wording can turn what sounds like corrective feedback into appreciative, hopeful feedback. Consider these two statements:

You added dialogue to your story but you need to add inner thinking.

Because you added dialogue to your story, you are ready to add inner thinking.

These two statements are identical...

November 20, 2016

I find tremendous value and flexibility in the structure of workshop.  Instruction across subjects and throughout my day has a tendency to often look a lot like my reading and writing workshop.  Starting with whole-class minilessons and ending with shares allows us to learn, practice, share, and reflect together.  After our minilessons, we are all able to go off and approximate/practice in a suppo...

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