November 6, 2019

Imagine you have been handed a 1,000 piece puzzle… in a plastic bag. There is no helpful picture on the outside of the box to provide vision for how these pieces fit together. You start fumbling, trying to remember the few puzzle strategies you know. It all results in feeling frustrated, defeated, and ready to give up. You don’t have enough to go on.

When we provide explicit grammar instruction (pu...

February 28, 2019

(Pixabay: Mabel Amber)

In my last blog (here) I shared my own slightly scandalous journey of being a young teacher trying to find meaningful methods for teaching the language standards in ways that stoked student transfer. Now, let’s take a journey together, and invite students along. Here are two easy routes that help learners get out of landlocked, passive stances about word learning and into sai...

March 22, 2018

This is how I thought about science as a first year sixth-grade science teacher: So much content and so few days to teach it all. I needed to get all those facts and content into their 12-year-old heads as fast as possible. A few weeks into a unit, though, I noticed sub-zero levels  of engagement, motivation, and care for science. I remember thinking, “What is wrong with these kids?? Science is AH...

December 9, 2016

“The important thing is to not stop questioning:

curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

-Albert Einstein

I am an optimist... possibly an eternal optimist.  I have a tendency to focus on the positive- even when it is particularly challenging.  This is why research that shows students ask significantly fewer questions once they enter formal schooling is particularly upsetting for me.  One of my hi...

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