Why “Ask 3 Before Me” Worries Me (And What I Would Do Instead)

How can it be a bad thing that a child is reaching out for help?  Great question. Let me be clear. Partner work is crucial. I want kids to talk,

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There is no question that the start of the year is stressful but maybe there is something that can help !  While it’s true that there is so much to

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In-Classroom Visits:  A Wonderful Way to Learn New Writing Techniques

Many people have asked me what a typical day looks like when I visit a school. Although the work will look different depending upon where I go and what the

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One Simple Tip for Improving the Feedback You Give Students.

Do you want to give your students feedback in this upcoming school year that dramatically improves their writing? If so, read on. Teachers often prepare for giving feedback by looking

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Make your Planning More Effective With This One Simple Tip!

The new school year is just around the corner. Have you started planning your Writing Workshop? Inherent in Writing Workshop is the use of formative assessment—watching your kids after you

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5 Ways to Make Your Minilessons Stickier

When my daughter, Ariana, turned 3, we started talking about family chores. Initially, her understanding was surface level, but this year, her list of chores has grown and our conversations

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Minilessons: How to make them more effective and less stressful!

Picture this classroom scene. You are teaching a writing minilesson. When the lesson is completed, you ask students to try what you just taught. For some, this is no big

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Happy New School Year!

My daughter, Ariana, recently started PK3.  I assumed the amount of time to myself would be a game changer (6 hours a day, 5 days a week, hooray for universal

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When Self-Direction Isn’t Working: A Honest Look At The Bumps in the Road

I’ve been meaning to blog for the last few months, but truthfully I couldn’t.  I am in the midst of a difficult time with my daughter.  There’s been a bump

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Planning Writing Units of Study

Lately, I’ve been planning a lot of Writing Units of Study. Yes, the teachers I work with plan their own Units of Study! It’s hard work, especially the first few

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