Audio Museum

We are in the midst of recording our audio museum exhibits. Excerpts from writings from the turn of the last century bring tears to my eyes as they are read by students a century and a country divided away. I am helping them get them ready to share, which means workshop. At one point today,…

Skills: Interactive (Now Virtual) Writing

It was the day for my “I do” lesson in kindergarten as part of my commitment to get to know our EL Education Skills curriculum better. It was also the last day of school for who knew (who knows) how long. We had gotten the call the night before that today would be our last…

Skills: Make a Match

I am learning to love kindergarten. Today’s lesson started at the end of Connection Circle. We stayed in the round to kick off our lesson with the Make-a-Match fishing challenge. The students taught me, starting with Dee who threw his hand over his shoulder and back, simulating the moves of an expert fisherman. I added…

Skills: Word Rule

It’s less of a dance, More of a chess game: Teaching. Sometimes I am the knight, the queen, and, yes, sometimes the pawn. Take another of this week’s Skills lesson, this time in second grade. Similar to the first-grade lesson I had taught a mere 30 minutes prior, this one introduced a new phonics rule….

Skills: Chaining

/t/ -oss. Toss. /k/ -uff. Cuff. /b/ -all. Ball. /b/ -uzz. Buzz. /m/ -ass. Mass. Yes, I know – and some of you may have seen it coming – this morning, I led a group of six-year-olds in a routine that ended in “ass.” And that was just the warm-up! Good news: only one student…

Joy Created

They sat around the table at the end of the day. They chatted while they worked. Parallel play among colleagues. They share stories of their days: A field trip to see butterflies and hold the tarantula, an iPad full of pictures and Tweets as proof. A budget meeting and a plan for next year already…

dependent AND independence

“We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading” -B.F. Skinner A few months ago at a national literacy conference, I spent a good part of the hour before lunch engaged in my favorite kind of professional learning: a teacher-as-reader journey through a series of lessons, in this case, about birds and…

the known AND the new

“And how do you feel about that?” she asked me. Honestly, when I stop to think about the way we have pushed “pause” on foundational literacy practices like –  gulp – putting it in writing makes it exceptionally real – but here goes – like independent reading and writing workshop, I felt like an impostor.  Like…