Build a Community of Readers? Yes, Please!

My grade 7  PLC has joyfully embarked upon a reading journey with our students (see previous Book Love entry). What do I mean by that? Well, we are systematically putting the reading back into our English curriculum. This may sound like a no duh! kind of situation to some people, but not to us. Time […]

Google Teacher Academy and What I Learned (Am Learning)

Last month I spent two days at the Google Teacher Academy  (GTA) held in Mountain View, California. I was nervous driving up to the fancy Google campus, and I admit I arrived way to early and thought way too much about what I was going to wear. It felt like I was a driving into […]

Book Love! New Ideas About Independent Reading

I’m about halfway through Book Love by Penny Kittle and it is giving me a lot of ideas about how I want to run my independent reading program next year. The introduction has some shocking research about young readers. I mean, we know these things, but it is still depressing: “All adolescents are reading less. There is a downward trend […]

Highlights from CUE 2014 (Part 2): The Twitterverse

Well it’s been about a month since the CUE Conference and I’m still mulling over what I learned there. For this post, I will try to summarize what I learned from the enthusiastic folks of the session titled “Blowup Your Classroom Using Social Media to Rock PD.” If that sounds like hyperbole, I thought so […]

Highlights from CUE 2014 (Part 1)

I have one major rule when it comes to attending professional development: If I learn one new teaching strategy or idea, I consider it time well spent. That said, the CUE Conference is almost an information overload. While I did catch one or two bad sessions, the vast majority are so good that my head was […]

What Kind of Reading is Common Core?

There has been a fair amount of discussion, and a fair amount of worry, about whether the Common Core State Standards discourage the study of literature in the English language arts classroom. Various administrators and consultants are admonishing teachers saying, “You have to teach  more informational materials!” implying that we should stop wasting our time […]