New Publication: “The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design”

I am delighted to share that Dr. Stephanie Loomis and I have co-written an article about my classroom design and how it is driven by instructional design; this article, "The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design," is available now in the September 2020 issue of NCTE's Voices from the … Continue reading New Publication: “The Classroom Is a Mirror: Learning Spaces as a Reflection of Instructional Design”

Mission Impossible: Preparing to Teach in a Covid Red Zone State

As we begin our third week of pre-planning in my district, it's hard to find the words to write this post.   It is almost too painful to articulate the fear, anger, and anxiety that has been building inside me the last six weeks or so as the beginning of the school year has drawn closer.  … Continue reading Mission Impossible: Preparing to Teach in a Covid Red Zone State

Beginning Our Argumentative Writing Unit with an Inquiry Stance, Part 2: Arguments in the Wild Analysis Safari

In my last post, I shared how we began to take an inquiry stance to explore what we thought we knew about argumentative writing.  For the next part of our inquiry, I set up a gallery walk of sorts with a variety of different texts that presented an explicit or implicit argument.  We reviewed our … Continue reading Beginning Our Argumentative Writing Unit with an Inquiry Stance, Part 2: Arguments in the Wild Analysis Safari

Reading Workout with Literary Nonfiction and Memoir Book Clubs

Inspired by the always innovative Sarah Brown Wessling, I adapted an activity she shared this past December that she calls Reading Workouts for independent reading time.  I made a few modifcations to account for a shorter literacy block of time and the needs of my 8th grade learners, but here is my version that was … Continue reading Reading Workout with Literary Nonfiction and Memoir Book Clubs

Revising at Points of Need: Narrative Revision Stations

One of my goals this year as a teacher is to make room for revision stations and alternative ways of tackling revision.  I am proactive in providing ongoing feedback in real time through Google Documents, but toward the end of the year, I honestly felt I needed additional ways to help my students take more … Continue reading Revising at Points of Need: Narrative Revision Stations

Playlists with Stations Are Music to My Ears—Best Ever First Days of School FTW!

In my last post, I shared a preview of my playlists with stations first days activity.  We used the first three days of class to engage in a variety of literacy learning tasks to engage students in classroom community building, engage in some reading and writing, and knock out some beginning of the year tech … Continue reading Playlists with Stations Are Music to My Ears—Best Ever First Days of School FTW!

Eve of First Day with Students Plus a Tour of My Station Rotations with a Playlist Twist for the First Days

https://youtu.be/MQHGe4f1sp8 Notes:  Station 1: “One Word” language and art activity Station 2: Brainstorming positive behaviors to help us learn and brainstorming behaviors to avoid that get in the way of learning.  (free signs via TPT) Station 3: All About You as a Reader/Writer Survey (Google Form) Station 4: Critical Reading and Constructed Response in Canvas … Continue reading Eve of First Day with Students Plus a Tour of My Station Rotations with a Playlist Twist for the First Days

Seesaw: A Space for Sharing, Community Building, Feedback, and Formative Assessment

For the last year, I have been wanting to try Seesaw, but the timing was not right until last week.  Seesaw is a digital portfolio where students can "capture their learning" in any form.  The Seesaw "Learn More" page says that Seesaw "empowers students to independently document what they are learning at school" and that students … Continue reading Seesaw: A Space for Sharing, Community Building, Feedback, and Formative Assessment

Gettin’ Sticky With It: Post-It Notes for Formative Assessment, Sharing, Meaning Making, and Noticing

During the week of August 14-21,we read and discussed together the following Native American selections in all of my 11th Language Arts classes: "The Earth on Turtle’s Back" "When Grizzlies Walked Upright" from The Iroquois Constitution During that week we engaged in a good bit of collaborative work with station work and partner created Venn … Continue reading Gettin’ Sticky With It: Post-It Notes for Formative Assessment, Sharing, Meaning Making, and Noticing

Studio 409: Learning Space in Progress

If you read my previous blog, you know I've been very interested in the design of learning spaces for a number of years now.   I find that much of my work with library design easily translates into designing a classroom or learning studio space that aligns with the design drivers for impactful reading and … Continue reading Studio 409: Learning Space in Progress