Posted in Pieces of Wisdom

Quotable Quotes #8

“The goal of any writing instruction is not to produce strong writing. It is to produce strong writers” (Calkins ix).

Posted in Regular Update

Professional Development Lending Library

I am fortunate that in the early stages of my teaching career I’ve had great mentors. I have had wonderful coworkers take me under their wing, give me advice, and guide me as I still have so much to learn. I am grateful to be able to call these wonderful people my friend, and I am grateful for everything that they have taught me and that I’m sure they will teach me.

One of the greatest things I’ve been offered through these mentors is a wealth of professional texts to read. That phrase, professional texts, sounds really stuffy. I’m not talking about anything stuffy. I’m talking about books that talk about grammar and writing and poetry. I’m talking about books that give me ideas about how to teach. I’m talking about books that can help make me my best me.

I wouldn’t have necessarily found these books on my own because I wouldn’t necessarily have known where to look. Maybe at some point I would have stumbled upon them, but that certainly is no guarantee. And I would be woefully lost without some of these books now that I know they exists. (Can you miss something you never had?)

I don’t own any of these books right now. I’ve been fortunate enough to borrow them, take notes on them, make photocopies of pages I don’t want to wait to own myself. I am forever grateful for the coworkers who have been willing to share, and I hope to one day be able to share with the next generation of teachers.


Posted in Posts I've Borrowed

Reading Allowed: Ten Compelling Middle School Read-Alouds by Maggie Bokelman — Nerdy Book Club

In today’s teach-to-the-test climate, some administrators discourage or even prohibit classroom read-alouds, especially for secondary students. I don’t have to trumpet the benefits of reading aloud to followers of “The Nerdy Book Club,” but what can you do if you’re told there’s no time because there’s too much “important” material to cover, or because the […]

via Reading Allowed: Ten Compelling Middle School Read-Alouds by Maggie Bokelman — Nerdy Book Club

Posted in Classroom Ideas, Teaching Techniques


To me, grammar is one of the more complicated parts of English. There are a lot of rules, a lot of very specific tiny things that are easily forgotten, and it’s something that always caused me problems as a student.

Grammar also wasn’t something that had a lot of focus put on it while I was in school. My grammar education came and went, and I think eventually my teachers thought that I had already learned what I needed to learn. (But I hadn’t.)

I took a couple of grammar courses in college, and I’ve tried to learn everything I can in grad school and in my tutoring job. I want to be able to provide my students with a well-rounded and understandable grammar education. I don’t want them to think that grammar is something elusive and incomprehensible.

I’m not saying that grammar is the coolest thing ever, because that might be pushing it just a little. But I am willing to say that grammar is incredibly important. Without a good grammatical foundation it can get progressively harder to communicate ideas.

And grammar isn’t all bad. I’d even venture to say that sometimes grammar can be fun. There are ways to make grammar something special, and I’m looking forward to exploring all those opportunities in my classroom.