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February 28, 2018

The syrupy words flowed from her mouth like sweet lemonade in summer. From behind a book, her nose held up giant sunglasses or sometimes a feathery masquerade mask, while she drew us in with stories from places our small-town minds could barely fathom. She was the firs...

December 14, 2017

It was a Friday afternoon in Room 302. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday soulfully filled the ears of my 28 students, crooning from the crackling old record player I had bought at a yard sale. We had been studying perspective and how to add vivid details to narratives...

September 15, 2017

I remember one of my undergrad professors once saying that there was a difference between a reason and an excuse. And there I was, 2 weeks into my first year teaching and I was faced with a student standing at my door explaining to me why he didn’t have his homework fo...

September 12, 2017

Word problems are commonly a challenge for young mathematicians.  But real world math is presented to us in the form of word problems. Our bosses never come to us with a computation problem. Our bank websites don't have times tables for us to solve.  And grocery store...

September 5, 2017

Back-to- School
For 15 years I stood on the other side of the of the threshold, welcoming new
students and their parents on the first day of school. But now it’s my turn to be in
the line in the hallway. We are standing in hall with the child we thought we might
never...

January 12, 2017

One of the things I dread as a reading teacher, are the weeks I have to be a writing teacher.  I always integrate writing about our reading but there are always those units where everyone has to produce a particular genre of writing.  In third grade that's a narrative...

January 7, 2017

Part 2:  Taking it Higher

Now that our new read aloud has successfully been launched using the 20 Questions Book Reveal, students were about to burst to begin Frindle.  To take advantage of their undivided attention, I introduced some rather ordinary-looking questions f...