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I’ve written about our gnome home and fairy tree before. And yesterday, I sent off the first of what I am certain will be many submissions to publishing houses that are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Some of you told me I should write a picture book about the events that transpired around here last spring and summer, and so I did that. I have no idea how to do that well, but I did that. I…

Last year, my daughter explained how appreciative she was of her white college professor who, as she began facilitating a face-to-face discussion in her Black history class, opened varied channels for discussion. All students were expected to “participate in class” but they were also expected to be thoughtful about how and when and where they added their own perspectives to the discussions that began there. This was important, my daughter explained, because as a white…

My interest in loose parts play evolved out of the discoveries I was making through my own action research in the years prior to the release of my first little book, Make Writing. You can read more about that work by visiting any of these posts if you’re interested. These are a few that I find particularly revealing, as a reflective practitioner: Writing Ideas at Play (2010) Research and Writing in Kindergarten (a series) (2011)…

It all started when we were about two weeks deep into our new pandemic lifestyle. John and I were sitting in our living room, which sits about twenty feet from the tree-lined sidewalk that edges our street. That sounds quaint doesn’t it? The tree-lined sidewalk that edges our street. And it is most days. Some days though, those huge trees fall down. The fall down on top of our houses. Like our house, for instance.…

“I just ordered my first box of those weird under eye gel patch thingies that everyone from Rachel Hollis to Oprah to Brene Brown seems to be sporting on social lately,” I laughed, leaning away from the screen. “I mean, if Brene uses them, they have to be good, right?” “Do they sell them in extra-strength Covid-size?” my friend asked. “There is no eye gel patch thingy made for this moment,” I admitted. “But buying…

I’ve spent this entire week traveling all over Alberta, Canada. I’ve worked with primary and intermediate level teachers, and I’ve worked with middle and high school teachers. I’ve worked with English and Science and Social Studies teachers. I’ve worked with French teachers. I’ve worked with Math teachers. And I’ve also worked with ELL teachers. They support the Hutterites who live in their communities. Those children were born and raised in Canada. German is their first…

“If we want to understand better the complex world of the classroom, and if we want our scholarship to have an impact on the work of teachers, it’s important we find a more central place for story.” Steve Shann I’ve been moved by Steve Shann’s work for quite some time, as an educator, a writer, and a story lover. Steve knows the importance of this form. He understands its ability to change minds and lives. And…

Two weeks ago, I invited writing teachers far and wide to share their biggest workshop dilemmas with me! Okay, if I’m being honest, I asked a bunch of people who recently read Make Writing to share their biggest workshop dilemmas with me. BUT! They did not disappoint! I also think that their responses will leave some of you nodding your weary heads. “My mini-lessons go too long,” many told me. “My feedback is mess,”…

This year found me recommitting to the work of daily documentation as a writer, a writing teacher, and a professional learning facilitator. This was a challenging and even overwhelming endeavor at times, but so very much worth the effort that I made. In fact, this project was so rewarding that I’ve already created new intentions for my documentation practice in 2019. These were my greatest moments of professional learning, and I wonder: If you were…

One of the funny things about parenting as an educator is that often, your children teach you a great deal about things you think you already know a few things about. Take, for instance, protocols. “We’re doing these things called modules in my English class,” my daughter Nina explained over dinner one autumn evening at the beginning of her eighth grade year. And I’ll admit, my stomach clenched. I wasn’t well acquainted with the New…