Grades gone wild…

Cult of Pedagogy turned my attention to this fantastic post by Arthur Chiaravalli, “Teachers Going Gradeless.”  Gratitude for my PLN for helping me stay fresh, excited and wise: things have been tricky at my school recently, and while we’re on spring break I am determined to relax, dangit. Refresh, Renew. All that good stuff. People are worried about me (turns out middle school girls and boys think I’m crying when I am having a hot flash–thanks, menopause). I was beginning to get a little worried about myself: have I taught them enough? Is testing going to be okay? Will the boy…

The Work in Workshop…

Throwing this out there: I need a writing group. I need the accountability and presence of other ideas. I am wondering if my lack of writing with any regularity, except for this blog, is a result of no structure, the end of PSWP, and not finding another NWP. Writing Workshop works. It is an exceptional means to help students grow as readers and writers. I’ve tried to sell colleagues on it, and because they haven’t been to the mountaintop and met with gurus of enlightenment like my friends Holly Stein and Kim Norton, they don’t believe me. So I just…

Moving through summer…

I wish I could say this post is urgent, but alas, I know the truth: I’m avoiding ‘real’ summer work– the projects and ideas that are supposed to rejuvenate me and get back in touch with my ‘real’ self. So here’s a deal: I’ll write this post, and then go do something. Maybe take the dog for a walk. Maybe organize my jewelry box. Or go find some Pokemon. Who knows? The world is wide open. And gotta catch ’em all. When the school year starts again, it’s closed, boxed, a hedge maze of navigating rules and schedules. And consistently…

Test day.

Today is our third quarter reading assessment day. Here are a few things I’ve learned: 1. Many of you don’t know what a “text box” is. (And I need to think why this is important to your future.) 2. Many of you are still struggling with using the vocabulary in context clues (you have at least six different pathways). (And now I need to think why this is important to you, too, in this age of digital dictionaries and spell check.) 3. Many of you do not know how to “draw a conclusion.” (And I am reflecting on why you…