Changing the formula.

Scaffolds and formulaic writing carry an enormous responsibility: the responsibility to go away. Be gone! BANISHED! They must serve their purpose, and then skedaddle. But how do we teachers help students know when to take off the training wells? The paradox of scaffolding helps them get started but also sends the message that they are not capable of thinking on their own. We’ve been using the same scaffold for two years now in my building and I’ve lost my own ability to take off the training wheels and ride freely, and show students how to do so. Recognizing this while giving…

Series: Elements of Structure Part I: Effect

As we weave in the CCSS into our instruction, create engaging work, etc. it’s my nature to dive deeply into the subject area–to me, that’s what great teachers do, even if they know a subject intimately. It’s the artist in me: there’s always more to observe and try. With that in mind, I am writing a series on structure, craft, and style. The first idea I want to share comes courtesy of my intelligent and wonderful colleague, Tami Gores. She and I are both working with coaches, and also have a common ground understanding of my friend and mentor, Holly…