Digital Writing with iPads: Googly Tip #1 = Using Google Keep for Research

What I’m Thinking About: My school district went 1:1 with iPads this fall. After of years of struggling to schedule time with the Chromebook cart or in the computer lab, my students finally have consistent, daily access to technology. The main challenge, and this is for teachers more than students, has been learning how iPads […]

5 YA books

The Serpent King to Empress of the World: 5 YA Booktalks

Right now I am finishing up my last class at SJSU’s iSchool. This class is all about giving booktalks and making book trailers. The goal is to get / keep people reading. I can stand behind that. This booktalk video contains talks on 5 young adult books, all of which I recommend whole heartedly. The […]

Time Traveler to Star Athlete: 4 Booktalks for Upper Elementary and Middle Grades

In this video I give booktalks about four books I absolutely loved: The Time Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Teretsky, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and Ghost by Jason Reynolds. Click HERE for the complete booktalk script.

From Vegetarian to Time-Traveler: 5 Graphic Novel Booktalks for Adult Readers

This booktalk describes great graphic novels for adults who love to read but don’t normally read graphic novels. My list includes Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger, Blankets by Craig Thompson, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Dirt Candy by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey, and Patience by Daniel Clowes. Click HERE for the booktalk script.

A Case for End-of-Year Portfolios

I am a big believer in portfolios, especially writing portfolios. But, like teachers everywhere, I never have enough time to teach everything I think my students need. It is tempting to skip the end-of-semester portfolio. We already did the writing once. Why should we do it again? I know it takes time, but I don’t skip […]

TAG - title, author, genre

Where’s Your Evidence?

I teach seventh grade. In my universe, citing evidence is not intuitive or automatic. It is a skill we work on all year with varying levels of success. Students love to say how they feel about something they’ve read. They don’t always love supporting that idea with evidence from the text.To be honest, I haven’t […]

Academic Discussion Norms

Class Discussions That Run Themselves

What I Was Thinking… Much of my classroom instruction revolves around the fifteen cognitive strategies Carol Booth Olson describes in her book The Reading Writing Connection.  If you have not yet heard of Olson’s strategies, they name and explain processes strong readers and writers undergo as they build understanding. For specific details about cognitive strategies, click […]