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Curriculum Coffee – Page 3 – A Written Shot of Espresso

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“What you seek is seeking you.” -Rumi I received this beautiful note at NCTE from a fellow slicer and educator. Since I first read it, it has filled me with such light. Sometimes it is amazing to me how well strangers can know you. Last week, I got on a plane to Baltimore to attend… Continue reading On Gratitude

Being at NCTE is a surreal experience. I have spent the last few days surrounded by passionate, dedicated professionals, incredibly talented authors, and nearly my entire professional library—live and in the flesh. I’ve sat it sessions with educators from all over the country and learned from their expertise on social justice, LGBTQ rights, literacy development,… Continue reading The Smartest Person in the Room is the Room

“Sometimes the greatest PD is the teacher down the hall.” This quote has been circulating on social media for awhile now, and I personally could not agree more. We can learn a lot from our colleagues. It benefits us to build these collaborative relationships and get out of our classrooms to go see other teachers.… Continue reading Supporting New Voices

Last week, I had an interesting conference. For the past few years, our parent-teacher conferences have been student led. Our students spend time creating a presentation for their parents, complete with evidence of their learning, examples of work they’ve done, and rules they get to set for the 20 minutes they are in charge of… Continue reading Learning from Student-Led Conferences

In my writing classroom, conferences are the way I do most of my teaching. Sometimes they’re “formal” and more scheduled, but most often, they aren’t. Students are asking me questions, running drafts by me, and looking for clarification. These might be quick confirmations, but they can also turn in to full blown conversations or lessons.… Continue reading Skill Specific Writing Conferences

Teachers all have lessons they create that they’re proud of. These lessons typically teach valuable skills in a new, innovative way. Many times, they are popular among students, too. For me, one of the lessons in my repertoire that I am most proud of (and love to teach) is on text evidence. In sixth grade,… Continue reading Teaching Text Evidence with Movie Trailers

It’s no secret that I am a proponent of unconventional grading practices. In fact, I’ve written about the subject several times before. (Here, here, & here.) While I’ve been making the transition to a classroom that focuses less on points and percentages and hope to one day have a gradeless class, there’s been a returning… Continue reading Unconventional Teaching Practice: Grading Conferences

You hear a lot these days about the importance of building relationships with your students. It seems like a typical education ‘buzzword’, popping up in all the current blogs, Twitter chats, Instagram stories, and even research. While this concept is gaining popularity (or so it seems), I can tell you with 100% certainty that it… Continue reading The Impact of Teachers Who Care

Survival. Crying in the car. Rejoicing at the most minor milestones. Finding colleagues to lean on. Making teacher friends who get it. Late night grading. Wine. Chocolate. Crawling toward the finish line into summer break. The first year teaching has been called many things. One thing I’ve never once heard it described as? Easy. We… Continue reading The First Year

When I talk to other teachers about personalized learning, I always share how difficult it was for me at the beginning (and sometimes it still is). There are always challenges with anything, especially when it’s new, and personalized learning is no different. This philosophy allows for a lot of student freedom, self-regulation, and choice, which… Continue reading Letting Go of Control in Your Classroom

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