Writing from the Ashes

Evacuated from my home the first morning of the Tubbs Fire, I found a charred page of the bible amidst the fallen ash. Here’s an erasure poem I wrote using that that page to express the devastation and find my way towards resilience. Share these strategies to create and teach erasure poems.

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Courageous Learning with Comics

Problem I don’t draw. Seriously, this is what I’ve told myself for most of my life. Yes, this was the humbling realization I had when reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset years ago, as in other parts of my life I feel like a walking example of someone with a growth mindset. I thrive on challenges, on learning from failure, and all that. I take risks daily to push myself beyond what…

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Six Reasons to Recite Poetry

Only two weeks into my poetry recitation challenge in a Title I school, I cannot walk across the playground without a student stopping me to share a poem. “Be forewarned. Reciting poetry is contagious.” In an unscheduled visit to one fifth grade classroom, I arrived to see students out of their seats raising hands to be the first to recite poems. They had begged the teacher to let them take their poems home…

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Twelve Days of Social Networking

In the spirit of holiday fun, I’ve rewritten a classic song from the 1700s with a twenty-first century twist. This is dedicated to educators, leaders and innovators engaged in professional learning networks (PLN).

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Schools Must Foster Risk-Taking

It’s easy to forget the dynamic of risk-taking in the world of K-12 education, where success is mapped in a staircase of standards and academic achievement is key to opening doors. This video poem and reflective blog dare educators to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, and inspire students to do the same.

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A Bilingual Poem for #WriteMyCommunity

When I was eight, I remember staring out the car window and thinking about disconnect between my world and the world of my Spanish-speaking neighbors who lived only a freeway exit away. No one in my family spoke Spanish, but I wanted to. In California, Spanish is the song of street signs and city names. It’s the voice of a history I wanted to hear, and neighbors I wanted to understand.

As an adult, I wrote this poem in my second language, Spanish, to reach out in a new way. An English translation follows.

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4 Ways to Bring Audience into the Writing Classroom

Engaging students in writing for a real audience and purpose is motivating, AND it enhances the QUALITY of student writing. Busy educators want easy ways to make it happen.

Here are four powerful ways to engage students in writing to CCSS expectations for a real audience and purpose.

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Welcome!

Welcome teachers, administrators, and everyone invested in the future of public education.

This blog is about learning: student learning, teacher learning, and my own learning as a language and literacy consultant leading change in K-8 schools.

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