Archive | September 2012

What are our intentions?

This I believe…

Teaching is a craft.

Teachers design lessons / units / classrooms.

Teachers teach students (not subjects).

I have different intentions for this approaching year. My first year of teaching, I was simply staying afloat. I took lessons, tests, units and anything else I could get my hands on from my colleagues and tried not to drown.

My second and third year, I taught to the tests. I designed units the wrong way. I wanted to be sure that my kids all left my room knowing that Steinbeck intended Lennie’s rabbits to symbolize freedom. I cared more about the content then my kids. I taught English, not kids.

And then a funny thing happened. I took a step back and really thought about why I loved teaching. Why was I having so much fun? And I realized it’s not because I love to teach To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s because I love to teach my kids.

This realization has led me to this year and my personal goals:

My Plan:

  • Quickwrite each day with poems and short mentor texts (Time)
  • Study Mentor Texts (Vision)
  • Set up writing experiences that truly matter (Choice)
  • Conference weekly with students about their process (Response).
  • Have students keep a Writer’s Notebook where they are encouraged to take risks in their writing (Challenge)
  • Give students 10 minutes each day for SSR (Time)
  • Gather a wide range of books for students to borrow (Choice)
  • Conference weekly with students to talk about their books (Expectations)
  • Calculate Reading Rates and set individual goals for improvement (Expectations)
  • Have students keep a Writer’s Notebook where they respond to their readings and set goals (Challenge)
  • Conduct Book Talks everyday (modeling)

What are your goals?

Conversation Education

Talking through what it means to lead a literate life and beyond.

Moving Writers

Move the writing. Move the writer.

Three Teachers Talk

Teacher-Mentors with Insights, Ideas, and Resources for Secondary Readers & Writers Workshop

Used Books in Class

because reading makes us human

The Ugly Volvo

Attempts at Adulthood

Hand in the Dark

Finding the Light in the Darkness and the Darkness in the Light


Fiction writer, radical educator, homeschooling pro


The musings of a mom-teacher-runner person with much to say about little

The Inspired Classroom

Get Inspired, Be Inspiring

teacher's podium

Teachers talk teaching.

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life