Family Stories: A New “Mini Unit”

I love this blog post by Two Writing Teachers:

Family Stories: A New “Mini Unit”.

The Antidote to December Stress: Teach Students to Write about Gratitude

A beautiful way to connect student writing with the gratitude of their hearts.

Writing About Reading Begins With Thinking About Reading

This teacher is MY teacher! I learn from every blog post I read! Wow!



Ambivert: thoughts on being a mixture of introvert and extrovert.

Originally posted on Reflections on Leadership and Learning:

Hi.  My name is Amy.  I am an ambivert.

CCC licensed work from CCC licensed work from

I first heard the term ambivert last March as the ASCD annual conference.  Daniel Pink shared his research about people who have traits of both introverts and extroverts.   I was immediately struck by the possibility.

Often, people who know me professionally are shocked when I describe myself as an introvert.  They see me as strong, as a leader, as someone who enjoys facilitating professional development, and as coach who isn’t shy or afraid to speak.  They also know how fast I can talk and that I can talk a lot! This doesn’t compute with the typical definition of an introvert.

But there is another side to me.  When I am in unfamiliar situations (personally or professionally), when I am surrounded by strangers, or when I step outside of my comfort zone, I am a very…

View original 354 more words

Saved by the Read-Aloud by Ryan M. Hanna

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

This is a simple story. A small reflection. But, it has weighed heavily on my mind and heart since the end of last school year, and what better day to share it than on Surprise Sunday?


One of the most common pieces of advice that I received from my mentors and professors when I first entered teaching was to make the time to read books aloud to my students. I am not telling the Nerdy Book Club audience anything they don’t already know when I say read-alouds benefit students in a myriad of ways, such as building students’ language and vocabulary skills, helping students gain knowledge about the world around them, and engaging students’ imaginations and creativity, just to name a few. I’ve always read to my students because I know it helps them develop a love of reading.


I made a surprising discovery this past school year…

View original 758 more words


I just read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. What an amazing book! It was beautifully written and so validating!
One thing the author spoke about was how important it is to appreciate the gifts of introverts — whether in yourself or in your own children, or in your students. Introverts offer deep insights and observations about the world, and deep intimacy with a few rather than shallow connections with a multitude. She wrote about research into an introvert’s nee to recharge and find a quiet space for healing and recharging. She talked about carving out time and space for this, and how unhealthy it is for introverts not to have this kind of recharging. She talked about the importance of honoring who we are as introverts by choosing jobs in which our gifts shine, rather than trying to change ourselves to fit the picture of our extrovert-oriented world. She spoke of the danger of gearing everything toward extroversion, of missing the gifts that only introverts can bring to a classroom, a business, the world.
It strikes me how very much I am enjoying my teaching this year, and how well-suited I am for these small scale interactions. My students are learning so much from me, and I am learning so much from them, by being able to work with them one-on-one and in small groups. I am helping them reach deep to learn, and in return and reaping the harvest of emotional and intellectual connection. I have often thought of teaching as a job for party people. But there’s a place for very kind of person in teaching — it’s just a matter of finding the right setting and the right way to teach and learn that suits you.

I Can READ this!!

Jonas has been struggling to read. To read, he has to sit still, and Jonas cannot sit still. So today, as we read together, Jonas jumps up and down, his arms against the table, his legs pumping like a pogo stick. 

“Five (jump, jump) Mice (jump, jump) race (hop, slide) to the (jump, plop in the chair) place.”

In the chair, he rocks back and forth, tick-tock, the legs of the chair tapping like a ticking clock. Some days I’ve tried to get him to settle down to read. Today I don’t try. And, amazingly, he reads.

As he reads, I write down words he is figuring out, all of which end in a silent “e”.






Twenty-one new words cover a small white board when we are done with the book. He has persisted. When he is done, he grabs the book the the white board and races back to his classroom and shouts, “I read this book! I know all these words!”

Then he sits down and reads the book again. He reads it three times before he is through, all on his own. All because he can.


Previous Older Entries

Raising a Literate Human

Join me on my journey to raise my daughter to read the word and read the world.


Simple life with cacti

Explorergarden's Weblog

Just another weblog

Great Mentor Texts

This site is the cat’s pajamas

Nature Explorer

Just another site

There's a Book for That

Where book love and primary classroom hilarity are shared

My Creative Journey

Art, Life, and General Madness


Bring new life to your garden!

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

The Reading Zone

I am a reader, a teacher, a writer, a thinker, a reviewer, and a dreamer of dreams.


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Waking Brain Cells

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." — Dr. Seuss

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Bug Girl's Blog

Entomology. Ranting. Nerdery.

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

Arb Nature Notes

Nature Notes from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.