October is Here!

Six Words

Call for submissions…  and you only need to come up with six little words.  This week I was reading the Horn Book Magazine– one of my favorite magazines- and sprinkled throughout were the wittiest little six word memoirs written from the perspective of characters in famous books.

“Learned to write.  Saved the bacon” by Charlotte

Six words- talk about choosing just the right word!  Writing six word memoirs could have many interesting uses in the classroom.  Or, they could be a fun style for you to experiment with in your own writer’s notebook.

My six word memoir for this week:

“It’s not time to panic, yet.”

Send me yours and I’ll post it here!

Up and Down the Stairs


Last year Amanda Jacob led a book study group on the book Knee to Knee, Eye to Eye.  Though the members of this group finished the book last year, their conversation continues as they meet on a regular basis to talk about how the use of these strategies is going in their classroom.  We have 20 copies of this book on the way.  Anyone interested in getting together to read this book in smaller discussion groups?

Grade 5 is thinking about their process implementing accountable talk strategies in a different way.  They have created a g-doc where all members of the team can contribute insights, things they have tried, and A-Ha moments with each other.  In the end, it should be a good record of their journey through their process.

The LA committee will be talking next week about how to carry the PD around accountable talk forward and how to keep the professional conversation alive around our goal.  Any suggestions?  Please send them to me or your local LA committee member!

Food for Thought

Reading Workshop… it’s something we are all thinking and re-thinking this year as we begin to write reading units that resemble writing units.  What happens to guided reading?  What happens to literature circles?  How do I fit it all in?  Of course, there is no easy answer to these questions- but that’s ok.  Thoughtfully designing a reading program means constantly asking “What is the best teaching strategy to meet the needs of my readers at this time?”

The Reader’s Workshop follows exactly the same format as Writer’s Workshop.  This predictable structure will help students know exactly what to expect: mini lesson with practice in the meeting area, independent work time, sharing at the end.  With this routine firmly in place, you can teach specific reading skills and strategies to the whole class.  Then, you can use the independent work time to have guided reading groups meet with you, or you can have individual conferences with students, or you can have students meet in partnerships or book clubs, etc…  Flexibility within the structure is the key to getting it all in- use the right strategy at the right time.  That’s what makes teaching a craft!

Kathy Collins recent post about Independent Reading Workshop outlines the various models of managing independent reading time and makes a strong case for the RW approach.

Love. The. Web.

What caught my eye this week…

  • Check out this great post on Teaching Non Fiction in Reader’s Workshop
  • One of my (weird, teacher-like) obsessions is with Mo Willems.  I am trying to convince Jack and Eli that they should dress up like Elephant and Piggie for Halloween.  But so far, they are both thinking scary vampire. Why won’t they bend to my will?  You may be inspired by this blog post as you think ahead to your own Halloween costume.
  • The Exquisite Corpse.  I can’t even explain this- you just have to go here and see it.  I promise it won’t scare you.

Have a great weekend!


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