Remember assistant principal Richard Vernon from The Breakfast Club?  Who could forget his hostile approach to supervising adolescents during a Saturday detention!  We would like to think his character is more caricature than realistic, but versions of Richard Vernon seem to haunt most schools, and of course, as a new teacher, you will want to […]

My long-time mentor, Maridella Carter, invited me to participate in the Greater Kansas City Writing Project’s Summer Institute over and over.  She knew I would love the experience, but life kept interfering.  Finally, one summer, I could commit. She was right; not only did I love the experience, but it was the BEST graduate class/professional […]

This is a piece Linda wrote for the summer institute in the Greater Kansas City Writing Project.  Participants wrote about food that is important to them in some way.  Some of the participants had nicknamed Linda Wonder Woman during the SI.   Before my mother discovered she could communicate important family information by texting all […]

After students practice reading like a writer to create anchor charts for elements of flash fiction,  it’s time to apply their learning to new texts.  Again, I like providing several text selections so students have choice, but this time, I give students a very brief text chat, a shorter version of a book talk, and let […]

I was introduced to the concept of invitational groups when Ellin Keene first worked with our middle school ELA team.  Our school had completed a book study of Mosaic of Thought, but it wasn’t until Ellin led a demonstration lesson in a colleague’s classroom that I started to understand the power of the invitational group.  While […]