Category Archives: Uncategorized

Closing Up Shop

The time has come for a change.  A fresh start.  I started this blog so many years ago it’s become a hodge podge of things over the last years.  But never fear!  We have a new blog, with a new … Continue reading

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My Love and Hate Relationship With Education

There are things I love about my job and other things…well, hate is a strong word.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.  Yesterday I had an extra spring in my step.  Not even a polar plunge on the … Continue reading

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Creating and Composing in a Digital Writing Workshop

Note: This post, co-authored by Troy Hicks and Kristin Ziemke, has been prepared in response to Nancie Atwell’s blog post about the role of technology in her classroom. In her recent blog post Nancie Atwell opens up about the role … Continue reading

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Join #WonderChat on November 3rd: Curiosity and Wonder as Habits for Living

Join Kristin Ziemke as she guest hosts #WonderChat on Monday, November 3rd at 8:00 EST. This week’s topic will be Curiosity and Wonder as Habits for Living.  We’d love to hear your thoughts as we celebrate the power of WONDER … Continue reading

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Can you do book clubs with Choose Your Adventure Books? Part 1

I know you read these as a kid!  Flipping back and forth to make the story end in different ways.  I used to love trying to read all the stories to make it end the way I thought it should. … Continue reading

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5 Things I’m Taking Back To My Classroom From #ISTE2014

Student Ignite Presentations I loved the Ignite format for presentations and I’m dying to try it with my students.  I can’t think of a better way to coach them to become stronger speakers and presenters. (And stick to a time limit!) … Continue reading

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Day 30: We Circle These Broken Birds

  We spread our wings gather in a circle to mourn. Shock waves still pounding our souls as if pummeled by a tsunami. A community surrounds these broken birds. Circle upon circle moving outward in concentric rings spread wings. We … Continue reading

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Putting Competition to Good Use

This year my class seems to have a competitive streak.  It’s not all of the students, of course, but enough of them to significantly impact the community.  It’s a fine line that I walk between motivating kids and teaching them … Continue reading

Posted in Slice of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged | 7 Comments

Coming Out of Hibernation with #SHC13 Think Tank!

Those of you that have had a baby will understand when I say that I’ve been in hibernation.  It’s not that I’ve been sleeping my days away, in fact I get less sleep now than I ever have.  My hibernation … Continue reading

Posted in Active Literacy, Collaboration, Conference Presentations, Inquiry, iPad, Professional Development, Reader's Workshop, Self Reflection, Strategy Instruction, Teacher as Readers, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What can #Twitter do for your students? Read our #HurricaneSandy adventure!

Two weeks ago one of my students visited NYC and got stuck as Hurricane Sandy rolled in.  Luckily, his family was able to take shelter at a friend’s house in Brooklyn.  On Monday morning, I projected our classroom Twitter account … Continue reading

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Classroom Jobs for the 21st Century Classroom

I’ve never been good at class jobs.  I always forget to rotate them.  But the students love having jobs (most of them anyway) and truthfully it’s helpful to have them take care of the little things.  In the 21st century … Continue reading

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We’ve Been on Blogcation…

You may have noticed that we haven’t been around.  Somewhere around the end of last school year things got C-R-A-Z-Y in Chicago.  Kristin and I have spent this summer traveling for fun and for work.  We recently had the opportunity … Continue reading

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Vote and Spread the Word!

Five of our students, with guidance from the fabulous Todd Strother, created this amazing video for the Adobe Youth Voices competition.  They are now one of twenty finalists in the international competition.  I am wowed by their sophistication and creativity.  … Continue reading

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Out of the mouths of babes…

On Friday we celebrated Read Across America with a pajama party.  All students were invited to wear their pajamas and slippers to school and to bring a favorite stuffed animal as their reading buddy. As many of you know, my … Continue reading

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Class Meetings Matter

Class meetings matter.  I understand that sometimes there are not enough minutes in the day. I realize that we have to make choices each week how to best use our instructional time.  After a series of shortened weeks, I feel … Continue reading

Posted in Classroom Environment, Classroom Management, Collaboration, Self Reflection, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

QR Codes that Talk

Say What?  I kind of like it.  Wish you could say more and in a voice not so computerized.  That really creeps kids out…  I would love to use this one in the classroom.  So many possibilities from book reviews … Continue reading

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Starry Night

You know how I love videos…well I love this one.  Spotted this on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.  Very cool.  Great for a writing lesson, discussion about movement in art, mood, or just chilling out. Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis … Continue reading

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Customizing The World

In my coat room I have an ugly dirty greyish cabinet that I use for storage.  It’s covered with old magnetic words that were given to me  many years ago.  The students enjoy playing with them to create odd sentences … Continue reading

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Come See Us At NCTE!

We’ll be at the NCTE convention next week.  I’m already sifting through the amazing offerings trying to figure out which sessions to attend.  On Sunday we’ll be presenting with some colleagues on Inquiry Circles in the classroom.  Stop by and … Continue reading

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A Place for Books

Several weeks ago I was doing some work at two wonderful little elementary schools in Wisconsin.  While both schools had wonderful meeting facilities I have to admit I was a little jealous of the book room at one of them.  … Continue reading

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