10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun. It might not sound like […]

Believe It Or Not, Kindergartners Can Do Research

When my oldest son was five, he asked me whether the leaves were falling because the air was getting colder or because the sun was setting earlier. We gathered leaves. We conducted experiments. We looked at maps of leaves and sunlight and temperature. He wasn’t reading but he was doing research. When my middle son […]

Why Students Should Learn Copywriting

I never learned how to write copy in school. In fact, even after taking a ton (yes, we weigh them in tonnage) of literature and humanities classes, I somehow graduated from college without knowing the term “copy writing.” To be fair, I went to Arizona State, so there’s that. However, I first learned about the […]

Seven Ways We Can Fix the Dreaded Student Research Paper

When I was a kid, I hated research papers. I hated the paint-by-numbers rules we had to follow. I hated the fact that I couldn’t choose the topic or ask the questions or find the sources. I hated the notecards and the binders and everything else that stripped the wonder and curiosity of research. This […]

Seven Shifts in How Students Do Research

When I first began teaching, I viewed research as something separate from the rest of learning. We did research projects or we kept the research as a phase within a project. Since then, I’ve had some shifts in how we do research: 1. Start with questions. I’m not sure why this took me so long […]

Raising Children Who Love Reading

I love to read. So do all of my siblings. Someone asked me what my parents did to get us into reading. I’m still not sure how to answer that, but here’s a thought. Reading wasn’t rewarded at our house. We never had word walls or anchor charts or point systems. We didn’t have reading […]