Building Readers

  “Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty.  It should be offered to them as a precious gift.” —Kate DiCamillo I love to sit on the carpet with a small group of young readers and examine a simple predictable book. These emergent texts open the door to reading for my kindergartners. …Continue reading


“Again!” He pushes the book back into my hands. “Again, Ms. Sylvan, AGAIN!” We’ve read this one four times already today. “We’ve read this one so many times! Would you like to pick a different one this time?” “NO! THIS ONE! AGAIN!” Again. This one. Nothing else will do.     If you work with …Continue reading

Turning the Table

“I’ve taught you everything I am to teach you this year.  I’ve taught you new content and strategies to use to understand that content.  Now it’s time for you to choose what you would like to learn more about and use what I’ve taught you this year.” How does this sound to you?  Interested?  Here’s …Continue reading

Reflection = Growth

“Self-reflection is a humbling process.  It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things . . . then better yourself.”  – Sonya Teclai The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards states, “Thinking analytically about teaching is complicated because teaching is complicated.”  Teachers generally have little time for self-analysis and reflection, yet …Continue reading

No Quick Fixes

“Every spring, education-related newspaper and magazine stories raise the alarm that schools are teaching to the test. Scores of articles and editorials paint a disheartening picture of frustrated teachers forced to abandon good instructional practices for a relentless stream of worksheets based on boring, repetitive test-preparation materials.”  Craig Jerald It’s hard for teachers to stay …Continue reading