The Dictionary: An Endangered Species

In my work, I often rely upon the ways I was taught, the elements of my basic education that have never left me, nor failed me. Examples of fundamentals I count on are the short and long symbols for vowel sounds. The graphic symbols for pronunciation that we find in the dictionary have helped me … Read more

Learning on the Fly: The Fine Art of Revising the Lesson Plan In the Moment

Today is the last day of a 5-day middle school residency that has been a total delight. I have been with two 7th grade Literacy classes, two 8th grade English classes, and two self-contained classes with students with Autism and other special needs (these two classes had widely varied skills between the two groups and … Read more

Here it is…the cover of “Our Difficult Sunlight”

As Quraysh and I approach the tangible joy of holding our book in our hands in the near future, here is a quick peek at the cover, with the gorgeous cover image by Joyce Owens. Thanks Joyce and thanks Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Just 2 weeks to the Chicago book launch! The tip of the … Read more

What’s Up with All the Bullying?!

I have started my 2010-2011 teaching season in public schools now that the fall sessions of my university honors course and two adult classes in poetry have been completed. I am working for these first two weeks with middle school students, ten different classes, five per week, and the skill sets for each class vary. … Read more