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January 21, 2022: Choice and Whole-Class Texts

Reading is not optional. —Walter Dean Myers The Magic of Whole Class Reading Experiences My son Jordan is a varsity wrestler. If someone you love is a varsity wrestler, then...

January 14, 2022: Be Present

Listening is about being present, not just being quiet. —Krista Tippett Linger in the Listening Sam, my nearly 16-year-old son, selected a word to live by this year: listen. I...

January 7, 2022: Welcoming Spaces

When you think positive, good things happen. —Matt Kemp [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Good Things “Good things…” I whisper as my sons hug...

December 3, 2021: Reflective Practice

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. —John Maxwell [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Take Time to Reflect Many years ago I wrote my first...

November 26, 2021: Courses Special Issue

Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. —Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Stories Matter...

November 19, 2021: Classroom Libraries

The best decoration in the world is a room full of books. —Billy Baldwin [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.] Libraries Inspire Readers I grew...

November 12, 2021: Encouragement for Readers and Writers

Knitting is a perfect metaphor for life. You might spend months knitting something, but you could probably unravel the whole thing in hours. —Gabbo de la Parra [Now you can...

November 4, 2021: Empowerment for Readers and Writers

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. —Willie Nelson Asset-Based Approaches During the first few weeks of school, one of my responsibilities was to...

October 29, 2021: Expanding Reading Choices

Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. —Marcel Proust [Now you can listen to the Big...

October 22, 2021: Building Community Beyond the Classroom

The purpose of pruning is to improve the quality of the roses, not to hurt the bush. —Florence Littauer [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.]...

October 15, 2021: Fueling Creativity

The creative adult is the child who has survived. —Ursula K. Le Guin [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.] Choice, Independence, Collaboration, and Precision Sam,...

October 8, 2021: Secondary Readers

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. —Margaret Thatcher   [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.] It Can Be...

October 1, 2021: Assessing Readers

A successful dinner is one that lasts awhile and one where everyone leaves happy. It’s a meal where we didn’t just wolf food down, rather something else happened at the...

September 24, 2021: Getting Started with Writing

I can shake off everything as I write. My sorrows disappear; my courage is reborn. —Anne Frank [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.] Give Energy!...

September 19, 2021: Using Picture Books

Skepticism is the first step on the road to philosophy. —Denis Diderot Despite Skepticism It turns out that my dog, Luna, is not so easy to train. To many this will...

September 10: How do you make workshop work?

Independence is happiness. —Susan B. Anthony Grow Their Legs One May evening I was backing out of the driveway when my daughter Sophie let out a little yelp. I immediately...

September 3: Are You Taking Time to Listen to Readers?

When you think positive, good things happen. —Matt Kemp What’s the Best That Could Happen? I have made countless trips running up and down the stairs. In the eight years...

August 27: Are Your Conferences Uplifting?

As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget about the human connection. —Adam Neuman Swiss Cheese Heart On a whim, Andy and I hosted our first exchange...

August 20: How Do Visuals Strengthen Literacy Instruction?

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. —Pablo Picasso Stay Connected Aunt Stephanie and Uncle John live in Hawaii, and...

August 13: What Do Our Youngest Writers Need?

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. —Henry David Thoreau What If What if students entered the classroom on the first day and the rug...

August 6: How Do Readers and Writers Use Images?

How are you noticing the emerging stories of your life? —Carl Jung My Summer Vacation August makes me nostalgic, mostly because when I was a little kid, it was the...