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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...

July 30, 2021: What routines might you reconsider for next school year?

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. —John Maynard Keynes Small Gifts Are Special When I turned 12, I received one...

July 23, 2021: How Does Technology Enhance Workshop Routines?

Assume the best intent in others around you. You will often be right, and even when you’re not, people can rise to your view of them. Not always, but enough...

June 25, 2021: How Do You Reach Readers?

If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name. —Kendrick Lamar How Did You Get Your Name? When I was born, my parents told the nurse...

June 18, 2021: Mentor Texts

Pay close, foolish, even absurd attention to things. —Ian Bogost The Art of Noticing I am constantly trying to live an unhurried life. It’s been a quest for most of...

June 11, 2021: Conventions

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across...

June 4, 2021: Multimodal Writing

Books are something social—a writer speaking to a reader—so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is...

May 28, 2021: Craft Moves for Writers

When we are no longer able to change our situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. —Viktor Frankl [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Don’t...

May 21, 2021: Transfer of Learning

The more you practice, the better you get, the more freedom you have to create. —Jocko Willink [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Practice with...

May 14, 2021: Perspectives

Our power resides in our collective strength. We are what we are seeking. —Nawal Qarooni Casiano [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast!] Change Your Perspective...