Dana Murphy

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Dana Murphy has been an educator for 17 years in Illinois. She was an elementary teacher for eight years and coached for nine. Dana is now in a fifth-grade classroom.  Dana wrote for the Two Writing Teachers blog for many years.

Most Recent Content
Ms. Perfectly Nice

Dana Murphy understands the quiet go-along teacher she meets in professional development settings, if only because she sometimes was that person in the past. She shares strategies for challenging those agreeable folks to speak up and reflect more deeply on their practice.

Doing the Writing in a Unit

One way to keep your instruction fresh in a required writing unit is to take on the tasks and topics yourself. Dana Murphy finds completing the assignments herself is well worth her time, and gives her a treasure trove of notebook entries to use in her conferring.

I’m Already Doing This

“I’m already doing this,” a teacher groans. And the literacy coach groans inwardly at the same time, because they usually aren’t doing anything resembling the innovation being discussed. Dana Murphy explains how she uses validation and questions to move beyond this conversation killer in professional development settings.

Using Norms in PLCs

Dana Murphy concludes her series on norms, explaining how to keep norms alive throughout the year so that you don’t have to experience the awkwardness of reprimanding colleagues at meetings.

And This Makes Me Think

Dana Murphy considers how teachers can make writing workshop routines more cozy and like writing at home.

Setting Norms in PLCs

There are always norms in groups. Shouldn’t you be the leader in making sure they are positive ones? Dana Murphy shares the process she uses and gives an example.

Conferring Notes

When it comes to conferring notes, form needs to follow function. Dana Murphy quit looking for the perfect template, and started focusing on what kinds of notes are most helpful.

Authentic Reading in Kindergarten

Dana Murphy realizes the best way to introduce students to reading in kindergarten is to apply the principles that work at home with her own children.


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