Mary Lee Hahn
Mary Lee Hahn has been teaching fourth or fifth graders for more than twenty years. The best of all of those years were the times when she was able to spend two years with the same class in a loop of fourth and fifth grades.
“I love looping,” she says. “I finally get to reap the rewards of my hard work with a class. In the second year, I get to see my students begin where we left off and continue the growth that I nurtured in the first year. We truly become a family in looping. We don’t have to ‘divorce’ at the end of fourth grade and build new connections in fifth grade. We all know each other and what to expect. Looping forces me to keep growing as a professional.”
Mary Lee has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver in English and Elementary Education, and a master’s degree from Ohio State University in children’s literature. She is on the board of the Central Ohio Fly Fishers and is very involved in Casting for Recovery, a program for breast cancer survivors. Mary Lee is on the editorial board of Language Arts, NCTE’s journal for elementary educators. She is the author of Reconsidering Read-Aloud (Stenhouse Publishers).
She and her colleague in the Dublin City Schools, Franki Sibberson, blog about their reading lives at A Year of Reading.
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Mary Lee Hahn finds some of her fifth-grade readers are stuck in ruts by early winter. Her solution involves some radical changes to her classroom library over winter break.
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Mary Lee Hahn tries to be super teacher while she confers — juggling goals, assessments, notices and notes . . . and then it all comes crashing down. She shares what she learns from trying to do too much at once and failing.
Mary Lee Hahn finds a focus on play and "dabbling" renews student writers during a unit on narrative nonfiction.
Mary Lee Hahn tackles the riskiest writing of all — in front of students and improvised with no advance drafting or planning.
Mary Lee Hahn is a bit flummoxed when a parent asks about her management system at an open house. The experience sparks reflection on what makes a classroom community gel.
Mary Lee Hahn considers the use of Hot Glue Guns in her classroom, and moves from exasperation to appreciating the learning happening when we think kids are just messing around with peers and the tools we've given them.
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