March 11, 2018 - Michael Salinger

Kirtland Elementary School


Sara waxes poetic in front of the 3-4 and 5s.

There’s no place like home.

Our last school visit was in Chennai India and our next is in Kazan, Russia – but what a wonderful gift it was to roll out of bed drink a cup of coffee in our kitchen and then drive 15 minutes to Kirtland Elementary school to spend a day with the kids and teachers there.


Sara working on narrative with 4th graders.

Thanks to our hosts Grade 4 teacher Gail Ribelli and Principle Chad VanArnhem who made sure everything was on track.

We started with a couple of assemblies one for the 1st and 2nd graders followed by another for the 3,4 and 5s. What was most notable were the questions the kids had after each assembly. They were thoughtful and on point. A gaggle of kids even stayed after the second assembly and politely took turns continuing the Q and A after they were dismissed.


In deep consultation with a first grader.

In fact curiosity is rampant at Kirtland Elementary School. We found both teachers and students eager to try out writing frameworks. We wrote about emotion words using objective sensory terms in second grade, narrative about our non-fiction book studies in 4th, some refrain poems about the playground and then our pets and snow days in first.

One thing I loved about this visit is the chance to work with the little guys. So many times, with the greatest of intentions schools will assume that Sara will work with the youngest and I will be more comfortable with the older kids. We both love working with all ages and Kirtland afforded us that.

We had a blast and the kids couldn’t have been more cooperative.

So, no matter how much we love our international work, we needn’t look any further than our back yard to find stellar students, teachers and administrators.  Thanks Kirtland – we’ll be seeing you in the future!


Working on our Snow Day GO sheet (Graphic Organizer)

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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...