October 18, 2018 - Michael Salinger

Universal American School Dubai


Some wilt in the heat some thrive.

Universal American School in Dubai can be grouped with the latter as can their vivacious and voraciously read librarian Rhonda. Juggler of competing schedules between the lower and upper school, feeder of visiting crackpot poets – enthusiastic student advocate and literacy pusher Rhonda kept us on track from landing to take off.


UAS is a Teacher’s College writing workshop school and we were able to show them how our elemental writing frameworks can weave into that program – adding that extra little direct instruction that our striving or language learning students can use to become thrivers.


This trip afforded me one of my favorite teaching tasks – going from an elementary class (in this case a third grade classroom) to a 12th grade Theory of Knowledge class. In both cases I am really teaching the same thing – the prioritization of information through precise and concise writing. It’s so refreshing when we get to work in a school where the powers that be realize that the upper classes needn’t be in some high stakes lockdown.


We worked with the middle school social studies teachers sharing some strategies for writing that travel across content areas.  Who says creative writing has to be shackled to a desk in language arts – all writing is creative isn’t it? We are putting something down that didn’t exist before right? Seems to me that is the very act of creation.


Collaborating with Rhonda and her Elementary compatriot Kate was a pretty smart move on our part. Checkmate! Everybody wins!  Thank you UAS for the warm reception.


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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...