Category Archives: Classroom Ideas

March 11, 2019

Zaharis Literacy Conference, Mesa, AZ

If you’re not doing things that scare you a little you’re not progressing. First off – Visiting the Zaharis Literacy Conference wasn’t scary at all – it was a delight. How do these oases of stellar learning spring up? Principal Mike Oliver has created a read read read friendly environment that made me wish I […]


March 7, 2019

Montgomery Middle School, Montgomery, Maryland

As much as we relish our adventures overseas we love our visits to schools right here in the good ol’ USA. A whole bunch of our work is repeat business and our friend Lisa the librarian has invited us to three different schools where she has graced the library with her enthusiasm. A couple times […]


March 6, 2019

ENKA International School, Istanbul

Our contact in Istanbul – George the librarian was one of the most thorough poet wranglers we have worked with in a long time. He had everything spinning in time with the whirling serenity of the Dervishes we saw turn-tabling just before we began our week at ENKA International School. Celebrating our love of reading […]


February 6, 2019

Champion Middle School, Champion , Ohio

Sara and I love our visits to Ohio schools. We also love our travels around the country and the world – but our home state is still special to us, and the folks at Champion Middle sure made it easy to love this visit. This was one well prepared school thanks to our main poet […]


January 31, 2019

Pre-write to get it right – GO Sheets.

Sara and I are very proud of our new PD book From Striving to Thriving Writers: Strategies That Jump-Start Writing. And, we are more than humbled that one of our biggest influences on our teaching styles, Stephanie Harvey, has made significant contributions to the book. We feel that our philosophies meld nicely. I have attended […]


January 21, 2019

Dreaming BIG and Small – 6 broken rules.

  Poets have always been trouble makers – in many places they have been arrested for stirring the pot a little too vigorously – or in the “wrong” direction. But – even poets can be guilty of staying inside their safe boxes. Whether that box be the safety of tenured academia or a local “scene” […]


January 19, 2019

Eastern Middle School, Greenwich, CT

12 years – that’s how long Sara and I have been coming to Eastern Middle School in Greenwich, CT. We love this little public school with its art covered walls and rambling old building and we really do have friends here. Eastern used to be traditionally our last school of the year but overseas scheduling […]


November 21, 2018

NCTE 18 – Houston we have NO problem.

My favorite sport is reading. Sara and I love going to the National Council of Teachers of English conference. We’ve been going to NCTE for a couple decades and each one has been an opportunity to connect with friends new and old and to learn and grow. This year’s iteration was especially fulfilling. We have […]


May 6, 2018

Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The American School of Lima

Sara and I spent just enough time at the Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The American School of Lima to know that we’d love to come back. This visit got squeezed onto the front end of our trip to Jakarta (because the two are so close to each other – sometimes we don’t even make sense to […]


April 25, 2018

Never Write a Rough Draft Again!

Why you should never write a rough draft. Well, first off, we believe that draft should be a verb in the writing classroom not a goal. Plus, there only seems to be two draft statuses – rough and final. We prefer to use the term Version – and title everything we begin working on Version […]


Testimonials

“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...