Current Blog Articles

online community of learning

Creating an Online Community of Learning

In the spring of 2020, teachers hit the ground running with a new way of teaching. With only a few days to prepare, classrooms were transformed from a supportive classroom environment to online learning. Considering the timeline, we did an amazing job. Now, we have the gift of time and experience to re-think and re-build

Teachers are Superheroes

What is Your Super Power?

I spend a lot of time with teachers. They are my heroes. Like Clark Kent, when out in public, they look like any other mild-mannered, ordinary individual. But, the classroom serves as their proverbial telephone booth as they slip in and change from that ordinary person into a TEACHER!

digital and print reading

Fostering 21st Century Readers

As we plan for effective literacy instruction in all subject areas, standards suggest we provide a variety of complex texts while considering the learning needs of the reader and the tasks required to promote growth. In an article published on LightSail’s website, I share some introductory thinking about designing learning experiences to develop the brain′s ability to read BOTH digital and print!

elementary literacy

Building a Culture of Reading in your School and Classroom

I have been fortunate enough to visit hundreds of schools and have found so many that welcome you at the door with art, books, and the joy of literacy. Take a journey with me into an awesome example of an Elementary School that has cultivated a rich culture of literacy!


The Art of Effective Feedback:
Getting a 50% Return on Your Investment

My most frustrating educational experience: writing my dissertation. It wasn’t the volume of research and work involved. It was the lack of high-quality feedback that provided direction as to what was expected during the process and what constituted an acceptable final product.

Boy and teacher conferring

#12 Conferring and Data Collection

When a teacher confers, they change their stance. They become a fellow reader, but also an observer, assessor and data collector. The teaching purpose of conferring about students’ independent reading is to collect information that helps you plan.


#11 Why Confer?

Independent reading is incomplete if the teacher is not conferring with each child about their reading every week.

Lifelong reading

#10 Independent Reading

The goal of daily independent reading of student self-selected text is to foster wise readers who are self-motivated, self-directed, engaged readers that are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and meaning makers who love to read and choose to read!

Rituals and Routines

#9 Rituals and Routines

Rituals and routines refer to all the planning, discussions and agreements between the teacher and students related to classroom management, organization and expectations.

boy reading

#8 Building the Stamina to Read

The goal in a Balanced Literacy classroom is to build the group’s stamina to read for 30 minutes every day.