I’ve loved writing for Middleweb, a site dedicated to teaching the middle grades. After five years, I have decided to pull the plug on my monthly column (which began as a bimonthly column) called Working Draft. It’s been fun to write, and inspiring to think about topics, and reflective practice from teaching perspectives, and I have nothing but praise for editors John and Susan.
I am also pleased that my National Writing Project friend and collaborator over the years, Jeremy Hyler, will soon be launching his own ELA column at Middleweb, filling in the gap I leave behind. Jeremy starts writing sometime this month.
My latest column for Middleweb is all about a publishing project we do at our Western Massachusetts Writing Project, in which we partner with the local newspaper to feature a teacher columnist every month.
The result is some amazing writing and sharing, a chance to raise teacher voices into the public sphere, and a raising of the profile of WMWP. We encourage our teacher-writers to bring a lens into learning and teaching, and to consider how the mission statement of WMWP might be a guide for this writing.
So, it’s all good.
I coordinate the program, so I am often chatting with teachers about their writing, and making sure the connection with the newspaper stays strong. And I get inspired by what my colleagues are exploring in their pieces.
All of the columns get posted at our WMWP website, as archived voices and stories.
Hmm. I guess I never posted this. Another mistake.
I had wanted to share this column I wrote for Middleweb a few weeks back, about reflecting on where things have gone wrong in my classroom. This is a necessary ballast to stories I often share of where things go right in my classrooms. Reality is messier. Kids are unpredictable. And I don’t always know what to do.
My latest post at Middleweb is an interview with Steve Zemelman, as we chat about the topic of student civic engagement and civic action in and beyond the classroom. With the student-led marches and with Parkland students emerging as leaders of a gun control movement, this seemed like a good time to focus on Steve’s new book, From Inquiry to Action. Steve and I know each other through our connections with the National Writing Project. His book offers a wealth of ideas for classroom teachers.
My latest post at Middleweb for my Working Draft column is all about digital annotation tools, and how they open up a text to the world for conversation. In particular, I reference the Marginal Syllabus/Educator Innovator’s Writing Our Civic Futures project, which is underway now with its January text.
I wrote a bit about maps and writing in the classroom over at Middleweb, where I have a regular column about teaching. The piece dovetailed with work being done all November with CLMOOC on mapping in many forms and varieties.
My latest book review at Middleweb is a look at Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst, who explore ways to counter the shrinking interest in reading by our students.
I’ve written smaller pieces about this book since reading it this summer (and even did some chapter visualizing as I was reading the book as part of our doodle theme in CLMOOC), but here is my “official” review.
My latest column over at Middleweb is an interview with Jennifer Casa-Todd, whose new book — Social LEADia — closely examines ways in which technology and social media can help empower young people in the larger world on issues that matter to them. The book has many short profiles of young people doing pretty amazing things, and Casa-Todd helps explain how teachers can help foster those shifts.
I wrote about pop culture a bit at Middleweb, with a review of the book Making Curriculum Pop by Ryan Goble and Pam Goble. I found it to be a useful book that explores ways to connect learners to popular culture, with plenty of useable resources.