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It’s our Blogiversary! Highlights from Our First Year

We are  celebrating the one year anniversary of the PAWLP blog, and what a year it’s been!  To celebrate our one year “blogiversary,” we’ve collected some posts from this past year that may be particularly useful to teachers as a new school year begins.

So in case you missed them, here are a “baker’s dozen” – thirteen blog posts with some practical tips and inspiration. We hope that you enjoy reading our blog and encourage you to comment, ask questions, and share your own experiences. We would love to hear from you!

Putting Philosophy First by Carrie Hagen

Our first blog post! “I wasn’t sure how I would do it.  After taking a two-year leave from teaching high school English, I would be returning to the classroom. ”  READ MORE

Building Community by Wendy Hopf

“One hundred energetic sixth graders greet me each day, and I need to be ready. . . To create the habits and attitudes I am striving for there are four practices I follow.” READ MORE

Day One by Jen Ward

“As their teacher, I want to see my high school students connecting, collaborating, writing, and revising.  And that needs to start on day one. So instead of starting with the syllabus, we start by writing.” READ MORE

Classroom Environment – The Emotional Side by Janice Ewing

“If learning requires risk-taking, then learners of all ages need a safe environment which encompasses a broad view of success and a celebration of  small, but meaningful steps along the way. As you begin the school year, here are some questions to reflect on, either independently or with a trusted colleague…” READ MORE

Creating a Writing Identity by Lynne Dorfman

“The writer’s notebook, I believe, is the best place to store this kind of writing. As I reflect on the value of the myriad tools I use to serve as a catalyst – a springboard for my writing, I think: where do I go for ideas and inspiration?” READ MORE

Free Students from the Chains of the Bookroom by Rich Mitchell

“How can we expect students to seriously read, write, and think forwardly, when everything we use to facilitate such reading, writing, and thinking is older than their parents and grandparents? How can we get them to understand the value of writing when we teach them that good writing—that which is studied in schools—only happened in the past?” READ MORE

The Core Six by Nora Ziegler

“This summer I began to worry about how I needed to change my teaching strategies to help my third grade students meet the challenges of the Common Core, so I did what I always do – I found a book chock full of great ideas I could implement in my classroom.” READ MORE

Practical Management of the Writing Workshop: The Super Board by Gaetan Pappalardo

“The writing workshop is fluid. The currents and tides are in constant motion (literally and figuratively) because it’s fueled by the human element. I’m not going to lie.  It’s a mess. I know this sounds like a headache. It certainly can be, but kids need this “mess” to find the gold.” READ MORE

Making it Manageable: Feedback at Every Step by Tricia Ebarvia

“Conferring with students can be exhausting.  Sometimes a single conference can take 10-15 minutes, and if you have 100+ students, conferring is also incredibly time consuming. Time spent conferring with students is time away from whole class instruction, curricular planning, and much-needed grading. But feedback from conferring is invaluable.” READ MORE

Serve your Enthusiasm by Bob Zakrzewski

“Today my classroom is a paradox of individualized itineraries on a group tour.  I am the tour guide, yet my world changes with each excursion, influenced by the varying perspectives every traveler brings…” READ MORE

Teaching Johnny to Search by Rita Sorrentino

“Although today’s students are tech-savvy in many ways, they tend to have less-than-stellar searching skills. In an article, “Why Kids Can’t Search,” Clive Thompson makes a strong case for search engine fluency…” READ MORE

Reflective Practice Makes a Difference by Diane Dougherty

“It seemed like a great idea.  It worked in Up the Down Staircase!  What could possibly go wrong? My seniors seemed to have been engaged, enthusiastic even, in our study of Hamlet. . . . What I didn’t foresee was the abysmal flop that my exquisite planning failed to prevent.” READ MORE

Reflecting on Reading by Rose Cappelli

“But what makes teaching stick? What helps students organize and store in their heads the information they learned so that they can easily recall it when they need to, even long after the lesson has ended?” READ MORE

We hope you enjoy reading these posts and continue to follow our blog as we embark on our second year. And if you found something you liked, please share it with your friends and colleagues!

If you are PAWLP Fellow, we hope you will also consider writing for our blog! Please contact Lynne Dorfman at, Tricia Ebarvia at, or Janice Ewing at for more information.

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