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by Mary Buckelew

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The following incident occurred in my high school classroom on the West Side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The occurrence — its details, the students, and the implications continue to inform my teaching.

“How is your life like Odysseus’s life?”  I read aloud with Monday morning enthusiasm to my ninth grade students.  Engage, Empower with your own Enthusiasm. The most recent inservice mantra echoed in my head or maybe throbbed is more accurate. Monday.

 I had pulled the Odysseus question from the student prompt bank/bowl. Students submitted their own questions or statements at the beginning of each week, and three to four times a week, I used a student generated prompt for our opening focused freewrite. The only requirement – the prompt needed to relate to our reading or a current event.

   We were in the midst of reading The Odyssey. A watered down version, but a riveting and rich story nonetheless for my ninth graders —  a story they were actually reading. And so – unbeknownst to me until this moment — one of my students had pondered the connection between his or her life and the challenges Odysseus faced as he made his way back to Penelope and home.  Read more

A Writerly Life: Wisdom from Stephen Tchudi

Teachers should encourage their students to improve their work, not perfect it! Coach them!

Jill Naylor (2016 participant of Grammar Matters)




2016 PAWLP Fellow Courtney Maguire shares words of wisdom for the start of the school year.

Dedicated to 4th Grade as words of wisdom in the classroom!

A Writerly Life: Wisdom from Richard Price

This serves as a reminder to my students when writing about big issues to address the impacts on the individual.

-Kate Kelley (2016 participant of Grammar Matters)


From the Classroom: Reimagining Learning Spaces—The Third Teacher

A few years ago, I started to rethink my classroom space. I wondered, What does this room say about me as a teacher, or my students as learners? Is the space working in the best ways it can? Here are 16 ways we can reimagine our learning spaces - with pictures!

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A Writerly Life: Wisdom from Ralph Fletcher

A reminder to myself of what I love about language and why I want to share it with others.

-Jill Kummerer (2016 participant of Grammar Matters)