Category Archives: reflections

Some poetry, a broken bone, and gratitude that winter is over

I write this from my dining room table on the Monday of spring break. I can hear my husband typing away in the office. My daughter is working out an Adele song on the piano downstairs. I can hear rain–sorely … Continue reading

Posted in balancing, life and death, muddling through, poetry, reflections, time, writing with students | 4 Comments

“All the candidates do is bicker and fight and high schoolers in this class are better at talking about things.”

I got to the point last Tuesday while watching election returns that I couldn’t focus anymore on what was unfolding on the US maps the news commentators kept describing, so I wrote a few emails, shopped for some new running … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, cultivating real learning, engagement, making change, reflections, teaching | 4 Comments

An important reminder about why I am working to #StopGrading

I no longer put grades on individual pieces of student writing for a variety of reasons, but one of the most important ones surfaced this evening. I’m making my way through the first batch of my students’ thorough revisions. These … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, feedback, grading, not grading, reflections | 2 Comments

I asked my students, and here’s what they said worked and didn’t work in my classroom last year

Every spring, I survey my students somehow about their experience in my class so I can work to improve for the following year. This year and last year I landed on a format for this survey that has yielded some … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, CCSS, grading, making change, not grading, planning, reflections, student feedback, using data, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My workshop manifesto for the next school year #UNHLit16

As I reflect back over the last three days at #UNHLit16, my mind wants to throw down a manifesto regarding things I’ll focus on to improve my reading/writing workshop classroom for the next school year. (In case you’re keeping track, … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, colleagues, conferring, engagement, gratitude, making change, on the road again, planning, professional development, reflections, teacher geek moments, teaching, things made of awesome, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks | Leave a comment

Planning a Scaffold #UNHLit16

One Year One Unit One Class This is the planning framework that Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher used today to walk us through their thinking about how to make sure they increase the volume of their students’ reading and writing. It was … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, collaboration, engagement, literacy, making change, not grading, planning, professional development, reflections, teaching reading, teaching writing, time, workshop teaching | 8 Comments

My core beliefs as a teacher #UNHLit16

Why are you choosing to do what you’re choosing to do? What are your core beliefs as a teacher? @pennykittle @KellyGtoGo That’s something I would have tweeted had I been tweeting during our time today with Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, colleagues, cultivating real learning, engagement, grading, gratitude, making change, not grading, on the road again, professional development, reflections, teaching, things made of awesome, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

New Writing Challenge: Eulogy

The last post here was November, a post I’m sure was buoyed by the energy of attending NCTE in Minneapolis. That’s a long time ago in blogville, though, if you want to cultivate readers. Readers seem to like regular content. … Continue reading

Posted in balancing, life and death, muddling through, reflections, writing | 10 Comments

School Ruined Reading. Ellison Brought Me Back

I recently went through the books on my shelves in my office at school. There on the shelf, back behind a stack of assorted novels, was Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It was not just any copy of this book. … Continue reading

Posted in literacy, reading, reflections, teaching literature, teaching reading, workshop teaching | 3 Comments

#NCTE15 Day Three (Mostly) in Tweets

Warning: I’m reflecting over my day/working on my day 3 blog post. There will be a few tweets here in the next few minutes. #NCTE15 — Sarah M. Zerwin (@SarahMZerwin) November 22, 2015 (On the way to dinner tonight–in my … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE15, 21st century teaching and learning, collaboration, colleagues, education, grading, life and death, literacy, making change, muddling through, on the road again, professional development, reflections, things made of awesome | Leave a comment