Category Archives: literacy

Fierce Kindness, Day Two, #NCTE16

I’m writing this while hanging out at Java Monkey in Decatur. Jay is strumming away on the guitar and singing his songs. We’re eating vegan cake, enjoying some wine. We actually ran into a former student of ours who now … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE16, kindness, literacy, on the road again, relationship, teaching, Uncategorized | 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

When building a classroom library for reading workshop is not practical

In my incremental movement toward a high school reading/writing workshop classroom, one piece I’ve struggled with is the classroom library. I see photos of Penny Kittle’s classroom library, and I get anxious to create the same for my students. I … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, literacy, making change, reading, teaching reading, workshop teaching | 1 Comment

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 | 2 Comments

My Top Takeaways from #NCTE15

I’m sitting in my living room in Colorado, the first day of Thanksgiving break coming to a close. I got home from Minneapolis last evening and opted for checking in my with my family over finishing this blog post (that … Continue reading

Posted in #NCTE15, balancing, colleagues, cultivating our voice, grading, gratitude, literacy, making change, not grading, on the road again, professional development, teaching reading | 4 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

Going Gradeless and Getting Better Writing Conferences!

I had my first more formal writing conferences today with students under my new gradeless regime. (Read about it here, here, and here.) So they all wrote complete rough drafts. I gave them all feedback. I provided rubrics (just a … Continue reading

Posted in CCSS, education, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, literacy, making change, not grading, teaching writing | 1 Comment

Traversing the Chasm between Research and Practice in Education: My response to “Professors, We Need You!”

Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes columnist, recently published “Professors, We Need You!” This piece argued that academics are essentially irrelevant in the biggest debates in our society because they isolate themselves in the ivory tower and cultivate a culture that values nearly … Continue reading

Posted in academia, collaboration, education, literacy, making change, policy, reform, teaching, testing, the system | 4 Comments

Going gradeless and ending up at the Common Core

I have a confession to make. I’m one of those teachers who has claimed to know the standards. I’ve claimed to know that I’m covering the standards just fine thank you very much, I don’t need to have them all … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, assessment, CCSS, cultivating real learning, first gradeless series 2013-2014, grading, literacy, making change, muddling through, not grading, policy, reform, testing, writing | Leave a comment

Art. Is. Power.

Day one of #ncte13 and my mind is full, in that way that only happens here surrounded by my people. Thank you everyone who pushed my thinking today. And thank you especially to First Wave’s hip hop art masterpiece at … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, cultivating real learning, education, engagement, gratitude, literacy, making change, reform, testing, things made of awesome | Leave a comment