Southland Learning Conference Materials

Thank you, thank you for attending my session at the Southland Learning Conference!!  To minimize paper use, I have uploaded all of the materials you need to participate it the session right here on the blog.  Click the link below to view and participate!

Southland Learning Conference Presentation

Please reach out with anything that pops in your head during our session!


Top 4 Summer Reads for Educators


Well friends, summer is just around the corner. If you’re like me, you’ll promise yourself that you won’t do any school-related work for the entire month of June. And if you’re like me by the middle of June you’ll be working…or at least reading some education-related books. If you’re in the market for a good read (or reads) this summer, keep scrolling to find my Top 4 Summer Reads for Educators.

Summer Reads

Better Conversations by Jim Knight

So this book is based in education and how “our schools are only as good as the conversations within them” (p. 4).   But if you’re a human who talks with other humans, this is an excellent read. I can’t even begin to count the number of post-its I have marking up the pages of this one! Jim Knight teaches how to talk and listen and communicate in ways that are productive and help promote student achievement. This one would make an excellent book study book for those of you charged with leading one this summer!


No More Independent Reading Without Support by Debbie Miller and Barbara Moss

At just 96 pages, this book is practically an afternoon read! This book renforces the importance of and research behind independent reading with student-teacher conferring. After reading this book, there is no way that you will not implement more independent reading time in your classroom! This is also a great read to share with friends who don’t see the value/haven’t been ready to try out independent reading with conferring in their own classrooms.


High-Impact Instruction by Jim Knight

This is a big, thick, kind of old book. BUT it’s loaded (and I mean loaded) with research on instructional practices that are super user-friendly. I found myself reading a chapter and trying things out with students the very next day. Each chapter is mapped out at the beginning and shown how it relates to the other chapters in the book.


The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

Anyone who loves goal-setting with students and anchor charts will LOVE this book. Jennifer Serravallo maps out different reading strategies based on different reading goals. Everything from print work to nonfiction comprehension is mapped out in this book. What I love most about this book is that it’s not a cover-to-cover read; I can find what I need to meet a student’s goal, read that section, and put the book down. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read this one cover-to-cover (several times) but now I use it as a super awesome reference for student goal-setting and strategizing.

ESEA/NCLB Conference 2016

I attended and presented at this year’s Illinois ESEA/NCLB conference.  As always I walked away with some new strategies to try and some new resources to delve into.  I was excited to present this year on one of my favorite topics, conferring during writing workshop.

IMG_2799As promised to those in attendance, you will find the link to the presentation below.

NCLB Conference Presentation

As we all know, charting is important when using a workshop model of teaching – even when talking about conferring.  The whole purpose of an anchor chart is to anchor, or make learning visible, for students.   I like to use anchor charts often. You might say I’m obsessed with charts.  I used a few at the conference.

If you’d like to learn more about conferring, let’s chat!



I’m so glad you’re here.  With so much at stake these days in education it’s become so clear that equipping teachers with the right tools and strategies is more important than ever.

well-equipped teachers = awesome things for students in the classroom

But how do we best equip teachers?  In the past, simply studying education in college gave you the tools you needed to be successful in the classroom.  But times have changed.  Digital literacy.  Common Core State Standards.  High stakes assessments.  RtI.  MTSS.  PLCs.  So many things…so many acronyms…so little time.  For those of us who have been in education for a while, and even for the newbies, the past several years have been filled with changes from every direction.

But seriously, how do we best equip teachers despite the changes and challenges of education today?  The answer is so clear.  With constant change there is no better way to equip teachers than with excellent support and professional development.  Not the one-day workshop approach.  I’m talking about a workshop followed up with coaching and support on implementing new things in the classroom.  Support for teachers as they try new things or improve on what they’ve already been doing.  Accountable talk with teachers and administration on how to move instruction from good to great and how to move students from proficiency to excellence.

This is not an easy task.  But it’s one that is necessary to see students achieve great things.

It’s my goal to use this site as a tool for on-going support and professional development for teachers and school districts.

Thanks for visiting today.  Hope to see you again soon!