I have been teaching middle school language arts in some capacity for 10 years. During the 2012-2013 school year, I started my job as the middle school literacy coordinator in my district for grades 5-8 and also continued to teach one section of language arts each year. This year, I will start my 10th year of teaching, and my 6th year of being a literacy coach. My teaching is aligned with the Common Core Standards and also follows the Literacy Collaborative Framework. My experience in getting trained as a Literacy Coordinator at Lesley University has opened my eyes to teaching reading and writing at the middle school level. Each student is a reader and a writer with his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Doing full class novel studies, canned writing projects/prompts, and grammar drills will never fulfill what a dynamic middle school classroom needs, but using a Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Word Study approach will start students on the right path. I'm excited to share what I've learned with middle school teachers everywhere so that middle school classrooms can be a place where students thrive and express themselves as readers and writers.
My number one goal for teaching always has been and always will be my students. Daily, I teach a writing workshop, reading workshop, and language/word study. Each workshop is rooted in the principles of constructivism and inquiry and contains a minilesson statement, modeling example, have-a-go, application, and share. My instruction is driven by data and what I notice about my students during whole group minilessons, small group work, and individual conferring. I believe in empowering students to learn, not forcing them to learn what I would like them to. Each student starts his or her journey at a different place as a reader and a writer in my classroom, and instead of growing to a specific stopping point, the goal is for them to see that learning never stops.
*Getting the opportunity to be trained as an intermediate literacy coach based on the Literacy Collaborative framework at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA for grades 3-8. *Getting asked and participating on the middle school panel to give feedback on Fountas and Pinnell's Middle School LLI System (Teal). *Having various blog posts from my blog, Middle School Teacher to Literacy Coach, be featured in "The Big Fresh," Lesley University's, "The Mailbox," the TpT blog, and various blogs from popular magazines.
I attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and majored in Secondary Education: Teaching Communication, Arts, and Literature. I graduated from Duluth in four years and started teaching in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where after teaching for 3 years, I got the opportunity to take on the position of Literacy Coordinator for our middle school. I attended Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and became certified as an Intermediate Literacy Coordinator for grades 3-8. I also have my Reading Teacher license, which means I am certified to teach reading interventions K-12 and my master's degree from Viterbo University.
In my free time, I enjoy writing in all types of genres (especially poetry), jogging, being out on the lake/spending time in the beautiful Wisconsin outdoors, and reading. Check out my blog for more ideas to use in your middle school language arts classroom.
English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Specialty, Critical Thinking, Literature, Classroom Management, Professional Development, Writing, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Poetry, Valentine's Day, Tools for Common Core, Summer, Informational Text, Classroom Community