#107: How to Structure Your Literacy Teaching Time

Let’s talk about your reading block…Some of the questions I get asked all the time are:

How do you fit everything into your literacy block?  How do you decide what to do, not do (ie.. prioritize)? And what’s your schedule during your literacy block?

When I first started teaching it wasn't long before I realized I needed to be clear about the most important things my students needed to know in order to read and write well, the sequence in which to teach them, and more. It's a lot! Don't worry, I have a plan to share with you.


I'm not going to kid around and tell you it's easy to teach literacy. it's not. You have to have a long-range plan before you can plan weekly and daily lessons. That might mean you planned it all out over the summer or you will plan by the quarter or trimester. We'll do baby steps here. I'll break it all down over a few episodes. 

Today, I have the skinny on...

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097: 5 Simple Summer Writing Activities

teaching writing May 26, 2022

Do you struggle with ways to keep your students writing over the summer? Summer writing activities can easily become anything but simple.

In fact, they often deviate into quotas, worksheets, and tedious skill and drill simply because we don’t know what else to do which just makes students hate writing. And who wants that?!

Well…there’s a better way to both help your students practice REAL writing and [get this] be intrigued enough to write over the summer. Listen in to find out more!



Writing doesn't have to be structured or too prescribed in order for students to benefit from their practice over the summer. 

I'm just happy if students choose to practice writing over the summer. Writing is one of the least practiced skills during the summer months. But it doesn't have to be. From tall tales to developing their voice, there are lots of intriguing ways for...

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#094: End of the Year Activities: Poems for Two Voices

In this episode, I have end of the year activities for you using poetry. I know you already teach poetry. In fact, you probably did a bunch last month for National Poetry Month. So, your students are primed and ready for testing out and enjoying Poems for two Voices. Yup. You heard that right and it’s not as scary or complicated as it sounds.

Today, I have the skinny on engaging your students in a fun end-of-year activity – reading and writing poems for two voices. 


Writing poems for 2 voices is a fun activity for students that you can use to do some concept and content reviews as well.  #teacherwin

I'm sure you're wondering...what exactly are poems for two voices? Let me explain. Poems for two voices are poems written for two readers to read together. some of the parts are read at the same time and some of the parts are read taking turns. They're fun, engaging, and fascinating all...

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#082: Why Teaching Letter Writing is Still Important

Do you remember the last time you got a real piece of mail? Not the junk mail that fills up the mailbox (not to mention the shredder), but real someone-put-a-stamp-on-an-envelope mail. Do you remember how exciting that is? Even if it's a birthday card, it means someone took the time to remember you. Letter writing isn't a lost art. Think about how important a well-crafted email is (there's another place that junks up quickly). Teaching students to communicate through writing is a timeless skill.

Today, I have some tips and resources to teach your students the art of letter writing.


Don't limit your students to just letter writing! They can practice writing cards, postcards, or party invitations. No, the recipients don't have to be real (my students love writing letters to my dog!) and that's a great opportunity to connect with book characters.

Resources mentioned:

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#061: The Joy of Writing with Children's Author Lauren Ranalli

Trying to get your students to "catch" the writing bug? Has there been a story rolling in your head and you're not sure how to get it out? Did you go searching for a story, couldn't find it, and now you're thinking about writing it yourself? Then today's episode is for you!


Today's guest is Lauren Ranalli.  Lauren is an award-winning children's book author and marketing coach for aspiring and self-published authors. Lauren lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband, 2 high-energy children, and a higher-energy puppy. Her fourth book is coming out later this year.

Join Lisa and Lauren as they discuss the ways authors find inspiration for their stories and the importance of showing up, even if your students are only dedicating a short time to writing each day. A regular writing habit can have a huge impact on student growth and on your writing growth as well. PLUS, you never know the...

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#054: How to Teach Writing in Elementary and Middle Grades

“Writing is hard, even for published writers. And writing with your students... can be just as difficult." 


“I don’t know what to write!”

It’s a common refrain throughout classrooms, no matter what grade you teach. Three plus three is always six, but writing, well, writing is different every time. Most students want to write something once, get their grades, and be done.

Today's episode is all about the writing process. Lisa chats with writer and teacher Loretta Oakes as they peel back the many layers of writing and what teachers can do to make writing easier and more fun. After taking a screenplay class, Loretta branched out into articles and children’s books, editing friends’ works as she went. Loretta joins us to give her best ideas for coaching students into being better writers.

Listen in. 

In this episode, find out: 
  • The three different...
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