Category Archives: Middle School

November 13, 2016

Escola Americana de Campinas

So this was the first time I met a monkey who I didn’t not like. One of the best perks to my and Sara’s job is the great folks from all over the world who we get to be friends with. This is the case with Heather and Tom who have just recently arrived at […]


August 25, 2016

The Poetry of Hope

  Visiting family in Virginia and the lead story on the D.C. noon news is that 8 people die per day in OH from opioid overdoses, more than 3000 this year. Watched my home state fall in line with other troubled places in the world, Italy, Syria, Nigeria, and . . . Ohio. Just finished […]


May 30, 2016

Growing Gratitude in Adolescents

We all come into this world crying, “me, me, me.” Insistent cries of my bottle, my grapes, my toys gradually (hopefully) grow into a feeble understanding of the concept of compromise. We call this turning point adolescence. Teaching adolescents requires that we help awaken kids to the awareness that there is a world on the […]


May 19, 2016

Eastern Middle School – Greenwich, CT

We are so excited to work at Eastern that one year Sara had us show up a week early – we peered into the dark hallway from outside noses pressed against the locked doors like ragamuffins in a Dickens novel until the realization that the school was on Spring break finally dawned upon us.


May 13, 2016

Yes Poetry Matters

Poetry scares teachers – how do we teach it – and more problematic for instructors, how do we interpret and or grade it? Ought we beat it with a hose as Billy Collins laments, “…tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it.” Or should we just let it exist floating in the air like a balloon attached to our heart by a strand of silk, ephemeral and too precious to critique?


March 6, 2016

Communication is a Three Legged Stool.

We all want our kids to be college or career ready right? So why do so many of us – parents and teachers – actively support a practice that diminishes this outcome?


March 5, 2016

Sulfur Springs Middle School – TX

Everything is bigger in Texas! Especially the hospitality. Sara and I have just returned from two jam-packed days working with students and teachers at Sulfur Springs Middle School – about 80 miles outside of Dallas. We were treated like rock stars! Arriving at the hotel we found a gift basket that would have buckled the […]


February 25, 2016

Making Learning Visible

Sara Holbrook and I do what teachers would do if they had more time. We come up with lessons. We create engagement strategies centered on writing frameworks.


Testimonials

“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...