Category Archives: Classroom Ideas

February 6, 2019

Champion Middle School, Champion , Ohio

Sara and I love our visits to Ohio schools. We also love our travels around the country and the world – but our home state is still special to us, and the folks at Champion Middle sure made it easy to love this visit. This was one well prepared school thanks to our main poet […]


January 31, 2019

Pre-write to get it right – GO Sheets.

Sara and I are very proud of our new PD book From Striving to Thriving Writers: Strategies That Jump-Start Writing. And, we are more than humbled that one of our biggest influences on our teaching styles, Stephanie Harvey, has made significant contributions to the book. We feel that our philosophies meld nicely. I have attended […]


January 21, 2019

Dreaming BIG and Small – 6 broken rules.

  Poets have always been trouble makers – in many places they have been arrested for stirring the pot a little too vigorously – or in the “wrong” direction. But – even poets can be guilty of staying inside their safe boxes. Whether that box be the safety of tenured academia or a local “scene” […]


January 19, 2019

Eastern Middle School, Greenwich, CT

12 years – that’s how long Sara and I have been coming to Eastern Middle School in Greenwich, CT. We love this little public school with its art covered walls and rambling old building and we really do have friends here. Eastern used to be traditionally our last school of the year but overseas scheduling […]


November 21, 2018

NCTE 18 – Houston we have NO problem.

My favorite sport is reading. Sara and I love going to the National Council of Teachers of English conference. We’ve been going to NCTE for a couple decades and each one has been an opportunity to connect with friends new and old and to learn and grow. This year’s iteration was especially fulfilling. We have […]


May 6, 2018

Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The American School of Lima

Sara and I spent just enough time at the Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The American School of Lima to know that we’d love to come back. This visit got squeezed onto the front end of our trip to Jakarta (because the two are so close to each other – sometimes we don’t even make sense to […]


April 25, 2018

Never Write a Rough Draft Again!

Why you should never write a rough draft. Well, first off, we believe that draft should be a verb in the writing classroom not a goal. Plus, there only seems to be two draft statuses – rough and final. We prefer to use the term Version – and title everything we begin working on Version […]


April 10, 2018

Dostyk American International School – Atyrau, Kazakhstan

You need a good reason to go to Atyrau, Kazakhstan. To go back a second time you need a damned good reason. Fortunately, Sara and I had one of the best reasons ever, to visit Dostyk American International School’s students and teachers and a couple of our dearest international friends Seamus and Theresa Marriott. Seamus […]


April 2, 2018

American International School of Bucharest

True story, we were surrounded by vampires. Okay, the American International School of Bucharest just may have the best school mascot ever. Who wouldn’t want to be a Fighting Vampire?! But, a boss mascot is not all the school has going for it. Librarians par excellence Stacey and John shepherded us through four fun and […]


March 11, 2018

Kirtland Elementary School

There’s no place like home. Our last school visit was in Chennai India and our next is in Kazan, Russia – but what a wonderful gift it was to roll out of bed drink a cup of coffee in our kitchen and then drive 15 minutes to Kirtland Elementary school to spend a day with […]


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“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...