Empower Students by Cultivating Agency

My fourth article was published last week!

Empowering Students by Cultivating Agency

Thank you to all of you who have taken time to read the article and provide feedback. If you want to comment on the article you can do so here on my personal blog… or find the article on Twitter (Twitter Link).

The Importance of Effective Classroom Talk

The productive hum of students engaged in talking and learning is like hearing a symphony, a favorite song. They are evidence of a teacher intentionally planning for and developing the expectations and strategies of effective talk with their students.

“Children’s speaking and listening lead the way for their reading and writing skills, and together these language skills are the primary tools of the mind for all future learning.” – Roskos, Tabors, & Lenhart, 2009


Increased effective discourse between students leads to deeper learning.

“According to John Hattie (2018), teachers can ask between 200 and 300 questions a day – whereas students typically ask clarification questions. Research also indicates that teachers should limit their speaking to 20-30% of the class time and the student talk time should be around 80%.” – Greenwood


According to Hattie’s meta-analysis, classroom discussion has an effect size of .82 which is more than twice the average growth in a year! When students talk together, their relationships strengthen, their oral language skills grow, they see each other’s strengths and feel an increasing sense of belonging, and engagement increases! Today I want to bring together some rich resources on classroom discourse, to support the ways that teachers scaffold increasingly complex student talk in their classrooms.

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Joy: I’m a Published Author!

I’ve been writing this blog for two years! Writing is one of the ways I show my creativity and honor my core value of sharing what I have learned with others. One of my dreams has been to be a published author, and that dream came true last week when my first article was published on Edutopia. Today I am celebrating this goal, and looking forward to my upcoming writing projects.

Please check out my article:

Fostering Identity, Joy, and Skill Development


My Love of Writing

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”
–Sylvia Plath
Writing gives me Joy and teaching writing is one of my favorite parts of being an educator. So yesterday when my first article was published on Edutopia I was ecstatic; this has been one of my Bucket List items forever and especially since I started writing this, my own blog. The article is Fostering Identity, Joy, and Skill DevelopmentThe most amazing part of being published was the sense of community around me, both colleagues and students, who celebrated my accomplishment. It meant the world for me to go into a second grade class yesterday afternoon and show them my final writing as they were working on their own final edits and revisions. Naturally, this morning I woke up wanting to write about writing! In this post I want to list some of the strategies I’ve used in the teaching of writing to empower our youngest writers!

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