Welcome to Read – Write – Connect, Inc.

the Internet home of Leah Mermelstein.

Best Writing consultant 002 copyLeah is an internationally recognized literacy consultant who specializes in K-5 Reading and Writing Workshop. She is the President and CEO of Read-Write-Connect, INC. She is also the author of Reading/​​Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom, (Allyn & Bacon), Don’t Forget to Share (Heinemann) and the co-author of Launching the Writing Workshop (with Lucy Calkins) (Heinemann).


Selected Works

DVD

Quality Writing Instruction
This brand new DVD will assist teachers with high quality writing instruction.

Non-fiction

Don’t Forget to Share: The Crucial Last Step in the Writing Workshop
This brand new book will show you how to make your share sessions more instructional.

Nonfiction

Reading/Writing Connections in the K-2 Classroom: Find the Clarity and Then Blur the Lines
This book demonstrates how through careful, explicit assessing, planning, and teaching every student can understand and use the reading/writing connection to become stronger readers and writers at the same time.

Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum: Launching the Writing Workshop
This book shows teachers how to launch a joyful and rigorous Writing Workshop in their classrooms.

QUICK LINKS

E-mail the author

Authors Guild

findauthors

Leah Mermelstein
536 Grand Street, Ste. 501,
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(917) 503-1947

leahmermelstein@earthlink.net

1Leah best writing consultant 1.4 copy

Blog Posts are Below:

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The Pause: How it helps me as both a parent and teacher

In today’s quick blog post, I want to share some thoughts  about pausing and how pausing before I react helps me both as a parent and a teacher.

I just finished reading the book, Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.

It’s the story of one American mother and what she discovered about the wisdom of French parenting.

The book was interesting in both good and bad ways. (That’s for another blog post!)

One tidbit that Pamela learned from her French friends was how to get babies to as they call it  ‘do their nights.’

They talk about the importance of the pause.

Rather than running to the crying child or ignoring him/her altogether, supposedly all French parents  pause before reacting.

The pause helps them to see if their baby needs help or if he/she will be able to get themselves back to sleep.

Interestingly, that was the exact advice my American friend gave me when I was trying to help Ariana sleep through the night.  🙂

Pausing also helped me to get Ariana to play in her crib by herself in the morning.  At first, she would wake up crying but when I paused  she would settle down and happily play

This seemingly simple idea of a pause had huge payoffs as a parent.  Ariana was sleeping through the night at a young age and still plays in her crib for 45 minutes in the morning.

Let’s be clear though. It is not perfect.  Ariana does need my help sometimes.   She has nights that she is teething.  She has bad dreams. At times, I am not sure what’s wrong but she needs me.

The pause is not perfect but it has made a difference.

What this book and my American friend reminded me of is that when we pause we teach our kids to become more self-directed.

I  know that Ariana feels more confident when she can do things herself, whether it’s playing with her toy or getting herself back to sleep.  It’s tempting to react immediately but the pay off for not doing so is huge.

I must admit I like it as well.

I get a good night sleep (most nights) and most mornings I have some time to drink coffee and answer emails.

The pause is good for both parent and child.

This pause is paramount in our teaching as well.

When we pause rather than jump in and help our students we are a empowering them to realize just how much they can do on their own.

And just as Ariana would rather do things herself, it’s the same for our students.

Yes, the pause is good for  our students but it makes our job as teachers easier.

I remind myself often that if I’m working too hard as a teacher there is something remiss in my teaching .  My kids should be working just as hard as I am (if not harder)

I would love to hear how pausing has helped either your parenting or teaching.

Until next time,

Leah

Copyright, 2014

5 Responses to The Pause: How it helps me as both a parent and teacher
  1. Anmarie Galgano
    May 19, 2014 | 4:54 pm

    Yes! It’s so easy to jump in and “fix”! Somewhat related…I was working with a group of K teachers last week and we were talking about how to encourage self-monitoring and I reminded them to “praise the pause”. Kids might not yet have the skill to figure out an unknown word, but by praising the monitoring we are letting them know that their reading behavior is awesome!

  2. Rebecca
    May 19, 2014 | 7:06 pm

    Yes!
    I love this post!
    It’s so important to give our students adequate wait time. I have found that when working with students, it is so important to pause and let them think before jumping in. It is all about the process and the journey of accomplishing their goals. As parents and teachers, we need to figure out when to help and when to observe and let our chldren be independent learners. Watching them go through the wonderful process of learning and growing is so rewarding!

    • Leah Mermelstein
      May 19, 2014 | 11:00 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca–it is such a balance to know when to help and when to hold back but I agree the wait time helps you figure it out. 🙂

  3. Billie Tisherman
    May 21, 2014 | 7:42 pm

    So nice to see pictures of your beautiful daughter. She’s learning and you’re learning. That’s a good thing. For me, it’s a little late with my own children although I can still “pause” and have my 19 year olds think a little more or handle something more before I help if they’re needing/wanting my help. However, I love the idea and needed the reminder for my teaching of Second Graders.
    Thanks for offering another brilliant idea, Leah.

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