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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What I am learning about teaching from parenting…..

Trying to blog while working and keeping up with a very active toddler has been challenging, but here are some quick thoughts I have about   both parenting and teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Reading and Writing can be both rigorous and fun.

Above is my lovely Ariana with her friend Lilly.  They spent most of their hour long playdate happily reading.  Ariana sees no difference between her toys and her books. Both are fun and interesting. As a matter of fact, she can spend a longer time with books than with her toys.  I have not pushed reading and writing on her, but on the other hand I view both of those activities as fun so it’s no surprise that she does as well.  She works hard while reading and she works hard while playing with her toys.  My biggest wish is that all teachers/schools understand that Reading and Writing Workshops can be fun and rigorous at the same time.

 

2.  Watching is the most important  way to assess in both parenting and teaching.

Recently I brought Ariana to the park after a long winter  hiatus.  It was amazing to just sit back and watch how much she had changed as a park goer.  She was climbing the stairs to the slide, going on rides and climbing on the benches–all things that she couldn’t do a few months earlier.  As a parent, I sometimes feel guilty just watching her.  I feel as though I need to be teaching, yet I realize that I’m a better parent when I sit back and watch her more,  That watching helps me to  to interact with her more effectively. The same thing is true in our teaching. Often teachers feel negligent if they are not working with students every moment of the day.   Sometimes the best way to  strengthen your teaching is to sit back and watch.

3.  Mentors and purpose are key to learning.

Finally, Ariana reminded me of what I have always known.  Kids learn the most when they have mentors and purpose.  Here is the video of the day Ariana decided to walk:  VIDEO0028-1

This was at a yoga party that we attended.  I knew the moment we walked in the room that she would walk that day.  There were lots of older kids (walking mentors)  and lots of cools things that she wanted to grab (purpose).

 

I would love to hear your thoughts about how these ideas influence your teaching and/or your parenting.

 

Until next time,

Leah

Copyright, 2014

 

4 Responses to What I am learning about teaching from parenting…..
  1. Sara Hoople Atherlay
    March 25, 2014 | 6:28 pm

    Agreed! Nothing changed my teaching more than becoming a parent. One is compelled to rediscover the world through the child’s eyes with such intensity. When the boys were pre-K age, I quickly discovered they did not want me to be their teacher, which allowed me even greater opportunity to be Observer. I did not even teach them how to write their name, just showed them different things again and again without the expectation that they perform, too. When Philip graduated from high school, I asked him if he remembered learning to read, and yes, he did. “What worked?” I asked, because it was always effortless for him. “When you read to us at night, right after you’d give us the book. Because I’d just heard it, I could retrace the words on the page and do it for myself.” Yes!

    • Leah
      March 26, 2014 | 9:51 am

      Hi Sara,
      It’s so true what you said about rediscovering the world through a child’s eyes. I think that there is something to be said about showing kids things without expectation to perform. Maybe when the pressure is off it’s easier to learn. A good reason to stay calm as a teacher and not show/reveal to a kid that you are dying for him/her to perform. 🙂 I think of you often and send you ALL my best wishes.
      Leah

  2. Sharon Davison
    March 25, 2014 | 9:33 pm

    A great post Leah. You hit on some key points here. Observation is really important when it comes to any experience. The language alone is really interesting as a parent and as a teacher when learning something new. Children are very motivated and interested in each other and can become mentors in a very authentic way. The example you gave of Ariana beginning to walk captures this. Children want to be a part of our classrooms and feel comfortable so they can take risks and learn through their experiences. Developing a culture that is kind, reflective, engaging and inspiring is key. Through their comfort level children will take risks and find purpose through others modeling. The challenge is always trying to find ways that children will not only want to learn, but learn how to learn. That is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and our students.

    • Leah
      March 26, 2014 | 9:54 am

      Thanks, Sharon! I agree with you. I think there is not enough importance at times on figuring out ways to support children in wanting to learn—The ironic part is as I watch Ariana is that they are hardwired to want to learn and then at times something happens in schools to change that. When children want to learn everything else is so much easier. It’s always great to hear from you and I’m so happy with all of your new professional adventures 🙂
      Leah

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