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


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


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.


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.


E-mail the author

Authors Guild


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


1Leah best writing consultant 1.4 copy

Blog Posts are Below:


The Sunshine Award






I am so honored to have been nominated for the Sunshine Award by Renee Dinnerstein. Thanks, Renee!

The Sunshine Award is a lovely way that bloggers recognize each other. Basically, it spreads Sunshine from one blog to another!

The Sunshine Award was started by Matt Renwick, an elementary principal in Wisconsin (@readbyexample). Here are the rules Matt lists in his post:
1.В  Acknowledge the nominating blogger.

2.В  Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3.В  Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

4.В  List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!

5.В  Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.

6.В  Let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

In true “Leah” style, 11 wasn’t always the magic number for me, but I’ve tried to stay in the lines the best I could! Here are 11 random facts about me:

1.В  I am a single mom by choice to a beautiful little girl named Ariana.В  Deciding to have her was both the best and hardest decision I ever had to make.

2.В  My first year with her has beenВ  the happiest, most peaceful year of my life so far!

3.В  If I didn’t blog about teaching and parenting, I would blog about infertility.В  Staying pregnant was a long, emotionally exhausting and expensive process.В  In the end, I found the Dr who could help and he got me pregnant in a second. В  I, for sure, have a book or a series of blogs in me that probably could help someone else who is navigating this sameВ  emotionally draining process.

4.В  My middle name is actually Leah and my first name is Hope. I switched it when I moved to Boston when I was ten years old.В  As Hope, kids teased me constantly and called me Hopey Dopey or Hopeless. I realized that by moving I could start over with a new name. My family tells me that my personality completely changed for the better when I switched my name to Leah. They said I became much more confident. Interesting…

5.В  I am an early bird.В  I get up at 5:00 almost every morning and drink coffee in the quiet of the morning..

6.В  I also go to sleep insanely early. Typically I am in bed by 9:00!

7.В  I quit my first teaching job.В  I was putting kids in small groups and the principal pulled me out into the hallway and told me that ‘these types of kids’ couldn’t work in small groups. I quit the next morning. I was 22 and had moved to the city and now had no job. This was another one of those hard but best decision moments.В  I wonder if that principal has followed my career. :)

8.В  I have a strange urge when I visit hotels to take any and all soap. I don’t ever use it,В  but still take it. Luckily I was able to donate it a couple of months ago.

9.В  I love dancing and singing with my daughter. I don’t think I’m very good at it but we do it many times throughout the day and it brings joy to both of us.

10.В  I love to cook. I don’t do it as often as I would like and don’t view myself as a pro,В  but I think if my life was less busy I would do it more often and hone in on the skill.

11. I love trying new restaurants. I think of going out to a new restaurant as a vacation for the night. :)

Here are the questions that Renee asked me along with my answers:

1. What book(s) are you presently reading? I just finished reading Wonder by R.J Palacio.В  It’s a book for older kids. It’s written from the perspective of a young boy who is living with extreme facial anomalies.
2. Who was the must influential person in your life?В  This is a hard one because different people have influenced me in different ways, but because there are many educators reading this I will talk about Sharon Edwards who was my biggest influence professionally. I came into education knowing I loved kids but that was about it.В  I lacked self-confidence until I met my cooperating teacher, Sharon Edwards.В  She included me in everything: her teaching, her book tours,В  and her workshops.В  She made me realize I could be a leader in education and supported in trying many things that were out of my comfort level.В  Throughout all of it, we laughed, relaxed and enjoyed kids together!
3. What inspired you to enter the field of education?В  See above :)
4. Do you have a secret vice that you might be willing to share? I have a terrible sweet tooth. It’s usually under control but when I lose it, I really, really lose it. :)
5. What is your ideal vacation?В  It’s hard for me to talk about an ideal vacation, but rather an ideal year of vacations. I love having one complete relaxation vacation. On those all I want to do is sit in the sun, read books,В  and eat good food. In that same year, I love having an adventure vacation.В  I love exploring a place I’ve never been and staying long enough to feel at home there.В  On these vacations, I love coming home exhausted and filled with new memories.
6. What was your favorite childhood game or activity?В  I loved having long afternoon of exploring and imagining. I didn’t need fancy toys, just me and my imagination.В  I try to provide my daughter with this time as well.
7. Is there a film about childhood that you would recommend to a friend? I love Little Miss Sunshine.В  It’s an oldie but goodie and features Olive, a sassy, self-directed, wise little girl.
8. Who was your best friend when you were a child? I had a school best friend, Beth Shelton and a neighborhood best friend, Andrea Shreeman. Andrea and IВ  have recently reconnected because we were both due to have our first child on the same day. I had Ariana on Christmas and she had Maverick on December 27th.
9. Is there a work of art or a piece of music that has left a strong impact on you? Yes, but whatВ  is standing out to me these days is how the ordinary is more beautiful than ever.В  All the things I used to dread: shopping and going to the bank are now more beautiful and more fun because I view than through my daughter’s eyes. Ariana dances at the A and P grocery store and stares at the money in the bank. I now see a trip to the grocery store and a visit to the bank as art.В  This is one of the many gifts that Ariana has given to me.

I would like to nominate

Sharon Davison

Claire Dietsche

Katie Drury-Tanner

Alan J. Wright


Bloggers, here are my eleven questions that I hope you’ll answer for your readers:

1.What inspires you to blog?
2. What is the hardest/most frustrating thing about blogging?
3.Can you share a defining moment you’re had in the field of education?
4.Can you share your funniest moment in the field of education?
5.What do you hope for in the coming year?
6.How does blogging help your teaching?
7.How does teaching help your blogging?
8. What advice would you give to someone about writing?
9. What advice would you give to someone about teaching?

10.В  What is is your favorite thing to do to relax?
11.В  Are there any responses to your blog that have really stood out? В  What were they and why did they stand out?

And now, Sharon, Claire, Katie and Alan I can’t wait to hear your random facts? I hope you have fun playing around with your Sunshine Award! I look forward to your answers.

Here’s one of my favorite clips from Little Miss Sunshine:В  It seems to make sense since it’s a great movie and the name of this award!!!В  Listen:В  Let Olive Be Olive

Enjoy and Happy New Year. I look forward to blogging again soon!


5 Responses to The Sunshine Award
  1. Sharon Davison
    January 4, 2014 | 12:34 pm

    Thanks Leah for this nomination! Oh my….. I loved reading your story. I will share mine today! Best to you always…..

    • Leah Mermelstein
      January 5, 2014 | 12:44 am

      Thanks, Sharon! I loved reading yours as well. :) Happiest of New Years!!

  2. Teresa Robinson
    January 4, 2014 | 1:31 pm

    You are beautiful and yes, my children enriched how I did and saw many things. When my own kids grew up I would borrow a neighbors kid to go shopping just because I needed to go with a kid!! Now I have 5 grandchildren and it’s just the same.

  3. Deborah Hocking
    January 6, 2014 | 1:17 am

    Dear Leah,
    Ariana is a beautiful little girl! You are both blessed having each other! I also loved reading your story and teaching/working answers. Thank you for all you do for the children, teachers and administrators you come in contact with through your workshops and books. I call your books, tutorials, because you and your “helpers” bring us right along!
    Thanks again.

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