Changing Over to “StormBrain 101: Literacy Growing Life”


Over the last year there have been too many life events which forever altered my course; my way of thinking, responding, behaving and growing my instructional practices.


It’s not any longer accurate to have my blog go by its’ current name, that one leaves out so much I need, want and feel compelled to include that impact how people grow more literate in their daily lives.

More to come. Stay tuned:).

Pioneer Valley Shout-Outs!


Pioneer Valley Publishers has a website that uses Reading Recovery theory, Literacy Coaching theories and practices, Reading Research best practices and Literacy, Reading, and Coaching successes over time to implement and promote a series of Readers for students from Kindergarten through Elementary School and beyond in fiction and non-fiction, single and 6-pack readers.  Their font and spacing is just right for beginning and intermediate readers. Interest-driven, Pioneer Valley has always been about solving the riddle of what gets students reading.  I have utilized Pioneer Valley for many years now and cannot imagine doing without them!

Check out their Book Builder Online tab within  the Technology Tab on their official website!  There are free books to print as well as subscription ones!

If you’re a teacher of little ones, you will want to check out Bella and Rosie,  pet/dog characters in the Pioneer Valley series of books for the younger readers!  Or Jack and Daisy!  And there are others to boot!

Here are some recent posts from Pioneer Valley Publishers Blog (which boasts academic and instructional helps from Jan Richardson and Michele Dufresne):

News from Pioneer Valley Books

CallingAllCoachesTeachersAnd LiteracyPeopleToo

acquisition of new reading vocabulary, Teacher Support: Following and Timing?, teaching reading strategies, teaching writing strategies, the writing process, Uncategorized, vision boards


What good books are out there to help us grow our Literacy Teaching Practice?? 

There are so many to choose from, and some great places to start searching to find exactly what you are looking for by topic, popularity, programs, or author(s), or for any other category are below:,Literacy

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Here are some examples of books I have already read, am reading or want to read to help grow my practice and other ideas to help support literacy growth across the curriculum and across learning styles:

children without parents…immigration crisis full force…two sides to the story





What happens when parents want to give their children and family a better life?  If they live in a country where upward mobilization is rare, they sometimes opt to migrate to a country close by for the chance.  If they know for a fact that the political system there won’t cooperate or will try to deter by any means, and the parents still choose to opt to migrate anyway, what is that called?  It could be called desperation, or it could be called ignorance or even stupidity, depending upon the circumstances.


I have had discussions with people who have been in these circumstances, know about it through family members or have been inside it, on the government side of the equation and have given feedback, and these equal sides form a triangle of different opinions while having equal weight on the issue, valuing what their knowledge-base is from it’s origin.

My take:  it is not just about government.  It is also about origin of intent.  A wealth of blame to go around.

My advice:  go educate yourselves before deciding to “wall off” children (yours or theirs).  They are the only victims in reality.

Be literate about humanity.

What’s Your Take on Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Famous Sonnet?


240_F_101827483_YDbOrqdZrZspBnoUYyPmTDpxg5rdt4IHEnglish Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics. 1909–14. 620. Sonnets from the Portuguese XLIII

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

HOW do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of

Being and ideal


I love thee to the level of everyday’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for

Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from

Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

this seems to say that a love reserved for the most deserved of all loves, as deep and wide and strong and compassionate a love that exists, after all, is the kind of love described here; a fusion of passion and purity, fathoms of clarity entwined with a love so irrevocable from one’s spirit that to undo it would be to invoke death


College Way and Green Way – College of Charleston


Please click immediately below for a visual treat of outside at the corner of College and Green Way (live web cam image)


Source: College Way and Green Way – College of Charleston


A Great Place to take graduate courses… and how awesome a view provided by The Graduate School at CofC!

It will be my pleasure to add this awesome institution of learning to the list of in-state Colleges and Universities that have been my Roadway in Higher Education, and well, learning how much more there is that I just do not know yet.  Can’t stop now…











CofC LogoCofC Logo



Oh, what a mangled web we weave, when first in test scores we do believe…240_F_36539779_bkQ5KXftql36po9Wun46UyBRabTLrIBI

If you are a Teacher, a Curriculum, Literacy or Instructional Coach or other School Admin Staff, you are up to your elbows in testing right about now, and more or less that way till just about the end of the school year!

Schools across the nation have been engaged in all sorts of formative testing across grade levels to assess reading levels, including phonics, phonemic awareness, concepts about print, vocabulary, and writing/spelling; MAP Testing (Measures of Academic Progress); classroom curriculum benchmark testing; and now State measures of progress in the form of summative assessments given throughout the last twenty days of the school year to measure progress in Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies.

If you are also a parent of one of those “tested-out” students, God bless you!!!

It’s almost over.

But not yet.

What a Gifted Writer, Rhi


Rhi is preparing herself for the opening of a play that she wrote about herself, an Autistic woman lately diagnosed.

It is being performed in the UK (wish I could see it, but I’ll keep up with the following) by Lucy Theobald, whom Rhi declares absolutely does an amazing job of portraying her character.

Rhi is saving up her reserves at the moment, she says, because it can be very energy-draining to stay in the limelight up to the point of opening night.

Makes me think of various students and people I know who have so much of this same kind of creative energy and talent to share.  Makes me want to figure out ways to get them writing…

You can see more of Rhi here:

via The Duck: An Autistic Play 

Further details for local tickets for The Duck can be found here:

Thanks, Rhi, for sharing your life with us.  You are teaching us more than you realize.


Literacy in the Sky (with diamonds??)


Well, no, it wasn’t the Beatles’ song, or anything close to it, except for the fact that this title sort of sounds like ” Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds“.

And one could certainly make the argument that there appeared to be a couple of those in the sky alongside the beautiful phrase “SHORT FLIGHT LONG ISLAND“.

This photo was taken today over Myrtle Beach as the Blue Angels flew over as part of their “Wings Over Myrtle Beach” Air Show.

That poetic phrase rings quite true, as Myrtle Beach became a man-made island in the year 1936 after the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway.  So Myrtle Beach is technically an island.

And the “diamonds” are represented by the huge ball (sun) and another small one (unknown).  So you go, Lucy.

Checking up on HOW we read (because it matters that we have misrepresented to students why we read and how we ought to approach any text whether fiction or nonfiction)

acquisition of new reading vocabulary, Teacher Support: Following and Timing?, teaching reading strategies, teaching writing strategies, Thinking About the Reading/Writing Process As It Applies.., Uncategorized

Kylene Beers and Bob Probst have written many a gifted text for those of us seeking answers to questions we as educators carry around with us in angst, day after day, about how to solve inadequacies we see in student comprehension, in bridging gaps in reading achievement and so on.  But this one is a particularly noteworthy one, as it “busts through all the bull” that students face as they approach upper elementary into middle school years and run straight into fake news; Beers and Probst provide strategies to help students find their voice in social justice and all else they read while feeling their way through, to help themselves understand why how they read is so important. Students begin to approach text as critical thinkers:  thinking — in which the student improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinkers self-direct, self-discipline, self-monitor, and self-correct thinking.

Whoa.  For students to get to that point through strategies learned, that really is disrupting thinking…theirs and ours.