Resources for Educators

Articles, Videos, and Podcasts

Patty’s articles, videos, and podcasts offer busy educators practical solutions to literacy problems, thought provoking ideas on teaching, and classroom materials that engage learners and lead to more reading, writing, and spelling.

Writing Conferences: A Minimalist Approach

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom,”

Using Taylor Swift Lyrics to Engage Kids with Text

Ready to bring some T-Swift into your classroom? Here are three plans for your consideration.

The Phenomenal Educator Podcast with Mr. Short

Patty talks about her humble beginnings, moving out the classroom, working with schools across the country and her Lit Con 23 presentation.

Not Your Granny’s Grammar: 5 Shifts for a Fresh, Impactful Approach to Grammar Instruction

These five simple yet powerful instructional shifts will have a huge impact on how students use grammar as their artistic tool to mold, construct, and shape their writing.

Teachers Talk Shop Podcast: Writing Made Simple

When we simplify writing instruction, it becomes joyful, meaningful and deeply fulfilling for everyone involved. Patty McGee shares some of the best ways for teachers to support writers in the classroom.

Your Language Arts Block is the Best Time to Teach SEL

While social and emotional learning may feel like one more thing to squeeze into a time-crunched classroom, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you intentionally pair SEL with experiences in the language arts block. 

Grammar Refresh! Re-Envisioning Grammar Instruction on the Robb Review

Grammar learning is oftentimes siloed so far away from writing that the leap is just too much for students to make. I offer you five instructional moves to ensure grammar and writing instruction stay up close and personal. 

Making the Mini-Lesson Mighty- Simple, Supporting, Succinct Steps with Patty McGee

Author and world-traveling teacher, Patty McGee joins us to explore the potency of the “mini-lesson” and how it can be used to make effective progress throughout your literacy instruction.

Wholehearted Learning with Dr. Andrea Pennington

Dr. Andrea Pennington and Patty McGee discuss how the beliefs that we hold closely determine the limitations we place on ourselves and how through shifting perspective we can elevate the learning process and develop positive messages for a more fulfilling life.

Building Resilient Writers: 3 Moves for the New School Year

What we do early on in the school year can make a world of difference. By establishing a strong community of writers at the onset of the year, students build writing resilience.

Pint-Size Book Authors: Using Early Readers as Mentor Texts

In the classroom, when children read and see books all around them, they are naturally inspired to create. It’s as though there is magnetism pulling them toward paper and pencil. 

The Symbiosis of Writing and Social-Emotional Growth

Addressing kids’ social-emotional well-being in the classroom is not merely important; it is critical. And this is not just a post-pandemic need. Becoming emotionally aware and resourceful is a life skill.

4 Practices for Developing Strong Readers at Any Distance

For younger students, you may choose a collection that is based around what is most accessible to read, like emergent story books or decodable texts based on your phonics instruction. 

Writing Teachers Are Coaches, Not Umpires

We have seen first-hand the power strategic coaching has on the writers we work with, both in our own classrooms and in those of teachers who made this shift. 

Turn Your Classroom Library into a Cozy Bookstore

It’s November. You’ve got a feel for your students as readers. And based on all the recent kerfuffle over the unintended consequences of leveled books, this month may be just the time to do some restyling of your classroom library.

Think Makerspace for Your Grammar Studies

Wherever you fall on the love-hate continuum of grammar, we can all probably find common ground in at least one belief:

Writing is more powerful with strong,
intentional use of grammar.

Humane Teaching: Reclaiming the Dignity of Our Profession

Committing to humane teaching helps us ground ourselves in the greater purpose of the work we have been called to do, and helps us to teach from that sacred space so that learners no longer need to self-advocate for dignity. 

The Five Teachers You Meet in Professional Learning

What I discovered was that there are some trends in teacher persona, teacher archetypes if you will, and respecting those perspectives and working to understand their values helped me do the complex work of relationship building. 

Whacking Through the Tangle of Nonsense

Perhaps your writing process is similar to mine.  Does your mind meander and design pressing, meaningless tasks to complete? Worse yet, does the baggage we all have about our talent sabotage your writing voice?

The Low Blow of Labels

In the context of school, what worries me the most are the labels that tend to fly under the radar, because they seem so relatively tame. Educators say them so often they must be okay, right? 

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Middle Grade Writer

I write this article from the perspective of both an educator and the parent of a middle school student. Perhaps some of you are nodding in understanding, speckled with a little empathy, about the ins and outs of working and living with middle graders, including that feeling of joy that comes with this unique, blossoming age.

True North

This world needs readers and writers and, us teachers, day by day, are the nurturers of hope and possibility, peace and justice, and we do this nurturing by staying true to the most important destination: readers and writers full of passion, skill, and engagement.

Moving Away from the Magic Bullet Mentality: Invest in Professional Learning

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to student learning. Yet the educational landscape is littered with advertisements, sales calls, freebees, and promises working to persuade those making budgetary choices that there is a magic bullet to improving student learning.

Stop. Grammartime.

Grammar. The word alone is either off-putting or inviting (you know who you are, grammarians). Perhaps you are imagining visions of worksheets, sentence diagrams, or a writing piece riddled with red ink. Or maybe you are someone who secretly corrects grammar in your mind as others speak

Teach Like a Hummingbird

I came to realize that these tiny creatures held the answer to a burning question many of us ask when giving feedback in writing: How do I give customized feedback for writers when I have so many students to nourish and so little time?

Teacher: Step Away From that Red Pen!

There’s a better way of giving feedback to writers, and it does not include a red pen.

Instead, it involves you as the writing mentor, helping activate student writers to learn powerful moves that create quality writing with originality, voice, and style.

"What Writers Really Need: A Trifecta of Teaching Moves That Revolutionize Writing Instruction"

Take off the correcting hat and be the mentor writer who models strategies. I know you will experience what so many other teachers have—joyful, connected writing instruction and writers who grow exponentially.

"3 Moves to Awaken Dormant Writers"

We all know these writers: they may sit and stare at the blank page for ages, visit the bathroom for most of writing time, distract others, and even shed tears when asked to write. 

"Looking for a Fresh, New Design for PD? Try a Residency, Part 2"

A residency holds incredible power for teacher-learners who are looking for the next step in professional learning, are eager to integrate all they know about literacy instruction, and are looking to grow a community of teachers who learn from one another.

"Looking for a Fresh, New Design for PD? Try a Residency, Part 1"

Think of the residency in the same gradual release model that you use in classroom instruction. Design the days using this concept, handing over the responsibility for teaching more and more to the participants.

"The Power of NOT Answering Content-Specific Questions"

I am asking that, for a moment, pretend you cannot remember all you have learned as you followed your passion as a reader, writer, historian, chemist, artist, athlete, chef, or whatever your expertise may be.

"Help Students Reflect and Set Goals for Powerful Learning"

This amazing, cyclical, and transformative process learners take to consider where they have been and where they want to go–the cycle of reflection into goal setting into more reflection–is one of the most powerful experiences you can create in your classroom. 

Some endorsements of Patty's Work

What Educators Are Saying About Patty


“When I first met with Patty, I was a little confused about the structure of the Reader’s Workshop model.  It was brand new to me, so I had a lot of questions.  Patty set me as ease immediately, letting me know what I did well but also giving me some pointers for future conferences.  After just our first meeting, I felt more confident with the pacing and focus of the workshop model.  In future meetings, I gained more and more confidence and less and less confused.  I looked forward to anytime I could meet with her to ask questions and bounce ideas off of each other.”

5th Grade Teacher


“Working with Patty was an absolute pleasure! She kindly assisted me with my lesson, helping me to find a focus that was necessary for my class at the time. During my instruction, she provided me with guidance only when I looked to her. In our discussion following, she made me feel like I could conquer the world! She provided feedback that was easy to implement in the future. Take full advantage of her presence!”

2nd/3rd Grade Teacher

Books For Educators

Simplifying writing feedback is right at your fingertips. Check out my books with a link to the books page

Ready for Streamlined Writing Instruction that Works?

Let’s talk about how I can help you create an instructional approach that you’ll love.