Blog

  • Dear Colleague, Yesterday I read this powerful and heartbreaking post by Dr. Kim Parker. Before you go any further, please go and read it. Okay, here we go. I read this post and my heart hurt so much for Dr. Parker and her little boy, and...

  • Now is the time of the year when the daydreams of August turn into the real work of teaching. What were your hopes and dreams before school started? Have they gotten buried under a heap of paperwork, assessments, and things not going the way you...

  • This blog is rapidly transitioning from one of purely teaching thoughts to free therapy for my life as a new parent. Having said that, for me, having a child has rapidly crystallized and underscored ideas about teaching in a new and dynamic way. That’s not...

  • Not too long ago I tweeted out an article about how when kids appear aggressive, it might actual be a motor planning issue. One of the conclusions drawn was that in the absence of big body chores (like hauling logs and digging holes) and big...

  • My colleague at the EdCollab, Dana, wrote a blog post about being genderqueer and a teacher and in it she called out educators with privilege to take a more proactive and active stance in supporting marginalized people and marginalized bodies. As I read it, I...

  • “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland For those of you that follow me on twitter, you already know that this blog has been quiet for two big reasons. Christine Hertz and I are working on...

  • I am so excited to share that in a week or so my new book (with Alison Porcelli and Cheryl Tyler- play gurus and authors of this handy book on choice time) about PLAY will descend upon this fine earth!!!! Now, listen, there is nothing...

  • My  husband is not just a talented comedy writer, but he is also a gifted musician. Because music is one of his great loves, our apartment is filled to the brim with records (Actual Vinyl), various musical instruments, and all sorts of technical looking equipment...

  • So, I’ve been thinking a lot, and if you’ve seen me talk recently, you’ve heard me ask this question: If the world became your classroom, would you want to live there? I sit with this question every single day, and it has pushed me harder...

  • I’ve been so so so so so fortunate to have the opportunity to write books with some amazing thinkers: Christine Hertz, Alison Porcelli, Cheryl Tyler, and Marjorie Martinelli. One of my favorite parts of writing is the research, and the way it can both answer...

  • This is going to be a rather short post, but I have been thinking something in the document Play For a Change which mentions two views of children- one where we are waiting for them to be adults, and one where they are fully functioning and valuable...

  • When I first started teaching, I used to revel in making homework packets. It felt like I was being a Real Teacher. Fill in the missing vowels! Match the rhyming pictures! Sight word word search! Both fun and practical! Then I would spend an insane...

  • I was biking home from work today when I passed a group of tourists on the Queensboro bridge. I cross the Queensboro bridge twice a day, which means this year alone I have crossed it 110 times. Usually I zone a bit, consider what I should...

  •  “A sacred picture of Saint Anthony alone is one vertical, unwavering band of light. If a cockroach were near him, or a cocktail waitress, the picture would be two such bands of light. Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any...

  • (Alternate Title: Life After Clip Charts) It’s day 700  7 of kindergarten. Some things are going great, some things are not, but EVERYTHING is going exactly how it is supposed to go on day 7 of school. There is lots of running, and just as...

  • Christine Hertz and I just had the privilege of participating in an online day of (free!!!) learning with The Educator Collaborative. This event brought some of the best ed thinkers out there to our own homes, and the best news- its all archived! I loved Kristin Ziemke’s,...

  • I have been thinking about the comments and the thoughts that have popped up around my last post on clip charts, and I started wondering how to better explain how building up community looks different than clip charts or other public behavior systems. The clearest...

  • Have you ever been publicly shamed? I have. It stinks. It was in first grade. Our desks were arranged in a U shape, one next to the other, and we were supposed to be silently reading. “Who is your best friend?” whispered Kerry Latzah (name changed...

  • There are many things you may know about me already: I teach kindergarten, I have a dog, I consult in schools, I write books. There are also many things you may not know about me: I love romance novels, I am very stubborn, and when school...

  • I was in the middle of nowhere, and I was on the verge of tears. After weeks on the road, I was finally heading home. The word “home” itself had gained a magical mystical quality to me, and with all my heart I just wanted to...

  • Yesterday my attention was drawn to this article in the New York Times called: “The Fallacy of Balanced Literacy” by Alexander Nazaryan. I also read this incredibly well written response by Gaeten Pappalardo over on edutopia. And 24 hours I am still annoyed beyond words. I...

  • I, and everyone else, have been thinking a lot about testing. I have been thinking about good tests and bad tests and what they actually measure. The times I have appreciated tests and the times I have not. I, personally, am tested most when I...

  • “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” –  Fred Rogers When I was about five years old, and my sister was around seven, our...

  • I love analogies. I feel like they let you learn something sideways, when something is too hard to take face on, relating it to something you know and understand is like opening the side door in your mind, or walking on the diagonal up a...

  • My husband and I went snowboarding over winter vacation. Much as I would like to claim otherwise, I am a novice (read: terrible) and so we signed up for a lesson. In the midst of what seemed to be infants doing tricks on snowboards, Geoff...

  • At the risk of sounding like Dear Abby, the only authentic way to start this post is by saying I received a really moving and motivating comment from a teacher named Becky, who wrote on behalf of herself and some of her colleagues in Washington...

  • Best New Blog 2013 – Edublog Awards View more lists from Edublogs I am honored that kinderconfidential is nominated for an Edublog Award for best new blog. Considering it took me 45 minutes to figure out how to link to voting, it may have been...

  • First: this blog post brought to you by #nerdlution. #nerdlution was started by Colby Sharp, a third grade teacher and a person who manages to inspire in 140 twitter characters- not easy, Franki Sibberson, possibly the biggest heart and biggest cheerleader of teachers out there,...

  • Sometimes my student teachers ask me: “Can you show me how you plan?” This question always sets me back a little because my process, like that of many teachers, is not exactly black and white. I think this is (roughly) how I plan: I obsess...

  • My dad had a saying for every situation, often variations on the same theme: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, you eat an elephant one bite at a time, and so on and so forth. Essentially: get to work and...

  • When I was in middle school, I tried out for the basketball team, despite having never played more than a game of “HORSE” every once in a while. My dad had been a basketball coach, and in many ways I felt basketball skills lay dormant...

  • I remember the time of my very first close reading experience, although at that time I was only about six and words like close reading were about as familiar to me as kale, and other non-white foods.   It involved a two-page spread from my...

  • Hi there, I am Kristi Mraz. Former literacy consultant with Teacher’s College, co-author of Smarter Charts (with Marjorie Martinelli) and Writing Non-Fiction Chapter Books (with Barb Golub and Lucy Calkins), and current kindergarten teacher. This blog is a place for me to share what is...