Kelli Westmoreland

About Kelli Westmoreland

Kelli Westmoreland is the Advocating for Literacy Program Manager at Booksource. After a fulfilling career in the classroom, Kelli spends her days working with teachers across the country who are sharing ideas on implementing trade books in the classroom. As a new empty nester, she enjoys having to do nothing…or something amazingly fun if she so chooses. She is currently reading Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning: Essays on Theory and Praxis by Edmund O’Sullivan.

Top 10 Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

In a digital world where we are inundated with videos, podcasts and tweets trying to persuade us to side with a cause, teaching students how to express their own opinions and write persuasively is a must. The following mentor texts for opinion writing offer opinion and persuasion do’s and don’ts by modeling techniques, counter claims, […]

By |February 17th, 2017|Book Recommendation, Elementary, High School, Middle School, Top Ten Books|Comments Off on Top 10 Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

New to Balanced Literacy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Balanced literacy. What does it mean?

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find many different definitions that may end up confusing you more than comforting you. But there are common threads in any explanation of the practice.

No matter how you define it, balanced literacy always involves the integration of real books within multiple threads […]

By |January 24th, 2017|classroom libraries, Feature|Comments Off on New to Balanced Literacy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Literacy for All Recap: 10 Things All Lit Coaches Should Know

I am afforded many benefits in my job as the Advocating for Literacy Program Manager at Booksource, but one of the best is attending different literacy conferences and meeting teachers from all over the country. Each conference is different, but they all have one thing in common: determined and passionate teachers.

At the recent Literacy for […]

By |November 3rd, 2016|Feature, Professional Learning|Comments Off on Literacy for All Recap: 10 Things All Lit Coaches Should Know

5 Ways to Empower Students through Writing—Each and Every Single Day

When I started my teaching career in 1987, I was fortunate to begin in a school that implemented classroom libraries for English/language arts instruction. And despite knowing with my whole self that what I was doing each day was best for students, I definitely floundered when trying to implement and execute.

I focused on one component […]

By |October 13th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Experts from the Field, Feature, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Empower Students through Writing—Each and Every Single Day

Titles To Help You Talk About 9/11 In The Classroom

While the events of September 11, 2001 remain fresh in our mind as if they happened yesterday, to our students 9/11 is just another historical event that happened before they were born. My daughter is twenty-one, and she remembers the fear of the day, but nothing about the horror so many of us witnessed on […]

By |September 8th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School, Social Studies|Comments Off on Titles To Help You Talk About 9/11 In The Classroom

Reinforcing the Message of Equality and Peace

Dorothy Law Nolte first published this poem titled “Children Learn What They Live” in 1954, and co-authored a book with Rachel Harris in 1998 of with the same title. As educators, we see first-hand how our actions and our students’ parents’ actions speak to our students louder than any words, lesson or story we have […]

By |July 20th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on Reinforcing the Message of Equality and Peace

Using Graphic Novels to Model and Teach Standards

Common Core. These two words trigger much debate and even speculation across the country in the field of education. Whether you, your school or your state is for, against, impartial or somewhere else, the skills and strategies endorsed in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are everywhere. Part of my job is to look at […]

By |July 6th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on Using Graphic Novels to Model and Teach Standards

Tips on Celebrating Paul Bunyan in the Classroom

This Paul Bunyan day, let’s talk about the importance of teaching folktales, tall tales and legends to our students throughout the year.

In case you’re as confused as I was about the difference between the three, allow me to share what I’ve learned. Folktales are stories that have been told long ago and passed down from […]

By |June 20th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Middle School|Comments Off on Tips on Celebrating Paul Bunyan in the Classroom

Four Simple Activities to Foster Creative Thinking and Collaboration with Google Docs

Google Drive is the optimum collaborative tool, and because of its ease and accessibility, many schools have gone Google wild. While many students are already using Google Docs to collaboratively work through the components of the writing process, these shared documents can be the platform for many collaborative learning activities too.

I’m an ELA teacher, and […]

By |May 10th, 2016|Classroom Ideas, Elementary, High School, Middle School|Comments Off on Four Simple Activities to Foster Creative Thinking and Collaboration with Google Docs

Make Math Meaningful through Literature!

When I first began my career, many moons ago, I was teaching second grade. Like most new teachers, I was full of energy, trying out new techniques and strategies every week. My earliest memory of Marilyn Burns, the mathematics guru extraordinaire, was when I got my hands on The I Hate Mathematics! Book. I’m a […]

By |April 25th, 2016|Book Recommendation, Classroom Ideas, Elementary, Math|1 Comment