January 2008 Archives

Staggering out of bed at 5:00 am, I boot up my laptop and start typing sub plans. I hate to be absent, but my swollen throat and painful ear leave me no choice. I begin my plans with the same opening paragraphs I have used before: Dear Sub, Thank you for coming to my class today. The students are great and I know that you will have an enjoyable day with them. Please talk with my teaching partner next door if you have any questions about my plans or need help. When students enter the classroom, they should get ...


I promised last week to provide solutions and compromises for how to best teach whole class novels or share common texts with your students. Many of the comments posted to last week’s entry suggest a range of methods for approaching this issue. This advice, from fellow classroom teachers, includes many practical ideas. Go back and read their comments along with my suggestions. If you have to read a specific book with your students: Read the book out loud to them. Your ability to fluently read a text that may be inaccessible to many students increases their comprehension, vocabulary development, ...


My seventeen year-old-daughter is what we call here in Texas, “a long, tall drink of water." I, on the other hand, have a full-figured glass that has overflowed. When shopping, we laugh when we see clothes sporting tags that claim “one size fits all” remarking, “Not us!” Stretch this t-shirt over the ubiquitous practice in reading classrooms of teaching whole-class novels, and you can see that it doesn't fit most readers. Teachers build elaborate units of instruction around novels--breaking down a text into discreet concepts for closer study. As a new teacher, the best you can hope for as a ...


Ah, the New Year, it’s a time for looking back on what has worked, what we would like to do differently, and what plans we can commit to in 2008 (at least for a while). I personally believe that you can make resolutions any day, any time. Hey, I have resolved to teach a lesson differently between first and second periods! Along with my personal resolutions to exercise more and spend less of my weekends working on school stuff (same resolutions as last year), I am also looking back through my reader’s notebook to make my reading resolutions. ...


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