March 2008 Archives

Readers of this blog know that I promote reading a wide range of materials in the classroom, and believe that all sorts of books are inroads to meeting curriculum goals. I believe that students, under the guidance of informed librarians and teachers, should choose their own reading materials. This philosophy is the cornerstone of my teaching, and one of my secrets for motivating young readers. While I have been waving my banner of free choice reading around, the Texas State Board of Education has debated mandates that effectively take those decisions away from my students and me. Irony--It’s what’s...


It has rained all day. You glass-half-empty types might gnash your teeth over a day of Spring Break wasted, but I have always seen rainy days as an excuse to read. I would like nothing more right now than to curl up in my rabbit-hole, channel my inner Alice, and fall into a book, but I can’t. I am supposed to be writing, writing, writing... It seems that unleashing my reading zealotry here at Teacher Magazine has attracted some notice. After several gee-I-am-in-over-my-head meetings, I have secured a contract from Jossey-Bass Publishing, a division of Wiley, to write a ...


As both the language arts and social studies teacher for my group of 60, I am charged with covering a great deal of content. While studying Europe, it is required that students examine World War II. My students already learned a lot about this war last year. Looking for ways to make this unit fresh and interesting, I chose to conduct a book study. Students picked a book on World War II from our vast class library, and focused their reading on the background of the characters, how each became involved in the conflict, and the short-term and long-term consequences ...


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