Reading is a skill necessary in pretty much any academic subject, so we all need to teach it. The eye rolls, however, remind us that we can say this all we want, but that doesn't make it clear how we should go about it, especially when content area teachers are struggling with their own content, pacing calendars, and the same staggering diversity of readers that challenge us in the ELA classroom. And that PD in June? It didn't help teachers make actionable plans, and it hasn't been discussed since. I've witnessed a version of this cycle in every school I've taught in.
Recently in student-centered teaching practice Category
December 06, 2017
November 08, 2017
My favorite part of a whole novel study is the week we hold student-driven discussions of the book. Students have completed reading the whole novel and are eager to share and investigate what they experienced. These inquiry-oriented tips have can also be used with other kinds of texts.
October 11, 2017
There are two dilemmas I have around the Do Now activity; the first is about silence, and the second is about time. The one simple solution for both problems: reading.
October 05, 2017
"Remember, the curriculum is everything that happens in the classroom." About a decade later, I had an epiphany about what that means.
September 29, 2017
Her name was Ms. L'Engel, and she entered my third grade classroom several times to deliver what felt like magic.
September 14, 2017
For teachers looking to build students' confidence and love of reading, especially in the case of reluctant and struggling readers, short stories may not be a great place to start.
August 31, 2017
What do you do on the very first day of school and why? Here are my three go-to pieces of advice to kicking off a productive year.
June 12, 2017
In this post, I share some examples of teachers explaining how lack of books impacts their planning, and a checklist and suggestions for administrators who want to build a culture of authentic reading in their schools.
May 23, 2017
This year, I revived a poetry station which I haven't used in three years: bibliomancy. In it, students ask a question, and use a special process involving books to write a poem prophesying the future. Reading the questions they ask always gives me pangs of compassion for my students, who are in the throes of adolescence. What caught my attention this year, though, was a new category of questions I had not seen before--questions about humankind in general, and its future.
April 28, 2017
In a demo lesson for a teaching position, make sure to create opportunities for students to think critically. This may sound obvious, but it can be difficult to maintain that space when you don't know the students and you're working in such a high pressure situation. For the members of the hiring committee I was on recently, this became a crucial factor in our decision. Here are some suggestions for making sure the students are doing higher order thinking in a demo lesson.