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October 11, 2017

A Simple Solution to the 'Do Now Dilemma'

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

How Expert Teachers Teach More

"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

The Teacher Students Wish They Could Have Every Day

Her name was Ms. L'Engel, and she entered my third grade classroom several times to deliver what felt like magic.

September 14, 2017

Why Short Stories May Not Help Struggling Readers

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

Three Tips for Planning the First Day

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

Urgent Plea To School Leaders: Budget for Books

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

Noticeable Shifts in the Big Questions on Students' Minds

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

Planning a Demo Lesson: Critical Thinking Is Key

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.

April 05, 2017

Five Steps To Revolutionize Whole-Class Novels

In my previous post, I discussed the debate around whether to teach whole class novels. In the field, this conversation can get quite polarized, but we shouldn't be limited to this either/or scenario. As a profession we can do better than a decades old stalemate. I believe we must revolutionize, not drop, the whole class novel. The five strategies below are steps toward that end.

March 15, 2017

What Do We Do About the Whole-Class Novel?

The debate around the use of novels in English classes of all age groups is at least twenty years old, but it remains unresolved, continually bubbling up in blog posts and conversations among a wide range of concerned educators: what do we do about the whole class novel? In this post, I analyze the state of current teaching trends with regard to novels, and offer two propositions for moving the debate forward.

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The opinions expressed in Teaching for the Whole Story are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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