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February 14, 2018

The Difference One Sentence Makes To A Student

I share these two stories for the chance they offer to think about the power of our words to students. What sentence will you say to a student--intentionally or not--that will stay with them for the rest of their lives? That might, for better or worse, reframe how they see themselves? How do we show students we see them?

January 31, 2018

For Valentine's Day, Students Can Lead the Way

If we provide structure and support for students to raise their voices and take action, they can astonish us with their capacity—and show us a good time!

January 06, 2018

Try a Simple Speaking Assessment to Close the Semester

Around the end of the semester, I like to use a simple speaking activity that accomplishes several things at once.

December 06, 2017

How Teams Can Work Together to Improve Student Reading

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.

November 08, 2017

Seven Tips for Student-Driven Discussions of Novels

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

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.

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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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