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October 31, 2018

Five Reasons Author Visits Are More Than Just Cool

Reading a book and meeting the author is not just a cool event to shake up the regular school routine--it's a powerful learning opportunity that can affect students academically and personally.

August 08, 2018

Why We Might Consider Teaching Less This Year

We really don't need to be in the front of the room talking--pointing at a slide, rapidly firing questions at students and cold calling to make sure they are paying attention--in order to be "teaching." We know this, yet we still do it so much of the time. Just take a quick walk through the halls of your school and peek into each classroom. Where is the teacher? Who's talking?

July 26, 2018

Tips For Selecting a Book For the Whole Class

There is little more difficult than trying to engage a whole class of students in reading a novel that is a poor match for the group. There are things teachers can do to influence the experience in one direction or another, but a great deal rests purely on the book itself...Once we have some possible titles in mind, we need to think through our decisions very carefully, going in with as clear an understanding of what might work really well about the book and what might be challenging or disappointing about it. Below is an excerpt adapted from Whole Novels For the Whole Class: A Student Centered Approach (2014) about five key factors I weigh when I select a book for my whole class to read.

April 19, 2018

10 Tips For Helping Students Open Up to Poetry

Every year I have some students who arrive to my class with a fear or dislike of poetry. Spending some time away from deconstruction of meaning of poems has always worked to put these students at ease and allow them to open up to poetry anew.

February 27, 2018

Our Students Know More Than We Think

There's a strange power children and adolescents can derive from watching adults be clueless about something they know—it's the role reversal that makes it a novel event.

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 31, 2017

Top Five Posts of 2017: Teaching for the Whole Story

As 2017 comes to a close, so does another year of blogging--a practice that's been a privilege, a learning tool, and a wonderful challenge for me for almost a decade. My top 5 posts here at Teaching For the Whole Story speak clearly to the direction my blogging has taken--practical, focused on teaching practices, with plenty of reflection... Here's to continuing to find lessons and pathways in 2018 that work on a practical level AND bring us closer to our deepest purposes as educators.

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.

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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