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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Applying literacy workshop principles, Mary Tarashuk discovers new ways to blend ELA & social studies content. She describes how a novel about the Old West exploits of disguised woman Charley Parkhurst increased 4th graders’ interest in American history.
We can thank the Common Core for making “close reading” a buzz phrase. We can thank educators for building the bare concept into strategies that help students more fully understand the texts they encounter. Our latest Resource Roundup offers some of the what, why and how.
There’s no room in an adolescent’s world view for the loftier goals of history study, says Aaron Brock. So when teaching about American rights of assembly and petition, Brock has students write petitions about issues close to their own school lives.
Too much close reading is boring, say Mike Fisher & Danielle Hardt, as students comb through fiction, constantly analyzing lots of text. Ask them to read and write digital microstories. They’ll build evaluation & synthesis skills and have some fun.
Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners by Jane E. Hill and Kirsten B. Miller is valuable for ensuring that English learners are challenged at Bloom’s higher levels of thinking and understanding, with the appropriate scaffolding, says reviewer Jennifer Underwood.
Todd Whitaker’s Shifting the Monkey can help principals make sure that the right people are taking care of problems and responsibilities (the monkeys) in the school, says reviewer Matt Renwick, freeing principals like himself to concentrate on their most critical duties.
Sixth grade teacher Kevin Hodgson uses What’s the Big Idea?, a philosophy website for middle schoolers, to guide his students through a close reading of movie and TV clips, exploring ethical questions and examining filmmaker’s intentions.
We featured a popular “1st Day Resources” section on our old website. We have captured some of the best content and added more, including links for new teachers preparing for their first year.
With its emphasis on building teachers’ confidence and capacity, Technology Together is a terrific resource for school & district technology and administrative leaders, as well as central office curriculum and PD staff, says reviewer and deputy superintendent Marilyn King.
“William had a meltdown last week,” writes Elizabeth Stein. Right in the middle of class. How do we help students like this develop a growth mindset in an inflexible system? Elizabeth is having success with some students, including William.