Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

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The Gr-2 ELA Standard You May Need to Teach

For literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, Reading Informational Text (RIT) Standard 2.1 is both essential and easy to learn. Yet she suspects many students well beyond Grade 2 haven’t mastered it. She shares a quick technique to teach this high-leverage skill in middle grades.

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Tie TV Advertising to Media Literacy Lessons

Knowing how television programming is funded can help students understand what is available to view. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker links to sources of advertising data and suggests activities to build student savvy about the genres that fill their screens.


School Leaders: Gain from the ‘October Oasis’

As a school leader, consultant Frank Buck’s experience was that “if I wanted to launch something new, re-tool something old, or do some course correction, October was my best shot.” Here, Buck suggests several organizational ideas to pursue during the October Oasis.


Can We Talk About Sustained Silent Reading?

ELA teacher Amber Chandler is in a quandary. She wants to give her students time each week to “read for enjoyment” but knows the research on Sustained Silent Reading reveals little impact on fluency. Can she bridge these muddied waters? All ideas welcomed!

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4 Steps to Put School Data to Good Use

School and student data can be confusing and challenging to collect and use effectively. Ronald Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer a four-step process to help educators and administrators collect and analyze data and support better teaching and student learning.


Propaganda Isn’t History – It’s Current Events

Most educators who teach propaganda use examples from the World Wars, says media literacy expert Frank Baker. “But propaganda is happening today—all around us.” Baker introduces a new resource that can help teachers and students exert their “minds over media.”


How to Fill Your Class with Joyful Learning

Students experience deep, joyful learning in classrooms where there is an ongoing cycle of responsive teaching, says literacy expert Regie Routman. The ultimate goal is to grow passionate learners who self-monitor, self-direct, and set their own worthwhile goals.


12 Ways to Get Students Speaking & Listening

Sarah Tantillo is back with 12 techniques that mid-grades teachers across the curriculum can use to help their students develop the habits of speaking and listening that most contribute to learning. One idea: “Treat students as sleuths out to solve a mystery.”


Unlock Learning by Improving Oral Fluency

Of all the ways educators can improve learning in their classrooms, “the Number 1 way is to strengthen students’ speaking and listening skills and habits,” writes teaching coach and literacy expert Sarah Tantillo. Oral fluency deepens understanding dramatically.