Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

200+ Lives to Explore in Picture Books

Picture book biographies can help students understand others’ perspectives and problem solving strategies. Teacher Joanne Bell recommends Deskins and Dorr’s take on aligning these science, social studies, and arts biographies to national content standards.

Literacy Essentials for All of Our Learners

If you want your all of your students to love reading and writing and all to be excellent readers and writers, Regie Routman’s new book will inspire, teach, gently cajole, and help you move your literacy teaching forward in service of these goals, says Rita Platt.

6 Work Habits We Can Learn from Students

We’re always talking to students about study habits, writes Roxanna Elden, but sometimes teachers need better methods for managing our own daily responsibilities. Good news! Embedded in some of the very lectures we give to our students are tips that can work for us, too.

PARCC Prep: Literary Analysis Writing Task

Are your students ready for Common Core ELA assessments? Using the PARCC as a springboard, literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo details a 10-lesson strategy to prep for the Literary Analysis Writing Task and links to other preps at her blog. Teachers in non-PARCC states may also find the ideas helpful.

Motivating All Kids to Engage in Math Class

Calling on her background as a researcher specializing in authentic math for all students, Ilana Seidel Horn provides detailed explanations of why detached students resist engagement and offers thoughtful responses that teachers in any subject can use, says reviewer Patti Mosko.

Use Think Alouds to Foster Strategic Readers

Teacher think alouds should not be spur of the moment but carefully planned events built around specific objectives and your thoughtful analysis of the text in question. Molly Ness’s 3-step process will fully prepare you to wow your students, says reviewer Linda Biondi.