Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

Teaching Kids to Ask Questions That Matter

What’s the best way to boost student success and excitement for learning? Jackie Walsh believes the answer is to develop kids’ capacity as questioners by strengthening their skill and creating classrooms where learners experience the thrill of asking questions that matter.

3 Tools That Improve Long-Term Behaviors

Reflective and restorative practices are not new, writes middle school administrator Sara Johnson, but the pandemic has created an even greater need to view discipline as a tool to guide and support the social-emotional learning of tweens and teens. Here’s how Sara does it.

Building Bridges Between Reading and Writing

When students try to write a short response to a fact-filled passage they’ve read, some will likely lose their grounding. How do we help them leap the gap between reading and writing? Alicia Genchi and Sunday Cummins share an essential scaffold for building the bridge.

Helping Kids Develop Their Cognitive Immunity

Teacher Gillian Mertens and her colleagues recommend educators do more than help students debunk social media misinformation they find. Instead, the goal is for students to recognize why the information was believed by so many people, thereby developing greater resistance for themselves.

Celebrate Poetry Month with 5 Fun Activities

Teaching poetry can give students a sense of connection, collaboration, and creativity as they express themselves and read the expressions of others. During National Poetry Month, teacher-author Marilyn Pryle shares fun activities from her classroom that touch on all three.

Freeing Students to Write What They Know

In an era of ‘writing to text’ and responding to prompts, students may not eagerly respond to our invitations to “write free!” ELA teacher and cartoonist David Lee Finkle uses an interest based mapping strategy to convince his writers they have something worth writing about.

Use Text Sets to Benefit Bilingual Students

High interest text sets tied to essential questions and in varied formats help emergent bilinguals stick with a particular topic as they learn how to read strategically. Elizabeth Hagan and her colleagues brought Malala Yousafzai to students’ attention with a range of sources.

Teaching Students When to Abandon a Book

Students choose books with different purposes in mind and learning how to make good choices is an important life skill. But what about making the choice to abandon a book? Lynne Dorfman has teaching tips to share with readers when a book just doesn’t spark their interest.

Grammar Instruction the Safe and Social Way

“Let’s face it, adolescence isn’t plump full of safety and confidence. It’s a developmental stage in which students want and need to be connected and valued.” No wonder middle schoolers dread the “correction” approach to grammar. Jeff Anderson and Travis Leech have found a better way.

Planting the Seeds of Reading Enthusiasm

To encourage her seventh graders’ reading, Katie Durkin finds herself constantly searching for new ways to keep books in the hands of students. She shares four sustainable practices she uses throughout the school year to plant the seeds of reading with her students.