Category: Articles

Shared Reading Needs to Have a Clear Purpose

Shared reading has the potential to be a useful vehicle for learning IF it’s implemented effectively. Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo looks at the benefits and drawbacks of investing time in two students reading together and suggests strategies to increase retention and communication skills.

8 Strategies to Quickly Assess Prior Knowledge

Assessing students’ prior knowledge allows you to customize your teaching by anticipating their needs. Consultant Barbara Blackburn provides 8 simple strategies to help you gain an understanding of what your students do and do not know before launching into a lesson.

Teach Students to Write for Real-Life Contexts

Today’s students have to learn to shift their writing styles to meet different real-life purposes, says ELA teacher-author Jeremy Hyler. Teachers should understand the different contexts (school, work, and personal) and help students learn to “code switch” as needed.

How We Learned to Love Writing Together

This story by Ruth Ayres, from her new book Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers, is a holiday gift to novice educators everywhere and to any teachers still wondering whether their students can ever learn to love writing so much they stop turning in incomplete assignments.

10 Tweaks That Can Deepen Math Tasks

So often we miss opportunities to deepen our students’ thinking about mathematics that would require just a few moments of our teacher time. Take a minute to look at these 10 simple strategies from Jerry Burkhart that transform formulaic math problems into explorations.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Student Group Work

How do your students react when you ask them to work together in groups? Cheers or groans? Teacherpreneur and author Patrice Palmer shares strategies to plan ahead and avoid group project pitfalls and to help students see the benefits of working with each other.

How Standardized Testing Is Like Airline Thinking

The only student test data that really matters, says education consultant Debbie Silver, is timely, diagnostic information telling educators what their students know and can or cannot do. With that data, they can plan instruction and fine-tune teaching practice.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Middle Grades Writer

Middle graders are unique, often unpredictable writers who are thirsty to refine their own personal voice. To help them succeed, literacy consultant Patty McGee recommends offering adolescent writers individual feedback that is present, empathetic, and choice-filled.