Category: Articles

Storytelling – The Heart of Teaching and Learning

Storytelling – speaking, writing, hearing, and appreciating our own and other’s stories – can be an equalizer for ensuring all students’ lives are respected, honored, and recorded, writes Literacy Essentials author Regie Routman. Learn about her new podcast series.

3 Ways We Can Offer Students More Choice

Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”

Students Write Better for Authentic Audiences

Writing for authentic audiences motivates students to do their best work, says English department chair Kasey Short. Public audiences offer a practical reason to revise and edit and allow students’ ideas to have real impact. See her tips to transform routine assignments.

Conferring: A Powerful Tool Across Disciplines

Unlike quick teacher check-ins, teaching conferences allow for a deep conversation with a student in just 5 or 6 minutes. And they’re not just for ELA teachers and balanced literacy. Katie McGrath shares step by step conferring tips to target learning in any content area.

Teach Students to Build Up Ideas with Dialogue

Frequent high-quality class conversations make a huge difference in how far middle grades students advance academically, socially and emotionally, writes author and teaching coach Jeff Zwiers. Learn about five skills that can help students build ideas through dialogue.

Calming the Waters When Parents Are Angry

Every principal has dealt with unhappy or angry parents and guardians. Many family members simply have a concern and want to share it with someone they believe can resolve the problem. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer ways to calm waters and get to solutions.

Use a 4-Step Countdown to Launch Math Lingo

Like a rocket launch, learning math lingo requires plenty of ongoing, personalized checkpoints. Author and instructional coach Pam Koutrakos offers a streamlined, easily replicable process we can all use to help middle grades students prepare to take off with math vocabulary.

How to Get the Most Out of Informational Videos

Students love when teachers share videos as part of a lesson in any subject. But they can be vague when asked to recall the rich details or ideas that were included. Sunday Cummins, author of Close Reading of Informational Sources, has five quick lessons that can help.