A writer’s notebook is a place to write down what you notice and don’t want to forget; a place to record your ideas and reactions to things. Most of all, it’s a place for students to take what they’ve learned in class and make it their own. It’s a place to live like a writer.
From a drawing to a book, Maria Walther and Karen Biggs-Tucker trace a 5th grader’s growing creativity, curiosity and individuality. Discover their innovative ways to streamline literacy instruction while offering students opportunities to follow individualized learning paths.
Reading books written for today’s middle schoolers helps teachers gain insight into the different ways students experience their adolescence. ELA teacher Kasey Short spotlights 21 novels, memoirs and collections that explore a wide range of race and gender issues and social-emotional challenges.
As school leaders begin typical summer work, they will need to include recovery strategies that identify effects of the pandemic and address emerging issues. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn share key areas of focus to help teachers and students thrive in the new normal.
Asking three basic questions can help middle grades readers connect with informational texts and make sense of their meaning. Literacy consultant Sunday Cummins describes several classroom-tested steps that can aid students in identifying and analyzing new information in nonfiction material.
Helping students who avoid reading see themselves as developing readers rather than struggling readers can make all the difference, writes Laura Robb. She shows how guided practice lessons give students opportunities to strengthen their skill and move steadily forward.
Writers often put unsatisfying drafts on the back burner, but our students seldom have the luxury of time, says literacy expert Lynne Dorfman. They need to take a piece through the complete writing process. Knowing when to let go and choose a new topic becomes a valuable skill.
New YA books by Amanda Gorman, Lois Lowry and Margarita Engle are all written in verse, says Katie Caprino, yet each tells a story in a different way. One is a poem to America. Another is memoir. And the third is historical fiction, set in 1990s Cuba, with a singing dog.
In celebration of Pride Month, 8th grade ELA teacher Kasey Short highlights 12 YA books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters who represent diverse identities, sexualities, experiences and families – showing young teens experiences that may be similar to or different from their own.
Educator and author Nancy Boyles helps teachers plan for accelerating reading comprehension in post-pandemic classrooms by rethinking answer frames and strengthening instruction using more nuanced strategies that involve all students in complex tasks for complex texts.