Category: Articles

Use Elevator Pitches to Explore Critical Issues

Students need to explore critical questions about topics relevant to their lives, writes Kasey Short. In the past she’s organized debates, but hybrid teaching prompted her to try ‘elevator pitches.’ Kids enjoyed researching issues, doing bias checks and creating short videos.

Student Trauma in 2020 and How We Can Help

2020 has been traumatic for students. A global pandemic, social unrest, and economic hardship have all impacted their well-being. For adolescents, writes school counselor Stephanie Filio, there is also no reprieve from the emotional clutter of growing up. Here’s her advice.

Teach Your Students to ‘Explode’ Complex Text

Literacy specialist Sunday Cummins shares her “explode to explain” technique, using a Newsela story about shark-spotting aerial drones along the beaches of Australia. It’s one more tool to help students develop a skill set for understanding and retaining informational text.

Helping Kids Design Personal Reading Goals

This fall Katie Durkin’s middle schoolers developed a voluntary reading plan using a design thinking process. After modeling her own reading goals, she had students generate and pursue ‘prototype’ goals that helped them expand choice and voice in their reading practices.

Using Gradual Release in Remote Learning

For years teachers have used the gradual release model to shift ownership and responsibility by degrees from themselves to students. In a remote setting, gradual release is often even more important, as students need structure to learn. Barbara R. Blackburn shows how.

Make Sure Virtual PD Works for Teachers

Amid pandemic learning, we must address virtual PD experiences for teachers, write experts Barbara Blackburn and Ron Williamson. By considering our purpose, the content, and the appropriate platforms to engage teachers, leaders can assure effective professional learning.

Back in My Classroom, Jamming with Jamboard

When Kathie Palmieri came back to her physical but socially distanced classroom, collaboration was one of her biggest concerns. Drawing on her ‘emergency’ teaching experiences and her new confidence about ed tech, she searched out Google Jamboard “and felt a sense of relief.”

Exploring the Human Impact of Climate Change

Examining the human impact of climate change through texts allows students to connect climate science to the human cost of climate change, develop empathy for communities impacted by climate change, and discover more about climate justice, writes ELA teacher Kasey Short.