The authors of Shifting the Balance (Grades 3-5) invite literacy educators in the upper elementary and early middle grades to “engage in both the headwork and the heartwork required to ensure our practices are science-aligned and student-centered.” And do it in a safe space.
Kasey Short recommends offering middle schoolers YA novels with multiple narrators as a way to enrich opportunities for content instruction and SEL. They’re also really engaging and fun for kids to read. Included: sample questions and activities and lots of suggested titles.
The authors of Welcome to Reading Workshop explain why student work in small groups is not just one of many teaching options but an essential everyday strategy to reduce teacher-student ratio, personalize learning, give students a voice, review, reteach, and apply new learning.
When we give students time to read a book they’ve chosen, time to practice skills and strategies they’ve been taught, time to read for pleasure and intellectual growth, time to talk about what they’ve read, they build reading stamina and endurance, write Dorfman and Krupp.
Need fresh titles for your classroom library? ELA teacher Kasey Short shares 13 new books that are sure to resonate with middle graders. These relatable stories offer diverse perspectives and themes that authentically capture the experiences and challenges of today’s students.
By using a menu of formative assessments to target and support students’ specific reading needs, you can differentiate instruction and positively impact their progress at key points in their development. Expert Laura Robb offers a master class in reading support for middle graders.
What might students learn about the “invisible process” of reading prose fiction by a comparative study of a novel and its graphic novel counterpart? Jason DeHart promises high interest and aha moments as readers see the story not only with their minds but with their eyes.
There are many reasons for quick one-to-one reading conferences in the middle grades, write Brenda Krupp and Lynne Dorfman. Conferring helps teachers strengthen connections with students as they learn about each reader’s interests, strengths, progress and immediate needs.
Aileen Hower and Lynne Dorfman refresh our thinking about the advantages of facilitation over too much center-stage teaching. If we learn how to facilitate effectively and balance instructional methods, students will retain more and reteaching time will shrink significantly.
Is reading a treat or a chore? The answer depends on the reader’s experience. In preparation for summer reading opportunities, literacy interventionist Kelly Owens suggests some favorite strategies teachers and parents can sneak in to give under-motivated readers a reboot.