Category: Reading

When Should We Skip the Graphic Organizer?

When it’s time to analyze a fiction or nonfiction text, don’t let students coast through the lesson by simply filling in a graphic organizer. Author and teaching coach Sunday Cummins has ideas that will help learners think about text structures conceptually and flexibly.

Sharing the Joy of Reading with Students

To motivate students to embrace independent reading, Kasey Short recommends we help them find the right books, use authentic assignments for accountability, and provide the time to read – all to help build a classroom climate where reading is valued, enjoyed and celebrated.

Picture Books Help with Standards and Mastery

Jennifer Sniadecki and Jason DeHart dive deep into using picture books in upper level classrooms to meet state standards and increase student mastery. In this 3rd post on the topic they share examples, research, and stories from their own teaching experiences.

Helping Kids Travel the Bridge to Joyful Reading

Reading teachers work hard to meet the needs of individual students in small groups. Yet many students struggle while reading self-selected books. Meghan Duermit and Sunday Cummins offer ways to build stronger bridges of support from guided instruction to joyful independent reading.

Picture Books Set the Stage for Middle School Learning

In Part 2 of a series on using picture books in middle school, Jennifer Sniadecki and Jason DeHart focus on “the simple power” of stories with minimal text to set the stage for lessons, provide background knowledge, and make efficient use of daily class time. Example: Eva Bunting’s Terrible Things.

Picture Books: Perfect for Middle Schoolers

Students at ages 9-13 still want to hear their teachers read aloud, want to sit on the rug, want to engage in stories. Jennifer Sniadecki and Jason DeHart share evidence that picture books are also an effective way to teach figurative language and other ELA standards.

Book-in-a-Bag Talks Let Kids Shine Online

Add dimension to student book talks with Lynne Dorfman’s version of the Book-in-a-Bag project. And it works online, as students introduce their books by sharing a paper bag covered in images they recreate from fiction or nonfiction and by pulling out representative objects.

How to Nurture a Passion for Reading Nonfiction

What can we do to encourage kids to choose nonfiction more frequently for personal enjoyment? Cate Gerard and Sunday Cummins share what Cate discovered when interviewing middle graders about their reading habits and recommend class and virtual strategies and resources.

How to Fill Our Schools with Eager Readers

Developing a schoolwide culture of reading, like any change initiative, takes commitment, leadership, collaboration, communication and consistency. Literacy leaders Laura and Evan Robb describe a model middle school that is “full of reading” and share 10 starter ideas.

Help Students Get the Most Out of Infographics

While infographics can be engaging, students may not access the content in a way that leads to deeper understanding. Using NASA images, literacy consultant Sunday Cummins shares four ways to help readers create pathways for sticky learning from this type of resource.