Learning to read hard nonfiction is a life skill, says principal Rita Platt. It allows students to dive deep into content, enriches vocabulary, and can be a jumping-off point for developing lifelong pursuits. Platt shares strategies her school uses to spark interest.
Category: Heart of the School
Rita Platt’s blog
Principal Rita Platt is learning to sign, both to communicate with a new student and to renew her empathy for the hard work we ask students to do every day. She also has a fresh appreciation for learning targets. “Seeing the purpose of our work is critical to motivation.”
When Rita Platt assesses students using CBMs (curriculum based measures) for literacy, she gives the one-minute Oral Reading Fluency tests a twist to make sure comprehension is also being measured. Investigate her technique and a special approach devised for English Learners.
Nobody should have to get used to sitting all day, least of all students in the middle grades. These kids are bundles of energy; we’ve got to keep them moving! Principal and NBCT Rita Platt shares five flexible strategies to boost retention while spreading enthusiasm.
Grownups get to go to conferences. Why not kids? Rita Platt’s school offers an all-day gathering featuring a professional author as keynoter, concurrent sessions, and time to network with peer writers and authors from the community. See Rita’s how-to’s and budget tips.
Students love to talk! And that’s mostly a good thing, if teachers can harness the natural social drive of tweens and teens “and use it to pull the wagon of content learning through whole-class discussions.” Try Rita Platt’s proven step-by-step map to discussion success.
If we want our students to be readers, we have to let them read, writes principal and reading teacher Rita Platt. We have to give them time for the kind of reading that is guided by curiosity, joy, and love of story. Platt shows exactly how her school made this work.
What a difference a year makes! Rita Platt reflects on takeaways from her first year as a principal with observations that may buoy other new and aspiring school leaders: avoid your office, encourage laughter, recognize that all staffers play essential roles, and much more.
In response to kids just being mean or in instances of downright bullying, teaching children to be calmly assertive can help. Rita Platt shares strategies that students can use to stand up for themselves and others – learning the difference between tattling and reporting.
Students who love to read: that’s our goal! Rita Platt’s school makes open library access a top priority, with impressive results. She spent eight years as librarian before becoming principal and shares proven ideas to create an efficient and flexible kid-led operation.