Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
During reading instruction, implementing the “guided practice” part of Gradual Release of Responsibility can be tricky. Sunday Cummins and Julie Webb offer ways to select appropriately challenging texts and then provide guidance during conferences with students.
Being a STEM teacher in 2022 will likely be a new experience every day, even for veterans, writes curriculum designer Anne Jolly. To help out, she suggests ways STEM teachers can care for themselves and ways to sustain kids’ STEM skills, sharing many resources that can help.
This year Katie Durkin and her fellow ELA teachers will add a Question of the Day – built from state assessment stems – to their whole-class novel unit. As 7th graders discuss best answers they’ll learn to think collaboratively AND prep for mandated tests. See how it works!
Teacher and coach Stephanie Farley discovered through trial and refinement that a good rubric is “a tool to provide feedback to kids about their progress toward mastery of a learning target.” See her five backward planning steps and the resulting three-part writing rubric.
A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts offers a winning combination – a structured lesson approach, a range of suggested mentor texts, and an overall message adaptable to specific students. Teachers at multiple levels of experience will find it invaluable, writes Sara Pennington.
Using formative assessment effectively is key to becoming a reflective practitioner who can adjust literacy instruction to meet students’ needs and interests, write Lynne Dorfman and Brenda Krupp, who share their ideas for “breathing life into reading and writing lessons.”
Co-teaching is the preferred way to serve multilinguals, but it’s not the only way to collaborate with colleagues. Language specialist Tan Huynh shows how we can make pull-out services more impactful with co-planning that emphasizes both grade-level content and language skills.
Active listening is a key skill for school leaders, especially when faced with the need to mediate complex or volatile issues. Consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn describe 5 barriers to effective listening and 10 tips to help every leader become more successful.
Short-term projects with specific techniques and ample examples fill Shelley Harwayne’s book, Above and Beyond the Writing Workshop. Helene Alalouf recommends the book’s authentic and interesting writing assignments complete with scaffolds and templates.
A former English teacher, Megan Kelly is eager to discover how she can incorporate the learning power of storytelling into history units. As a first step she created a transmedia storytelling experience that had summer camp students exploring where ‘history’ comes from.