Thematic text sets that tap into the social worlds and narrative driven lives of adolescents can spark “unstoppable learning,” say literacy educators Katie and Chris Cunningham, who share several text-set examples and a 10-step process for building your own.
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Sarah Cooper’s 8th graders recently attempted to create a “consensus document” on U.S. gun laws. She describes the research and discussion process, then shares what she and the students learned about consensus building when issues are highly controversial.
Principals can use social media to improve communication, provide information during school safety situations, increase collaboration, and enhance professional development. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn argue, in fact, that social media is a leadership essential today.
Dale Russakoff’s The Prize recounts what happens to Newark NJ schools when Gov. Chris Christie, Mayor Cory Booker and Supt. Cami Anderson take a $100 million gift from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and invest in corporate reform. Matt Renwick says it’s a must read.
Because of the powerful way school culture shapes the activity of students, teachers, and administrators, it’s worth investing the effort to assure it sends a positive message. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn suggest leadership actions to build values.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s passion for PBL goes back to her elementary years. Nowadays she builds units for middle schoolers to encourage their journeys through learning. Here she shares a structure to support students while simplifying teachers’ preparation.
The difficulty students have in writing clearly can be traced to many factors, says literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo, from muddled pre-CCSS standards to weak teaching practices. Here she offers concrete suggestions to correct persistent writing problems in the secondary grades.
Of all the ways educators can improve learning in their classrooms, “the Number 1 way is to strengthen students’ speaking and listening skills and habits,” writes teaching coach and literacy expert Sarah Tantillo. Oral fluency deepens understanding dramatically.
Teacher-consultant Terry Thompson, author of The Construction Zone, defines four elements of good instructional scaffolding and uses the example of teaching a kid to ride a bicycle to demonstrate why a clear focus on learning targets is a critical first step.
David Goldberg wanted to create thought-provoking lessons that taught his fourth graders 21st century skills while also integrating history content about the settlement of California. He shares his first experiment, using the popular Minecraft video game.