In Forged by Reading: The Power of a Literate Life, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst offer insights and strategies to help teachers consider how reading and writing relate to change, power, and hope. Reviewer Katie Durkin highly recommends the book as a tool to examine practice.
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How schools are handling standardized tests this pandemic year has really varied. Michelle Russell spent eight school days prepping students for her state’s math accountability exam, which they took last week. What paid off? What didn’t? Was it worth the time and effort?
Michelle Russell loves teaching statistics and her students enjoy it too. But it took her a few years to find activities that really engage them and that also reinforce the statistics standards they need to learn. Here are three ideas she recommends for the middle grades.
Over the life of our nation, history has been recorded from a singularly white perspective. Pablo Wolfe, Mary Ehrenworth and Marc Todd suggest ways we can create truth-seeking communities in our schools and “inoculate our students against the viral spread of falsehood.”
Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Literature (3-5) provides a variety of excellent activities to involve students in thoughtful and purposeful engagement with and response to texts. Some teachers may wish to substitute more diverse texts, writes Sarah Pennington.
As U.S. history teacher Lauren Brown prepared for her classes to resume following winter break, she considered what she would say to her students about the Capitol riots. “To say nothing says way too much.” See her full discussion of teaching ideas for now and later.
Overcoming the sense of intimidation she’d felt in the face of the US Constitution’s immensity and importance, Sarah Cooper has found fresh ways to draw her 8th graders into the power and complexity of our divided government during this year’s remote learning.
Copious fiction and nonfiction reading can make most teachers better teachers, writes principal and former reading specialist and librarian Rita Platt, by modeling the joy and power of reading in our own lives. Rita shares two dozen multi-genre favorites she read this year.
Writing workshop can be an exciting part of the day for students in the middle, writes author and workshop expert Lynne Dorfman. Even when middle level schedules aren’t a great fit for extended workshop writing, teachers can nurture “writerly” attitudes with daily quickwrites.
When we find time in our busy school day to introduce a current event text, like a magazine cover, we’re actually helping students understand how images are used to communicate and even manipulate. Frank Baker shares a resource-rich pandemic media literacy lesson.