Respectful, fruitful collaboration among students is not “nice” for kids to master before they make their own way in the world – it is absolutely necessary. It’s especially needed when problems arise. Dina Strasser suggests co-creating norms that serve the whole child.
Simply making content available to students is not enough. We have to make it accessible to each and every one, including English learners. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers ways to identify obstacles to accessibility and create paths to learning in every subject.
If your goal is to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment in your classroom, building, or district, then read Six Steps to Boost Student Learning. Education consultant Anne Anderson notes the concise, focused book is filled with resources.
Texting isn’t talking. With so much digital communication among students, Curtis Chandler wants to be sure they can also speak, listen and make eye contact with others, skills they need now and in the future. He has ideas and tools for bridging the communications gap.
Nancy Akhavan encourages teachers to push away from assigned passages with worksheets that require canned responses, and instead promote more freedom in student thinking, and more reflection about their connection to the reading and writing going on in their classroom.
Reciprocal teaching (RT) helps students deepen their learning by teaching other students. Curtis Chandler shows how kiddos can tackle new texts and concepts by developing their ability to apply cognitive and metacognitive strategies. He includes helpful videos and online tools.
Shared reading has the potential to be a useful vehicle for learning IF it’s implemented effectively. Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo looks at the benefits and drawbacks of investing time in two students reading together and suggests strategies to increase retention and communication skills.
Frequent academic conversation supports learning for all students, and especially ELLs. PD specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers strategies to help teachers avoid ineffective practices and remove barriers to meaningful student-to-student and student-to-teacher dialogue.
Curtis Chandler has been guilty of ping-pong teaching that “merely bounces information back and forth between my students and myself.” Kids learn more from a volleyball approach where they work together “to set up the shot” through inquiry activities. App tips included.
The content of “Teaching Kids to Thrive” will help teach students positive ways to think, practice executive functioning skills, and create a culture of caring and responsibility. Linda Biondi describes why she found it to be one of the most empowering books she’s read.