Developing a schoolwide culture of reading, like any change initiative, takes commitment, leadership, collaboration, communication and consistency. Literacy leaders Laura and Evan Robb describe a model middle school that is “full of reading” and share 10 starter ideas.
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.
Rural teacher Brent Gilson wants to help his 7-9 students “begin to see the world as it is and can be” before they leave school. His book clubs and writing projects will help small town kids understand more about people “who at first glance do not seem at all like them.”
Storytelling – speaking, writing, hearing, and appreciating our own and other’s stories – can be an equalizer for ensuring all students’ lives are respected, honored, and recorded, writes Literacy Essentials author Regie Routman. Learn about her new podcast series.
In his years working with students with learning and attention challenges, Ezra Werb has seen how anxiety relief and confidence building can be crucial success factors. He shows here how including students’ interests and alleviating reading and writing stressors can help.
Teachers and literacy coaches have to realize there really are middle level students who refuse to read a book, says ELA teacher Jeremy Hyler. “As we look for answers, we have to first understand students today read differently and communicate differently than we did.”
Brent Gilson teaches grades 7-9 in rural Alberta. “I’m a believer in balanced literacy, voice and choice, and the need to use literacy studies to help students explore what it means to be human.” In a new blog, Brent details how these ideas shape his yearly reading plan.
With the start of a new school year approaching, how can we make sure our middle school students are getting the support they need for an academically and personally successful school year? School leader Rhonda Neal Waltman offers three effective strategies.
Whether summer means it’s time to relax, bolster your professional know-how, or improve your bank balance, we have suggestions from your educator colleagues (and other sources) that can help. Plan now!
It’s important to recognize how the skills we use to learn different subjects are related, says Valentina Gonzalez. Show your students who are good in math how to leverage their success and apply it to reading. And vice versa. It’s all about carrying over our strengths!