Middle grade students crave role models and great stories. Author visits provide both in a very tangible way. Learn how media specialist & NBCT Christina Dorr arranges a steady stream of tween and young adult novelists through her school and read 10 tips for doing it yourself!
Practical teachers concerned with helping kids move forward as readers know that giving them access to engaging texts at their approximate level is an important strategy, says school librarian Rita Platt. Read her arguments for avoiding an either-or approach to leveling.
Berit Gordon offers a step-by-step plan for playing catch up with students who are not regular readers and therefore do not have the reading skills or the knowledge base to feel anything but overwhelmed and bored by classic literature, says classics teacher Kelley Pujol.
In Disrupting Thinking, Kylene Beers and Robert Probst argue that educators must help students become empowered readers who read out of personal desire, not just for school work. The authors’ well supported argument uses a “Book-Head-Heart” framework, says Kevin Hodgson.
Reading is reinforced when students have hands-on experience with the ideas they find in informational texts. ELA teacher Brian Cook’s after-school drones program helps students explore flight, consider privacy and safety issues, and learn more about new careers.
What sets this book apart from many other professional books is that it not only gives a rational for using its strategies, it explicitly offers step-by-step instructions on how to unlock elusive teaching dilemmas. Janice Rustico recommends it to literacy leaders.
Donna Spangler and John Alex Mazzante have “a keen understanding of a language student’s need for frequent changes, movement, playfulness, collaboration, and gentle competition,” says Spanish teacher Jane Swisher, noting this “gem of a book” is easily adaptable.
Veteran ELA teacher Lisa Belcher finds Disrupting Thinking to be a fabulous reminder that our students need teachers to be their guides to finding intrinsic motivation to read for more than simply finding answers to questions. Beers and Probst include helpful tools.
By differentiating reading choices and inviting students to discuss diverse texts using student-led conversations, you can heighten their ability to analyze texts and hone their critical thinking skill. Reading expert Laura Robb discusses set-up and assessment.
Reading Nancie Atwell and Anne Atwell Merkel’s The Reading Zone, 2nd edition, is like getting a letter from a good friend and mentor, says ELA teacher Amy Matthes. Find reading workshop case studies to help readers become passionate, skilled, and habitual.