After years of trying to cope with the flow of struggling readers coming into their school, teachers at Ericsson Middle banded together to create a academic coaching program that provides reading and writing support for students across the literacy spectrum.
Teachers will see the standards movement differently after finishing Kelly Gallagher’s “In The Best Interest of Students.” Reviewer Beth Morrow expects readers will have a renewed passion for making a difference in students’ lives with best ELA practices.
Plan now for summer reading assignments with the Character Analysis Organizers developed by Sarah Tantillo. Students evaluate two main characters in a selected book by answering questions and then developing paragraphs. More reading, less torture, and a place to start in the fall.
Family Reading Night gives schools everything they need to present enjoyable monthly reading and literacy activities for young students and their families. Reviewer Mara Southorn notes this 2nd edition includes Spanish translations of activities. Middle schools may need to adapt.
In Focus on Text, Amy Benjamin provides a detailed description of what should happen at each level of the CCSS reading standards, 4-8. Reviewer Mark Domeier praises the book for its clarity, ideas and potential to spark vertical team conversations.
Gretchen Owocki tackles complex literature, informational texts and content-area reading in her new middle grades CCSS book, weaving together instructional elements in a teacher-friendly format. Reviewer Anne Anderson highly recommends it.
Stretching Beyond the Textbook develops a MINDful reading unit, from an initial focus question to students’ culminating dialogue. Although the post-literature-circle techniques suit in most content areas, the book relies on social studies examples, says reviewer Abbey Graham.
ELA consultant Mike Fisher urges educators to not be distracted by the so-called “close reading” anchor standard in the Common Core. “Close reading is not a thing. It is not a skill. It is not a big idea.” The true objective, he says, is reading comprehension.
Digital housekeeping is becoming part of every teacher’s back-to-school preparation. As Kevin Hodgson spruces up his classroom websites for the new term, he reflects on the year just past and revs up for some exciting teaching and learning in 2014-15.
Shirley McPhillips’ Poem Central invites students to move through poetry that we might not know exactly how to teach and to live with those words on their own terms – not needing us to facilitate all meaning and experience for them, says Jenni Miller.