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.
David Booth’s Caught in the Middle is one of those rare books that truly has the capacity to help a teacher carve out a roadmap for a successful year of working with middle school readers and writers, says reviewer Jenni Miller.
Often students are given graphic novels in a last-ditch effort to spark an interest in reading. In Kevin Hodgson’s 6th grade classes, comics are treated seriously as tools to promote better writing & deeper comprehension, using a unique skill set.
We want our students to read, comprehend, and analyze text. During the past school year, history educators Aaron Block and Jody Passanisi tried annotation as a learning strategy. Here they recount how it went in the two diverse schools where they teach.
In Create Compose Connect! Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks present strategies that can balance the need for rigor with reading and writing in the classroom – meeting the CCSS – while still meeting young people with technology that is relevant for them.
If persistent inequalities in urban and rural classrooms continue across the public system, reading expert Laura Robb says, it will be impossible for many children in poverty to achieve the deeper levels of learning anticipated by the Common Core.
In Reading Unbound, reviewer Alexa Patterson says, Jeff Wilhelm and Michael Smith share student attitudes about reading and suggest ways to add favorite genres in the classroom, boost student interest in books, and make ties to the Common Core.
It’s Not Complicated: What I Know for Sure About Helping Our Students of Color Become Successful Readers will motivate teachers to redouble literacy efforts, says Maribeth Wicoff, but she wishes the author had included more about effective strategies.