Literacy strategies to transform instruction and deepen learning
Social studies instruction requires students to understand complex concepts, read dense primary source documents, and critically consider various perspectives. As a social studies and English language arts teacher, I...
Engaging students in shaping school climate improvement pays off
There is growing research demonstrating that students perform better academically, socially, and emotionally when they are meaningfully engaged, contributing members of a school with a positive, caring, equitable...
The importance of getting beyond writing that argues, informs, or narrates
From kindergarten through twelfth grade, students learn to make an argument, convey information, and narrate a series of events (NGA Center for Best Practices & CCSSO, 2010). Every year, it's just those three...
Literacy as sustaining practice in every classroom
Régine recently decided to plant a flower garden. A friend, who was also a master gardener, volunteered to help. Immediately, this friend began talking about how plants create "themes" in a garden. Would...
Reading programs help identify and provide intervention for struggling readers
Most of us go into education because we care about children and about the world. We want to help our children be the best they can be and reach their fullest potential. Reading is the most basic skill that we help our...
High School Week provides a safe environment for students to struggle and learn
The transition to high school is a vulnerable time. As students navigate a heavier workload and greater independence, they struggle to make the small decisions needed to stay on track, and to know when and how to ask...
Examples of web comics and the implications to student readers
Some teachers may suggest that no text can replace the classics, the perennial list of books that English teachers seem to love and endearingly pass on to students year after year. However, the list of what belongs in...
Ideas for making co-teaching more effective in the middle grades
Co-teaching can be compared to preparing a savory meal for others. Every meal has some basic components: a chef who prepares it, ingredients, preparation time, and delivery. What makes the meal delicious, and not a...
Three things middle level educators can do to encourage more girls to engage in STEM
The movie Hidden Figures, the story of four African American women working at NASA in the 1960s, has reinvigorated the role of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. Although women comprise...
Teaching overseas offers opportunity, adventure, and professional and personal growth
In the summer prior to entering middle school, I dove deep into the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. On page 11, as commander of a spaceship, I chose to put up the energy propulsion shields to try to escape a...