Language Arts and Literacy

“I’m a Poet”: Motivating Students the Write Way

When I first began teaching 48 years ago, I believed that the right type of motivation could encourage middle level learners to respond to any reasonable task. I didn’t wish to be insincere because students in middle school do not respect a teacher who uses the bad-tasting prescription medicine approach to addressing curriculum: “It’s really

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Using Podcast Circles to Engage Reluctant ELA Learners

Teaching active listening in an age of information overload When Taryn Kralik moved from teaching fifth and sixth grade in a self-contained elementary school classroom to eighth grade ELA after ten years, she knew she needed a different approach. She had a class of reluctant readers, English learners, and just reluctant learners in general. Frequently

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The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real

Creating Opportunities for Productive Struggle in Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science While productive struggle has been the focus of much research for the past two decades (e.g., Ewing et al., 2019; Hiebert and Grouws, 2007; Townsend et al., 2018), much of that research centered on mathematics content. Here we posit that productive struggle can,

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Literacy Intensive Classroom

Creating the Literacy Intensive Classroom: Elements of an Exemplary Middle School Literacy Program

Addressing the literacy needs of adolescent learners is a monumental task given the wide range of ability levels found in our classrooms. So where to begin? What are the school-based and classroom-based ingredients that are essential to creating and maintaining literacy intensive classrooms? While not exhaustive, we set out to provide a starting point for

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In Defense of the Graphic Novel: Fighting the Forces of Anti-Graphica

In a recent tweet, a popular author argued that their book would never be adapted into graphic novel form, calling the process of reading such a visual story merely “flipping pages.” The author drew a range of attention for this Tweet, and has since recanted and apologized. Contained within this Tweet, as well as in

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12 Questions to Ask

12 Questions to Ask When Designing Culturally and Historically Responsive Curriculum

Let’s engage students with learning pursuits, rather than standards Culturally and historically responsive education is both a theory and model to respond to students’ histories, identities, literacies and liberation in pedagogy. In addition, this approach is a collaborative model where youth voices are at the center and caregivers and community members are our partners in

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