Perspectives

Ask any elementary school teacher, and she or he will tell you that comparison problems are much harder for most kids than operations with other actions. For example, fourth-grade-teacher Jennifer Clerkin Muhammad asked her students to draw a picture of this problem from Investigations:
 
Darlene picked 7 apples. Juan picked 4 times as many apples. How many apples did Juan pick?
 
Her students are pros at representations and skillful multipliers, but we saw a lot of this:
 
Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies, Problem Solving
  • Content Areas: Mathematics
  • Simple Changes in Language

    I still remember the overwhelmed feeling of my first year of teaching. At that time, I distinctly remember telling myself to hang in there as surely by year three I'd have it figured out. HA! Here I am at year twenty something, and I'm still always working to figure it out. The challenge, I believe, becomes that teaching is a people profession. Children are always different, and different children have different needs.
     
    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • As a parent who walks that fine line in schools of also being an educator, I stumbled into a new parental frustration as my teenager hit high school. He had already begun to strategically avoid discussing school with his mom. In addition, parent access to information from the school about topics of study and homework assignments was becoming less and less available.

    Most Recent: July 8, 2016
    Topics:
    I was excited to read two recent reports from researcher John Hattie: What Doesn't Work in Education: The Politics of Distraction and What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise. Hattie, whose seminal research is on the educational

    Review and Reflect

     

     

    Topics:
    “I make the point that you need firstly a diagnosis, an analysis of what the problem is. You need a vision of what a better alternative would look like. And then you need a plan to get there—to go from this to that.”
    —Sir Ken Robinson

    Your Own Private Atlas

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    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • I’ve been looking for a good literacy chat on Twitter, and just stumbled upon one that I really enjoyed: #teachwriting.
     
    The discussion this week was on writing across the curriculum. First, let’s just define writing across the curriculum. I love this definition from @sandyrotto:
     
     
    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance, Systemic Support
  • Plan Now for Summer Reading

    May is Get Caught Reading Month, and it’s time to start making your plans to encourage students to keep reading once classes are over. Try these resources to get your students involved in independent reading all summer long.
     
    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Deprivatizing Practice
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • In just a few weeks, a group of educators will gather at Downers Grove North High School, a school located in the suburbs of Chicago.  This event would not, at first glance, seem to be cause for celebration, much less notice.  After all, there is probably a meeting in progress at every moment of every single school day in nearly every location throughout the globe.

    Assumptions can be a dangerous thing; in fact, they oftentimes go a long way towards killing collaboration within a school.
     
    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Writing
  • Paper Chains

    This text was reprinted with permission from Craig Vroom's blog (April 29, 2015).

    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Shared Agreements, Inquiry Stance
  • I received this note in a Facebook message:
     
    Most Recent: April 11, 2016
    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading, Writing
  • Digging In

    This year my school has embarked on a huge project that I’m really excited about. We have our school using the same rubric for writing argumentatively. We decided last year that we would use the science claim-evidence-reasoning framework to teach argumentative writing. I say argumentative writing loosely here because it fits with many other types of writing as well (analytic, explanatory, etc.), the general principle is the same.
    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Writing
  • For years, whenever my students and I read a novel, I would pass out a study guide with a list of questions for each chapter. By giving students the study guide questions―questions I wrote―I could make sure that students wouldn’t miss anything in their reading. Too often, students would read too quickly and miss details. Requiring students to answer study guide questions was my way of getting them to slow down to notice what they were reading. To get them to see the dots that they could later connect together. 
    Most Recent: March 28, 2016
    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Writing
  • Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Content Area Literacies
  • Content Areas: Mathematics