Perspectives

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
  • Leadership Matters

    Leadership as the driver for change is one of the five essential components of educational improvement according to Anthony Bryk, former director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research and currently president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. That proposition is seconded by Karen Seashore Lewis and her colleagues at the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto who note that while the most important school factor in student achievement is the quality of teaching,

    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance, Systemic Support
  •  
    Most middle level teachers will tell you that they struggle with the paper load, especially as numbers increase in their classrooms. We are always looking for ways to streamline the process, make it more efficient and more timely in terms of getting work back to students. However, our efforts in that direction sometimes have a down side: lost opportunities to “speak” to our students.
     

    6 Essentials for Educators

    As educators, we are well versed in what works, and does not, in education. Day-in and day-out we get a fresh take at new opportunities. And, each day I get an opportunity to improve on the day before. We are, as the saying goes, a work in progress.
     
    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • I often say, “I teach children—not the curriculum, program or standard.” I can’t remember where I first heard this statement, but I love it and I truly believe this. My children—the ones I’m teaching RIGHT NOW—are first and foremost in my mind as I plan, set up invitations and provocations, and determine the next steps in my instruction. 

    Most Recent: February 22, 2016
    Topics:
    “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. [Books are] so endlessly delicious.”
    ―Ruth Reichl
     
    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • We’re months into the school year, and effective co-teachers are finding what works and what doesn’t work within their personal partnerships. Successful co-teachers make the conscious effort to work together to craft solutions for what’s not working. And then they make it happen.
     
    This week’s post is about co-creating a successful instructional cycle—no matter what!
     
    Topics:
  • Topics: co-teaching
  • Did you know that the most common reason for referring ELs to remedial and special education programs is that they show signs of reading difficulties (McCardle, Mele-McCarthy, Cutting, Leos, & D’Emilio, 2005)?

    While often overlooked, differentiated instruction can be a valuable approach for ensuring that all students are receiving the support necessary in order to learn core content.  Differentiated instruction in science lessons is critical when working with ELs because it allows teachers to gauge and respond to the needs of all students, as well as provide them with level-appropriate tasks and scaffolding to better promote students’ engagement with the content material.

    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Language
  • Content Areas: Science
  • Satire in News Transforms the Way Audiences Consume Information

    With some news programs, magazines and websites blurring the line between news and satire, the way viewers consume news is changing how they make informed democratic decisions.

    “Everything we watch affects the way we think,” Michelle Ciulla Lipkin,  executive director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, said. “With the blurred line of entertainment and news in “real” news, the satirical news shows really play an important role in how we get our information.”

    Classroom Environments that Support Inclusive Intervention

    Topics:
  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • Last week I got to work with an amazing group of eight social studies teachers. They are collaborating to teach writing with efficacy in their classrooms so that students can more easily access their content. The big burning question that underlies the work with this group is: How do we have students write proficiently so they can better access the geography content?
     
    Topics:
  • Content Areas: Social Studies