Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Maybe the Film Credits Are the Best Lesson

    on Aug 26, 15 • in From the Front Lines, High School, Instructional Strategies, Literacy • with Comments

    Maybe the Film Credits Are the Best Lesson

    Twice this summer, I found myself thinking that maybe educators are not taking advantage on how we could show films in class. We seldom, if ever, show the film’s credits. Perhaps the lack of attention to film credits is because there is not enough time already for what many educators might consider a passive activity of sitting and watching. I have worked for administrators who have limited or banned films entirely from curriculum because they perceived that a movie shown in class was merely a babysitting tool. In these situations, I would try to convince

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  • Close and Critical Reading: What did we just read?

    on Aug 24, 15 • in Close & Critical Reading, Featured, High School, Literacy, Series • with Comments

    Advice For ESOL Teachers_ Professional-4

    Last week, I introduced the concept of Close & Critical Reading (CCR). While we begin the strategies with all ages, we (currently) use the vocabulary of CCR starting with our seventh graders. The first of the four questions is “What is the text about?” This seems easy enough, having students summarize what they read, however, many kids have a hard time with this for various reasons. Some students are afraid they won’t write down enough, so they write down every. single. detail. Their “answer” for summarizing a text is almost as long as the text itself. Other kids

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  • What is Close and Critical Reading?

    on Aug 18, 15 • in Close & Critical Reading, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, School Improvement, Series • with Comments

    More than six years ago my school district found itself on the state’s list of failing schools. We were not making annual yearly progress (AYP) and it was becoming evident that we couldn’t keep doing what we had always been doing. Our demographics had drastically changed when the industry-heavy area began to crumble and families were moving out rather than into the district. Our students were no longer coming to us with the same prior knowledge, reading support, or early childhood education, and so we needed to change how we were teaching across all grade

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  • The Quietly Rebellious Teacher

    on Aug 12, 15 • in Featured, From the Front Lines, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Policy • with Comments


    I’m a teacher. I believe in rules, structure, and consistency. To a point. I am not the end-all, be-all authority on education. I feel confident in my classroom and I know my students just like you know yours. But I am tired of people in positions other than in a classroom making decisions for my kids. I will quietly smile and nod while you tell me what is best for my students. That does not mean I will do everything you tell me. And that does not make me a bad teacher. As any veteran teacher

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  • Creating Safe Spaces Within Our Classrooms

    on Aug 11, 15 • in Featured, High School, Literacy, Management • with Comments

    Instructional Coaching 101_ You've Just-2

    This year I will begin my “lucky” thirteenth year in the classroom in my current district, and my second year teaching junior high. One of my strengths as a teacher is my classroom management. It’s been something that has come naturally to me ever since my days of student teaching and I credit it all to creating a safe environment within my classroom for students to write and discuss openly. In the past I’ve been asked what my management strategies are, what some of my discipline plans look like, and what activities I use to get

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