Gretchen Schroeder reminds us of the importance of checking in with students and gauging how they are feeling—and then responding with authenticity and joy.
We want students to be lifelong learners, eager to grow, and equipped to face challenges. For this to happen, we have to let the classroom be a place that reflects these qualities. Julie Cox offers three innovative ways to leave choice in the hands of students. In turn, they learn to trust themselves and their learning, and believe that they are capable of finding answers.
Julie Cox deconstructs craft moves—literally and figuratively—with her high school writers. If you are looking to move conversations about craft beyond “The author used a lot of good details,” then you’ll want to try Julie’s suggestions.
Gretchen Schroeder considers the positive ways AI will influence her high school English classroom.
Gretchen Schroeder questions whether the protagonist’s gender influences her students’ engagement with a text. Using the dystopian novel Legend, which has two protagonists of different genders, Gretchen gathered feedback from her students. What she discovered was that a reader’s engagement with a text has more to do with empathy than with gender. You’ll love Gretchen’s new way of selecting whole-class texts for her students.
Gretchen Schroeder shares a powerful approach to reading response to help students consider their positionality in a scene. Your identity, your thoughts, and your experiences influence the way that you relate to a text. This is your positionality as a reader, and it’s important to consider your positionality within a text because it explains how and why we come to certain conclusions as we read.
Students often question how long a piece of writing needs to be. Gretchen Schroeder shares a strategy that changed the focus of writing projects from length to meaning.
When Julie Cox moves into a smaller classroom, she realizes that to make it a room where students learn and thrive, she needs to shift her mindset. Rather than simply putting things where they fit, she asks three questions to make intentional decisions that will support learning.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pour their hearts into teaching writers, but when Tara loses her family dog, she is reminded that writing is the thing that helps us understand what’s most important.
Gretchen Schroeder offers three poetry writing activities to take the pressure off of the writing process by using another poet’s structure and/or words as a starting point. You’ll be amazed by how deep and personal the resulting poems can become. Download a PDF for students to collect lines for a cento poem.
Julie Cox offers three questions to determine authentic audiences for high school students to share work.
What do you do when students won’t write during class? Gretchen Schroeder offers a creative, practical, and effective solution.
Julie Cox explores the differences in her experiences of teaching in the city of Louisville and teaching in a rural community. All teens have similar universal experiences, yet Julie outlines some considerations for rural students.
Gretchen Schroeder addresses the negative and positive perceptions of rural people with her high school students through readings, discussions, and analytical writing. Download a guide for Critical Rural Perspective Analysis to use with your students.
Secondary instructional coach Holly Wenning shares ways to assess high school readers.
Christy Rush-Levine uses one-page reading responses as a simple culminating activity to provide closure for book clubs. However, the data they offer about readers is far from simple.
Secondary instructional coach Holly Wenning shares her own paradigm shift of teaching readers rather than teaching books, and encourages all teachers to consider the importance of putting students before books when planning literacy instruction.
Gretchen Schroeder explains the reason why she believes requiring high school students to read novels in verse during independent reading time is worthwhile for their reading identity and developing more sophisticated understandings of literary analysis.
Instructional coach Holly Wenning shares the importance of the workshop model, and especially work time, for high school students. See the transition from minilesson to work time in a 10th-grade English class.
Gretchen Schroeder confesses her fast-paced approach to sharing Macbeth with her high school students. Starting with the big picture of the story and then drilling down into specific scenes for skill practice not only accomplished the goals for the unit, but also freed up more time and space for other curriculum needs.
Gretchen Schroeder finds ways to increase the energy students have for doing work in her classroom. Her practical tips are useful for all students.
Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.
Gretchen Schroeder encourages teachers to make time for the things that are important. For her, it was poetry, and she outlines how she created a weekly poetry ritual in her high school classroom that enhanced the curriculum.
Gretchen Schroeder intentionally uses tried-and-true instructional practices to increase the inclusivity of texts and topics in her high school English class.
Dana Murphy shares that by asking “What matters most?” she can make decisions that allow her literacy instruction to be student-centered and authentic.
Gretchen Schroeder is surprised to find benefits of a stronger community and communication skills through a practical attendance practice in her high school classroom.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share poems to start the year that touch a variety of needs, from building community to connecting with colleagues to hosting parents for back-to-school night.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their authentic process for expanding their beginning-of-the-year student survey to make it more open for all students.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills step us through an intentional process to help students understand and interpret figurative language. Using Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds as a mentor text, Tara and Kate give students the skills and confidence to find deep meaning in texts. Download an Interpreting Figurative Language chart to support your students in learning to interpret figurative language.
Julie Cox invites us to take risks in order to encourage students to try new things with their writing and reading. Julie concludes that when teachers are professional risk-takers, we are more available to students, and know how to help them when they fail.
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