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Making Queer Inclusivity Less Complicated

Gretchen Schroeder intentionally uses tried-and-true instructional practices to increase the inclusivity of texts and topics in her high school English class.

What Matters More

Dana Murphy shares that by asking “What matters most?” she can make decisions that allow her literacy instruction to be student-centered and authentic.

Using Daily Attendance Questions to Build Community and Communication Skills

Gretchen Schroeder is surprised to find benefits of a stronger community and communication skills through a practical attendance practice in her high school classroom.

Poems to Start the Year

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.

Honoring Student Identity (Download a Survey)

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.

Interpreting Figurative Language

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.

Take a Chance

Julie Cox invites and encourages 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.

Quick Take: Using Mailboxes for Private Feedback

Christy Rush-Levine shares her system for streamlining passing papers and offering a place for private feedback.

Honoring Student Choice in a Teacher-Chosen Text

Tara Barnett offers practical and engaging choices to students when reading a teacher-selected whole-class text. Download the reading choices survey and a sample pacing calendar to offer your students more choice during a whole-class read.

What Criteria Should We Use When Selecting Whole-Class Texts?

Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that text selection affects students. By shaping a unit of study to contain texts of varying formats and representing a wide variety of characters, students are empowered to develop their own ideas even while reading a whole-class text. Download a diverse text list to deepen a discussion of how family shapes identity.

The Reluctant Marathoner: Reflecting on Student Engagement

Gretchen Schroeder uses her reluctance as a marathon runner to reflect on how to encourage more engagement in reading and writing.

Quick Take: Simple Classroom Library Organization

Christy Rush-Levine shares her simple system for organizing her massive classroom library.

Leading Students Toward Underused Sections of the Classroom Library

Gretchen Schroeder intentionally leads students to “jilted genres” in her classroom library.

Expanding Book Choices for Secondary Readers

Ruth Ayres challenges us to be more open to the books that live in our secondary classroom libraries. She contends that committing to supporting choice in independent reading means rethinking some of the restrictions we put on adolescent readers.

Reading Quiz

Gretchen Schroeder shares the way she adjusts her reading quizzes to assess students’ analysis and deep thinking about texts.

Learning to Notice and Analyze Complexities

Gretchen Schroeder supports her high school students to think deeply about the complexities around them, beginning with themselves and pop culture, and then moving to the texts they are reading.

Picture Books to Teach Conflict

Katherine Sokolowski shares a book list that inspires her to teach five different kinds of conflict.

Quick Take: Share Your Reading Struggles

Instructional coach Staci Revere reminds us of the importance of modeling our own reading lives for students, especially the parts where we struggle as readers.

Three Meaningful Ways to Incorporate Drawing into English Class

Gretchen Schroeder shares three meaningful ways to incorporate drawing into her high school English classes, and the purpose behind each strategy.

Teaching Students How to Email

Katherine Sokolowski outlines the nitty-gritty on how to teach students to organize, manage, and compose email.

Crafting Argumentative Essays

Gretchen Schroeder shares a summative assessment inspired by Song Exploder in which her high school students craft an argumentative essay defending a choice of a great song.

Writers’ Club

In her high school writing workshop, Julie Cox noticed that students wrote eagerly, but struggled to give and accept feedback. To increase student ownership and trust, she started Writers’ Club, and it affected transfer of learning in big ways!

Finding the Purpose in Antiracist Literature Instruction

Gretchen Schroeder shares her failures in preparing for antiracist literature instruction, and the principles she uses to empower meaningful conversations about race.

Making Connections with Sociograms

Gretchen Schroeder taps into the connections between characters by creating sociograms with her high school students.

Online Writing Notebooks

Gretchen Schroeder makes the leap to digital notebooks and finds new life in a tried-and-true practice.

What Do Readers Need?

Christy Rush-Levine offers a close look into the needs of readers by considering engagement, enrichment, and nourishment. She offers three examples of reading conferences with students.

A Student Book of Awesome

Gretchen Schroeder’s high school students build community by creating a shared text of things they love.

Using Picture Books for Rhetorical Analysis

Gretchen Schroeder finds that picture books are the perfect tool for rhetorical analysis with her high school students.

Fostering Cultural Awareness Through Book Clubs

Gretchen Schroeder’s students are almost all white and live in a rural community. She finds book clubs are a wonderful tool for expanding cultural awareness.

Flipping Literature Discussions

Gretchen Schroeder realizes her experiences from decades ago as a student are clouding her perspective on “flipped” literature discussions. Once she gets over her biases, she finds that online discussion of literature is a powerful equalizer for student voices.

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