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Assessing High School Readers

Secondary instructional coach Holly Wenning shares ways to assess high school readers.

One-Page Reading Response: A Simple Approach to Complex Assessment

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.

Teaching Readers Rather Than Teaching Books

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.

Less Is More: Using Novels in Verse in the Classroom

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.

The Importance of the Workshop Model in High School

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.

Spoiler Alert: You Can Start Big to Go Small (Macbeth in One Class Period)

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.

Renewing Energy in the Classroom

Gretchen Schroeder finds ways to increase the energy students have for doing work in her classroom. Her practical tips are useful for all students.

Math Debates: A Powerful Sense-Making Routine

Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.

Making Time for Poetry

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.

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.

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