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Assessing High School Readers

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

Assessment in Classroom Book Clubs

In this third installment about classroom book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares options for robust assessment as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

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.

Implementing Classroom Book Clubs (Part Two)

In this second installment about book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares procedures for book club meetings, as well as discusses the importance of standards and instruction. Download a discussion guide.

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.

Getting Started with Classroom Book Clubs (Part 1)

In the first installment of a three-part series, Leigh Anne Eck clearly lays out how to get started with book clubs. Included is an editable planning bookmark to give students more ownership of their reading schedules.

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.

Anthologies to Diversify Middle School Reading Instruction

Christy Rush-Levine offers a booklist of anthologies to diversify middle school reading instruction. In this robust list, everyone will find a new addition to use as a whole-class text.

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.

Still Thinking: An Opportunity to Pause and Think Deeply

Jodie Bailey provides a structure to give students more time to think through ideas and problems. By using this practice, students gain ownership for their learning.

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.

Reading Threads

Christy Rush-Levine guides us to make reading recommendations based on what students enjoy most about a book they recently read. Christy used to make recommendations based on the genre or topic, but she has learned to listen to students to discover the reason they loved a recent read and use this information for recommendations.

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.

Bring Me Something Funny (Booklist)

Cathy Mere offers a booklist in response to a teacher’s response to “Bring me something funny.” These books are sure to fill your classroom with lighthearted laughter.

Using The Proudest Blue in the Classroom

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share three ways using The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad empowers and strengthens readers in all grades.

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.

A Perfect Opportunity for Choice: Showing Theme

Tara Barnett outlines ways to offer choices for students to show their understandings of a book’s theme. Download a choice board and rubric.

Quick Take: Using Mailboxes for Private Feedback

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

Using Images for Rehearsal in Persuasive Writing

Melanie Meehan makes a case for the power of pictures to provide a foothold and access point for students to enter the writing pathway. She shares an example of using images to engage in persuasive writing strategies.

Opinions! Everybody Has One

Leigh Anne Eck shares a tool to help students develop their persuasive voices, build community, and expand their perspectives. Included is a download to put opinion journals to work in your classroom.

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.

Tips for Selecting Inclusive Texts

Hannah Tills and Josie Stewart challenge themselves to select more inclusive texts so all students feel as though they belong. They offer six suggestions to help us examine our bookshelves, thinking, and curriculum.

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