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Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Moving Students Forward as Readers Writers and Thinkers

By Sarah Agran

      ‘Tis the season of gifts and thankfulness. This made me reflect on the students who have come to me over the years, already excellent readers and writers. I have tended to view these students as a gift, allowing for more time to be spent on the students who need more support. In interviews and meetings with administrators, I am constantly asked, “What are you doing to move the “Close to Proficient” students to “Proficient.” Nobody ever asks, “What are you doing for that bored kid reading two grade levels ahead?” However, these students are just as deserving of the gift of my time and attention, as their needier peers so how do I help these “gifted” students move forward? Read more

The Core Six

 by Nora Ziegler

            This summer I began to worry about how I needed to change my teaching strategies to help my third grade students meet the challenges of the Common Core, so I did what I always do – I found a book chock full of great ideas I could implement in my classroom.  That book was The Core 6: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core by Silver, Dewing, and Perini, published by ASCD in 2012.  What a goldmine!  As Heidi Hayes- Jacobs says in the forward, this book is actually an edu-toolkit with instructional strategies that should be implemented at all grade levels.  Here are briefs on each of the strategies: Read more

A Closer Look at Close Reading: What Really Matters

Falling in Love with Close ReadingBy Lynne R. Dorfman

    Kate Roberts, Maggie B. Roberts, and Chris Lehman engaged a rather large audience in their interactive workshop session about close reading texts and close reading lives at the 103rd Annual NCTE Convention in Boston. They gave us some practical advice and helped us define close reading in terms of what it should not be and what it could be. Read more

NWP & NCTE: Collegial Conferring and Conversation at its Best

By Janice Ewing & Mary Buckelew

        Several of us had the good fortune to attend the National Writing Project and National Council of Teachers of English annual conferences, which were back-to-back in Boston from Nov. 20th to 24th. One of the NWP standout sessions for me was “Narrative Troubles (and that’s a good thing): On Why and How to Find, Shape, and Share Stories of Classroom Life.” I was drawn to this session because I believe that, more than ever, teachers need to support each other and advocate for themselves as a group. I also believe that this can start with sharing our stories. Read more

Full Circle

By Jolene Borgese

      I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason and a few stick around forever. I am most curious about the people who come in and out our lives and then return years later. I haven’t figured out the reason, but I suspect I never will.

      This semester I have been teaching graduate school and presenting professional development (for the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project) at two very different schools. There seems to be an invisible thread running through all these very different teachers I’ve met.  They are young, old, privileged, struggling, working at stellar schools, and schools that lack sufficient books. All of these teachers have a common need that I had first addressed 30 some years ago – writing instruction strategies, specifically revision strategies. Read more

Magic Cupcake

by Rita Kenefic

As a child, I relished a visit to Gruber’s Bakery for a “magic cupcake”.  What was so special about this chocolate treat?  The dab of whipped cream in the center made an already delectable cake something special.  These weren’t just ordinary cupcakes.  They contained an element of surprise and magic that kept you coming back for more. Read more