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Posts tagged ‘Tricia Ebarvia’

From the Classroom: The Power of the Booktalk

By Tricia Ebarvia

Although I’d been doing some form of independent reading for several years, with each year better than the one before, I came into last school year determined to commit in a way I hadn’t before. I wanted to find a way to make students’ independent reading a core component of their learning rather than something they did “on the side” or “in addition to” what we were doing in class.

Was I successful? I think so. Certainly there’s always room for improvement, but when I look back at last year, my 9th grade students together read more than 1000 books. That’s 1000 books in addition to the whole class novels they were assigned. That’s 1000 books I’m sure that would have gone unread had I not made the time in class for students to develop independent reading habits.
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From the Classroom: Three Things to do in the First 48 Hours

By Tricia Ebarvia

Glance at almost any education focused website, blog, or Twitter feed in mid-August and you’ll find no shortage of first-day-of-school activities. In one of my education-related Facebook groups, someone recently asked for suggestions on how to spend the first day in class. Others asked about how much time to spend on community building activities versus how soon to jump into the curriculum. Not surprisingly, opinions varied, as they should.

As for me, I’ve spent less time reviewing the syllabus each year and more time on doing things that will get us reading, writing, and talking more quickly. My goals for the first two few days of school, then, include the following:

  1. Give students a general overview of the course
  2. Set up the classroom environment
  3. Learn about student preferences and interests

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From the Classroom: What Does Real-World Writing Look Like?

By Tricia Ebarvia

Speaking on a panel at the NCTE Annual Convention last fall, author Cris Crutcher commented, “Reading Shakespeare is an academic exercise. It’s not one that’s going to get me to love reading.” Though I disagree with him about Shakespeare―I think studying Shakespeare can give us tremendous insight into who we are as human beings and speak to us in profound ways―his remark did give me pause. How many of the things we assign―books, writing assignments―are no more than academic exercises? Read more

From the Classroom: If You Build It, They Will Come

By Tricia Ebarvia

Last week, I shared how I organize my classroom library. But how did I build my library? How did I know what books to include? And how do I keep it fresh and inviting for students? This week, I share the answers to these questions and more.


START AT HOME

Three years ago, my first attempt at a classroom library was a collection of titles that I’d read during and after college. Well-loved copies of books like A Farewell to Arms, Pride and Prejudice, and Mrs. Dalloway sat along side more contemporary fiction I read for pleasure when I had the time, titles like A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Time Traveler’s Wife.  As an English major and general book nerd, it was a lot of books!  That was also the year I was teaching AP Lit, so many of those “English major” titles were going to come in handy with the independent reading I was planning on having my seniors do.

But I soon realized that while many of these titles were great for AP Lit students, they weren’t so great for my other classes, Read more

From the Classroom: A Labor of (Book) Love

By Tricia Ebarvia

I wrote earlier this year about my efforts to foster a culture of reading in my classroom. I reflected on the ways reading has shaped how I experience the world. I considered how my reading practices and preferences affect my students, both positively and negatively.

As a result, I dedicated more and more class time to independent reading this year than I have ever before. I replaced mini-grammar exercises with book talks. I read the books my students read and recommended to me. I cut down on whole class novel analysis and gave students what they said they needed most—time. Time to read, read, and read some more.

But I’d be remiss not to also mention that extra ingredient which made our reading community possible: a classroom library. Read more

From the Classroom: Reflection as Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Tricia Ebarvia

The other day I announced to my ninth graders that we were about to begin our very last book of the school year, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Some students were, no doubt, excited about the arrival of summer. Others expressed surprise at how quickly the year had gone by.

The end of the school year always brings mixed feelings for me. Read more