How I learned to stop worrying and write curriculum about Bomb

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

One of the projects I am involved in is a program where a group of retired folks work in schools to facilitate after-school reading groups with middle graders. One piece of my work is to write curriculum about books that (we hope) are high-interest and wide-ranging in subject, so groups will have many options as […]

High interest, low readability

High interest, low readability

One of the perennial struggles of teaching deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students is finding texts of interest for struggling older readers — high interest, low readability, as they are called. Not to get too research-y here, but studies show that the average DHH student graduates from high school reading at a fourth grade […]

Llama Llama Single Mama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series has been one of the favorites of the four and five year olds in my classroom for years now. The fun rhymes combined with relatable stories and illustrations of the characters faces that are great at conveying emotions seem to really draw the children into the books. However, there is […]

Third Grade Reads…a lot of series!

Geronimo Stilton

This year, I’ve been fortunate to work in a school where the kids love to read for fun. Throughout the year, I’ve noticed a couple of standout books, the kind of book where there is waitlist for reading; the kind of book where if they can’t find a new book to read, they’ll reread one […]

A book outside the box

Not a Box

“That sounds just like my dad!” one of my students exclaimed. “That must be a grown-up saying that!” offered another. We were in the midst of reading Antoinette Portis’s Not a Box and my second graders were bursting with excited insights about just who the off-page narrator might be. On its surface, Not a Box […]

Making connections for middle schoolers

Thank You, M'am

This is my first year at a standalone middle school (having previously worked in a high school and K-8), and it’s definitely been a learning experience! In addition to their struggles with reading, my 6th-8th graders bring a host of emotional & developmental issues to the table, all of which I’ve realized I need to […]

Self promotion Friday

Huntsman by Caldecott

It’s time to let the bloggers have a breather and give you all a good old-fashioned link post. There’s so much going on online, much of it here on our website, so this will be the first of our occasional “Self promotion Friday” posts. Most of the teachers I know are experiencing major fatigue about […]

Women in STEM

STEM

Though there is an increasing focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S., there remains a gender disparity among workers in these fields. According to a  2011 U.S. Department of Commerce report, women are less likely than men to have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field and they are also […]

M. T. Anderson is my favorite punctuation teacher

feed

I suppose I am a “writing person.” I study it, and teach it, and teach about teaching it pretty regularly. The most common question I get, over and over, no matter what level teachers I am with, is about the best way to teach conventions. In my experience, teachers have often tried things they don’t […]

Summer reading remixed

summmerreadingcircle_300x300

Far too many of our students enter as ninth graders reading woefully below level. Part of the problem, we believe, is due to the Matthew effect. The gist of this theory is that kids who struggle with reading for whatever reason avoid it all costs, causing them to fall even further behind. And of course, […]