Who’s doing the thinking?

teacher-point

Over the summer, I’ve been doing some literacy work with an educational consulting group here in Boston — we’re taking some of their existing professional development (PD) and classroom tools and modifying them to better address the Common Core. Last week, I went with some other members of the team to a PD session for […]

Picture books for launching mathematicians

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

My school uses a play-based approach to teaching math, which is advantageous because as an early childhood teacher, my students still love math and they love to play games. They enjoy learning and working with numbers and I can build on this through math games. For me, teaching math is often challenging because my own […]

P.S. Evolution is real

queen

So the Rialto, CA, school district has decided that maybe it’s NOT a good idea to have eighth-graders debate the existence of the Holocaust. I’m of two minds (Opposing Viewpoints: In My Head). While I see the chance for much mischief in such an assignment and believe middle school is too early  for the kind […]

Open mic and the classroom

perkins_open mic

I confess that I have been known to say that many, many books are my absolute favorites, to the extent that sometimes people roll their eyes and avert their attention. And I think that as a reader, this is true — I fall in love a little with story after story. But it is not […]

Core values

Go-to Guide

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

Narrative nonfiction in middle school

Phineas Gage

You may have inferred from my first post in February that I am spending a lot of time thinking about nonfiction for middle school readers. We all know now that nonfiction figures prominently in the Common Core State Standards. In fact, we are told that 60% of a 7th grader’s reading diet ought to be […]

Applying Martin’s big words

Martin's Big Words

With the advent of the Common Core I have worked tirelessly this year to reboot my nonfiction units from something that was once a simple overview of headings, captions, and text features to an integrated understanding and application of nonfiction texts. I feel often, however, that I have come up short, particularly in asking my […]

I thought this book was labelled NONfiction

LiarLiar

On the dust jacket for Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor’s Galápagos George, forthcoming from HarperCollins, I see the following statement: “This book meets the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Science and Technical Subjects.” You big fat liars: Galápagos George, whose virtues are indeed many, does NOT meet the CCSS Standards, because the CCSS […]

Time for a meltdown?

Core

If you’re free and in Boston Wednesday night, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards for Bookbuilders of Boston. Other panelists include Simmons GSLIS prof Amy Pattee and educational publishing consultant Steve Pekich; the program runs from 6:00-8:00PM at 501 Boylston Street in Copley Square. Bring ID to get […]

Today’s Picture Book Biographies: Back Matter Matters

borden_thejourney

Picture book biographies broke out of their formulaic cradle-to-grave structure in the late 1990s and began telling authentic stories with new verve. Fictionalized dialogue and made-up scenes gave way to well-researched, fact-based narratives, often focusing on a particular aspect of the subject’s life. Today’s picture book biographies also include, as a matter of course, supporting […]