With the rise of teacher stressors, new and changing state standards, and high-stakes testing, it is more important than ever to remind literacy teachers and teacher-librarians about the reason that brought them to this profession: the love of story.
The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life, by John Schu (affectionately known as "Mr. Schu" all over reading communities), invites readers to consider literacy beyond its academic benefits and explore how universal truths found in stories can change us, inspire us, connect us to others, answer our deepest questions, and even help us heal along the way. Using his experience as a teacher, librarian, book lover, and story ambassador, Mr. Schu asks readers to reflect on what it means to share their hearts through stories and how it can connect us to individuals and learning communities.
The Gift of Story is presented through a study of five affective elements: Healer, Inspiration, Clarifier, Compassion, and Connector. Along the way, readers will encounter insightful contributions from educators, children’s writers, and illustrators, as well as recommendations for sharing the gift of story with learning communities including: treasured book suggestions that stir reflection, engaging tips for celebrating literacy, and heart-growing applications to lift classroom and library practices.
Celebrate the way we define and imagine ourselves through literacy by using stories to connect to others, build and strengthen community, and honor the children we were called to teach.
Maria Walther and Karen Biggs-Tucker:::100228
The Literacy Workshop
The Literacy Workshop: Where Reading and Writing Converge is a first-of-its-kind resource that offers a practical process for creating an integrated literacy workshop using demonstration lessons that align with current curriculum standards. In this forward-thinking book, authors Maria Walther and Karen Biggs-Tucker share what they’ve learned over countless reading and writing workshops and combine into one literacy workshop.
The authors demonstrate how you can save valuable classroom time while still empowering students to uncover exciting connections in their learning – leading to stronger, more motivational readers and writers. By weaving the common threads of literacy learning together, you can increase the time your students spend engaged in authentic reading and writing.
Inside you’ll find the following:
A clear, succinct explanation of the literacy workshop structure, how to get started, and how to determine the best time to begin the merge
50+ demonstration lesson plans, appropriate for both primary and intermediate grade levels, that use strategies incorporating elements from recommended fiction and nonfiction anchor texts
Substantial, printable resources and online tools to help make this instructional shift as smooth as possible
From the big picture to small, helpful details, The Literacy Workshop will be your guide as you blur the lines between your reading and writing workshops – creating space for students to apply their learning and practice the habits, behaviors, and actions of literate and engaged citizens.
The Writing Thief
"Mediocre writers borrow. Great writers steal." --T.S. Eliot
Writing thieves read widely, dive deeply into texts, and steal bits and pieces from great texts as models for their own writing. Author Ruth Culham admits to being a writing thief—and she wants you and your students to become writing thieves, too!
In The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing, Culham demonstrates a major part of good writing instruction is finding the right mentor texts to share with students. Within this book, you’ll discover more than 90 excellent mentor texts, along with straight-forward activities that incorporate the traits of writing across informational, narrative, and argument modes.
Chapters also include brief essays from beloved writing thieves such as Lester Laminack, David L. Harrison, Lisa Yee, Nicola Davies, Ralph Fletcher, Toni Buzzeo, Lola Schaefer, and Kate Messner, detailing the reading that has influenced their own writing.
Culham’s renowned easy-going style and friendly tone make this a book you'll turn to again and again as you coach your students to reach their full potential as deep, thoughtful readers and great writers. There's a writing thief in each of us when we learn how to read with a writer's eye!
Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul:::100192
Thinking Like a Generalist
What can we teach kids today that will have utility ten or fifteen years from now? Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul propose an approach to information literacy that goes beyond the teaching of discreet, easily outdated skills. Instead they use activity to help students build identities as curious individuals empowered to ask their own questions and able to navigate their information-filled world in pursuit of credible answers.
A generalist is curious, open-minded, skeptical, and persistent in their quest for information. Thinking Like a Generalist: Skills for Navigating a Complex Worlddemonstrates what it means to take a generalist stance in instruction and provides a set of teaching tools to be able to pass those skills to students—skills that will transfer beyond the walls of the classroom.
Inside you’ll find the following:
A thorough introduction to what it means to be a “generalist”, and how to develop the practices and tools that help generalists navigate the world we live in
A focus on the teacher becoming a generalist and tips for modeling those practices in the classroom
Detailed instructions on how to write a unit of study that emphasizes generalist literacy skills and includes an overview and examples of five different units
How to use the authors’ read-aloud-think-aloud strategy to orient students to generalist tools and practices
The ideas, strategies, and examples in Thinking Like a Generalist will give you the tools to think like a generalist and then pass that knowledge on to your students, guiding them to become inquisitive, lifelong learners and preparing them for a future that we can’t yet imagine.
Kari Yates and Christina Nosek:::100217
To Know and Nurture a Reader
Conferring with students about reading allows for clearer access to one-on-one, in-the-moment teaching and learning, yet it can feel intimidating or overwhelming. Kari Yates and Christina Nosek want to help. Here they have provided practical, reflective, student-centered teaching moves that you can use to develop an intentional, joy-filled conferring practice.
To Know and Nurture a Reader: Conferring with Confidence and Joy is a get-going guide to conferring. The book includes step-by-step guidance that is also considerate of time and other classroom challenges, as well as:
Numerous tools such as guiding questions, reproducible planning and note-taking documents;
Classroom vignettes that pull you close to a reader and teacher in a conference setting;
Video clips of classroom conferences to show what conferring looks like in action.
The book breaks conferring into manageable chunks with specific goals for knowing and nurturing young readers, then puts all the pieces together with various classroom scenarios and examples. The tools, examples, and ideas in this book make conferring something every teacher can do right away and master with continued effort and practice.
Brenda J Overturf:::100150
Building on the ideas developed in Word Nerds: Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary, Brenda J. Overturf has updated and energized the recommended practices for middle grades students. Vocabularians is for any educator who wants to help young adolescents increase knowledge and competency with word study while bringing interest, motivation, and even joy to their learning.
Brenda takes teachers and administrators inside three middle-level schools where educators are integrating vocabulary instruction across the curriculum. In rural, urban, and suburban settings, she highlights effective ways to develop students’ vocabulary skills using art, music, games, technology, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. Vocabularians shows teachers of all content areas how to build word networks, flood the classroom environment with academic vocabulary, and incorporate the three word-solving strategies that researchers have found to be the most important—teaching students how to use context; deciphering words by breaking down prefixes, suffixes, and root words; and using reference materials in authentic ways.
By blending current research with real classroom experience and application, Brenda builds on her work with Margot Holmes Smith and Leslie Montgomery and offers an easy-to-implement, customized-to-middle-school resource that will improve instruction and assessment. As one featured seventh grader shared: “Vocabulary helps you because the more you know words, the more fluent you can be in reading, the better you can read and write, and the better your writing sounds. There’s always going to be a time when you have to sound professional, whether you’re applying for a job or anything else. You’re just going to have to know how to use a good vocabulary.”
Lynne R. Dorfman and Stacey Shubitz:::100073
Welcome to Writing Workshop
Stacey Shubitz and Lynne Dorfman welcome you to experience the writing workshop for the first time or in a new light with Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging Today's Students with a Model That Works. Through strategic routines, tips, resources, and short focused video clips, teachers can create the sights and sounds of a thriving writing workshop where:
• Both students and teachers are working authors • Students spend most of their time writing—not just learning about it • Student choice is encouraged to help create engaged writers, not compliant ones • Students are part of the formative assessment process • Students will look forward to writing time—not dread it.
From explanations of writing process and writing traits to small-group strategy lessons and mini-lessons, this book will provide the know-how to feel confident and comfortable in the teaching of writers.
All teachers at all grade levels in all subjects have speaking assignments for students, but many teachers believe they don’t know how to teach speaking, and many even fear public speaking themselves. In his book, Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students, veteran teacher and education consultant Erik Palmer shares the art of teaching speaking in any classroom. Teachers will find thoughtful and engaging strategies for integrating speaking skills throughout the curriculum. Palmer stresses the essential elements of all effective oral communication, including:
• Building a Speech: Audience, Content, Organization, Visual Aids, and Appearance • Performing a Speech: Poise, Voice, Life, Eye Contact, Gestures, and Speed • Evaluating a Speech: Creating Effective Rubrics, Guiding Students to Excellence
Well Spoken contains a framework for understanding the skills involved in all effective oral communication, offers practical steps and lesson ideas that any teacher needs to successfully teach speaking in a variety of situations—from classroom discussions to formal presentations—and includes a set of tools for students—from how to grab the audience’s attention to how to use emphatic hand gestures and adjust speed for effect.
Discover why, year after year, students returned to Palmer’s classroom to thank him for teaching them how to be well spoken. You may find, after reading this book, that you have become a better speaker, too.
What Student Writing Teaches Us
The earlier that teachers think about instruction, and the sooner that students self-assess their progress, the better the final writing product will be. What Student Writing Teaches Us: Formative Assessment in the Writing Workshop provides practical suggestions for teachers of writing. This book offers no “easy” solutions, because assessing writing is not an easy endeavor. Framed within the context of writing workshop, the book examines the reasons for reading student work and provides various methods for helping students improve as writers. Formative assessment presents teachers with multiple opportunities to read student work, with a clear focus, thereby supporting students in all stages of the writing process.
Chapter topics range from rubrics to grades, from self-assessment to paper load. Student work samples from all stages of the writing process emphasize the importance of considering each piece of writing a student creates, no matter how brief, as an opportunity to learn. Individual, small-group, and large-group discussions illuminate the need for feedback within writing workshop. Every suggestion in the book has been classroom tested with the help of "experts"—students ages five to fourteen—who are quoted throughout the book.
When Writers Drive the Workshop
With increasing school mandates and pressure to perform well on standardized tests, writing instruction has shifted to more accountability, taking the focus away from the writer. In his engaging book, When Writers Drive the Workshop: Honoring Young Voices and Bold Choices, author Brian Kissel asks teachers to go back to the roots of the writing workshop and let the students lead the conference. What happens when students, not tests, determine what they learned through reflection and self-evaluation?
In When Writers Drive the Workshop, you’ll find practical ideas, guiding beliefs, FAQs, and Digital Diversions to help visualize digital possibilities in the classroom. Written in an engaging, teacher-to-teacher style, this book focuses on four key components of writing workshop:
Student-led conferring sessions where the teachers are the listeners
“The Author’s Chair”, where students set the agenda and gather feedback
Structured reflection time for students to set goals and expectations for themselves
Mini lessons that allow for detours based on students’ needs, not teacher or curricula goals
All students have the powerful, shared need to be heard; when they choose their writing topics, they can see their lives unfold on the page. Teachers are educated by the bold choices of these young voices.
When Writing Workshop Isn't Working
Writing is hard work. Teaching it can be even harder. As most teachers know, writer's workshop doesn't always go as planned, and many find there are obstacles that they consistently struggle with. In his role as a literacy coordinator and teacher, Mark Overmeyer has heard the same issues raised again and again by both new and experienced colleagues. When Writing Workshop Isn't Working: Answers to Ten Tough Questions, Grades 2-5 provides practical advice to overcome these common problems and get your writing workshop back on track. Acknowledging the process-based nature of the writing workshop, this book does not offer formulaic, program-based, one-size-fits–all answers, but presents multiple suggestions based on what works in real classrooms. The ten key questions this book addresses include:
How do I help students who don't know what to write about?
How do I help students develop stronger vocabulary and word choice?
How do I prepare my students for standardized tests without compromising my writing program?
How should I assess student writing?
How can I help my students use revision effectively?
This book is a handy reference tool for answering specific questions as they pop up during the year. Overmeyer uses student examples throughout to help teachers envision these solutions in their own classes, and he includes an array of classroom-tested ideas for helping primary and intermediate English language learners.
There may not be any easy answers to the complexities of writer's workshop, but by identifying and providing advice on the most common stumbling blocks one encounters, When Writing Workshop Isn't Working provides a solid groundwork—freeing up time and creativity for teachers to address the specific needs of their students.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris:::100175
Who's Doing the Work?
Best-selling authors Dr. Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris rethink traditional teaching practices in Who's Doing the Work: How to Say Less So Readers Can Do More. They review some common instructional mainstays such as read-aloud, guided reading, shared reading, and independent reading and provide small, yet powerful, adjustments to help hold students accountable for their learning.
Next generation reading instruction is much more responsive to student needs and aims to remove some of the scaffolding that can hinder reader development. Instead of relying on teacher prompts, Who's Doing the Work asks teachers to have students take ownership of their reading by managing their challenges independently and working through any plateaus they encounter.
Whether you are an elementary teacher, literacy coach, reading specialist, or parent, Who's Doing the Work provides numerous examples on how to readjust the reading process and teach students to gain proficiency and joy in their work.
Why Do I Have to Read This?
“Why do I have to read this?”
What teacher doesn’t dread this question? It usually comes from our most disengaged students a student who cries of boredom, or one who is angry or apathetic. When we don’t know what else to try, it’s easy to become frustrated and give up on these challenging learners. Author Cris Tovani has spent her career figuring out how to entice challenging students back into the process of learning.
In Why Do I Have to Read This?: Literacy Strategies to Engage our Most Reluctant Students Tovani shares her best secrets, lessons learned from big fails, and her most effective literacy and planning strategies that hook these hard to get learners.
You will meet many of Tovani's students inside this book. As she describes some of her favorites, you may even recognize a few of your own. You will laugh at her stories and take comfort in her easily adaptable strategies that help students remove their masks of disengagement. She shows teachers how to plan by anticipating students’ needs. Her Curriculum You Anticipate structures of Topic, Task, Targets, Text, Tend to me, and Time will help you anticipate your curriculum.
Inside Why Do I Have to Read This? readers will find:
Literacy strategies for all content areas that support and engage a wide range of learners so they can read and write a variety of complex text
Reference charts packed with small bites of instructional shifts that coaches and teachers can use to quickly adjust instruction to re-engage students
Planning strategies that show teachers how to connect day-to-day instruction so that no day lives in isolation
Versatile think sheets that are reproducible and adaptable to different grade levels, content areas, and disciplines
Above all, Tovani gives teachers energy to get back into the classroom and face students who wear masks of disengagement. She reminds us of the importance of connecting students to compelling topics, rich text, useful targets, and worthy tasks. Teachers must tend to students’ basic needs and helps us consider how to best structure instructional time.
After reading this book, teachers will have new ways to connect with students in a deep, authentic way. Written in a humorous, compassionate, and wise voice, Why Do I Have to Read This?will provide answers to the pressing questions we have when we try to teach and reach all of our students.
Linda Dacey, Rebeka Eston Salemi, and Kathleen O'Connell:::100118
Why Write in Math Class?
To help students communicate their mathematical thinking, many teachers have created classrooms where math talk has become a successful and joyful instructional practice. Building on that success, the ideas in Why Write in Math Class? help students construct, explore, represent, refine, connect, and reflect on mathematical ideas. Writing also provides teachers with a window into each student’s thinking and informs instructional decisions.
Focusing on five types of writing in math (exploratory, explanatory, argumentative, creative, and reflective), Why Write in Math Class? offers a variety of ways to integrate writing into the math class. The ideas in this book will help you make connections to what you already know about the teaching of writing within literacy instruction and build on what you’ve learned about the development of classroom communities that support math talk.
The authors offer practical advice about how to support writing in math, as well as many specific examples of writing prompts and tasks that require high-cognitive demand. Extensive stories and samples of student work from K-5 classrooms give a vision of how writing in math class can successfully unfold.
Word by Word
Discover key strategies for making words the core of classroom instruction and engagement. Literacy guru Larry Swartz offers novel ways to expand students’ interest in and facility with words and word power — day by day, word by word. This practical resource is designed to help students discover why words matter as they build vocabulary; gain confidence to spell new and difficult words; develop word recognition and process unfamiliar words when reading; increase understanding of words in the content areas; inquire about word meanings and derivations; play with and celebrate words and language; and much more!
Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith:::100150
Word mastery comes from intimate knowledge of language. In Word Nerds:Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary, authors Leslie Montgomery and Margot Holmes Smith take you inside classrooms where they implement creative, flexible vocabulary instruction that improves their students’ word knowledge and confidence. With support from literacy specialist Brenda Overturf, the authors developed a five-part plan to teach all students to learn vocabulary:
Introducing new words in context
Adding related synonyms and antonyms
Engaging in several days of active learning
Celebrating new words
Assessing vocabulary development
This easy-to-read reference explains how to plan, teach, and assess based on the latest research in vocabulary instruction and learning. After incorporating the authors’ plan, you can be a Word Nerd too!
Write Like This
In Write Like This: Teaching Real World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts, author and teacher Kelly Gallagher recognizes that writing well starts with teaching students WHY they should write. He believes we need to move beyond the state standards by introducing young writers to real-world discourses and provide them with authentic texts to influence and develop life-long skills.
Each chapter focuses on a specific writing purpose:
Express and Reflect: View life experiences in reverse to move forward
Inform and Explain: State a point and purpose with information to support it
Evaluate and Judge: Focus on the worth of an object, idea, or person and present it as “bad” or “good”
Inquire and Explore: Propose a problem or question
Analyze and Interpret: Examine phenomena that are difficult to understand or explain
Take a Stand/Propose a Solution: Persuade audience to particular position and provide justification
In teaching these lessons, Gallagher provides mentor texts (professional samples as well as models he has written in front of his students), student writing samples, and numerous assignments and strategies proven to elevate student writing.
By helping teachers bring effective modeling practices into their classrooms, Write Like This enables students to become better adolescent writers. More important, the practices found in this book will help our students develop the writing skills they will need to become adult writers in the real world.
Write to Read
This practical book is full of quick and easy-to-use lessons that promote meaningful writing practices in the classroom. Teachers will find strategies organized alphabetically and in a consistent format that will inspire students to plan, develop, and share their writing. The lessons allow teachers to choose what they need to meet the diverse and various needs of students in grades one through eight. Each independent lesson guides students through the writing process with information about a writing form, along with suggested literature sources. Tips throughout the book will help students successfully write to narrate, to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to respond, and to enjoy.
Lisa Eickholdt and Patricia Vitale-Reilly:::100245
Ask teachers about their biggest challenges in elementary and middle school, and many will say the teaching of writing. It is often difficult for students find the joy, discovery, and satisfaction writing can yield. What Lisa Eickholdt and Patricia Vitale-Reilly have found is that adherence to genre studies can get in the way of student collaboration. Believing writing instruction should be more authentic, they want students to have more choices, develop better collaboration, and sustain a sense of community, all through the implementation of writing clubs.
In their book Writing Clubs: Fostering Choice, Collaboration, and Community in the Writing Classroom, you'll discover ways to:
Collaborate throughout the process of writing
Choose what to write and how to write it
Examine mentor texts and study craft techniques across genres
Develop speaking and listening skills
Celebrate classmates’ accomplishments through publication
Collaboration is widely recognized as a vital life skill. Eickholdt and Vitale-Reilly present a plethora of ideas on how gratifying it can be right now, as well as in the future. There’s an old proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.’ In Writing Clubs, we discover that there is no limit to how far young writers can go when teachers show them what it means to collaborate.
In Writing Rhetorically: Fostering Responsive Thinkers and Communicators, author Jennifer Fletcher aims to cultivate independent learners through rhetorical thinking. She provides teachers with strategies and frameworks for writing instruction that can be applied across multiple subjects and lesson plans. Students learn to discover their own questions, design their own inquiry process, develop their own positions and purposes, make their own choices about content and form, and contribute to conversations that matter to them.
Inside this book, Fletcher helps remove some of the scaffolding and explains how to put in practice some methods which can successfully foster:
Inquiry, Invention, and Rhetorical Thinking
Writing for Transfer
Paraphrasing, Summary, Synthesis, and Citation Skills
Research Skills and Processes
Rhetorical Decision Making
Rhetorical decision making helps students develop the skills, knowledge, and mindsets needed for transfer of learning: the ability to adapt and apply learning in new settings. The more choices students make as writers, the better prepared they are to analyze and respond to diverse rhetorical situations. Writing Rhetorically shows teachers what it looks like to dig into real texts with students and novice writers and how it develops them for lifelong learning.
Award-winning author Carolyn Coman has made a career out of writing stories for children and young adults as well as teaching writing to people of all ages. She believes that the essence of good writing, no matter the genre, is the ability to craft a solid story. In this innovative book, Carolyn provides advice, strategies, and inspiration focusing on the key elements of stories: character development, plot, voice and dialogue, point of view, and place and time.
Carolyn confesses her own struggles with writing and helps make the writing process less intimidating for students and teachers alike. “I am speaking directly to you—the writing teacher who writes, or who wants to write, or is tiptoeing toward writing scared to death. Everything in this book about writing is for you, too—every tip and exercise and encouragement.”
What does it mean to write or to be a writer? In Shawna Coppola’s book Writing, Redefined: Broadening Our Ideas of What It Means to Compose, she challenges the reader to expand beyond standard alphabetic writing and consider alternative forms of composition when assigning writing to students. This book empowers teachers to change what “counts” as writing in schools and classrooms, opening the door to students who may not consider themselves to be writers, but should and can.
Inside you'll find alternative, engaging writing assignments that are visual, aural, or multimodal that will involve all students, specifically those:
Who prefer to compose using a wider array of forms and modes
For whom “standard” English is not the norm
Who have been identified as dyslexic
Whose cultural traditions lean heavily towards more aural forms of composition
Who are considered “struggling” writers
By finding ways to accommodate all styles of writers, students are free to unleash their creativity and share their story with others. While there is no question composition in written form is important and worth of study, broadening our definition of writing expands an enormous range of possibilities for composing for all students.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion