creativity · IRA

Creative Writing is Not Hot

Each year for the past nineteen years, the International Reading Association has published a list of What's Hot and What's Not in literacy education in their magazine, Reading Today. The list is based on surveys of twenty five of the world's top literacy gurus,  such as Richard Allington, P. David Pearson, and Timothy Rasinski. Survey respondents were… Continue reading Creative Writing is Not Hot

IRA · mentor texts · Read Aloud

Reading Aloud Builds Better Writers

I'm consulting in a local school today where I've been working with the staff since August rolling-out interactive read aloud.  Every two months the interactive read aloud text set reflects a particular social issue.  Today we're preparing for the voice/silence text set, which teachers will begin in April.   Each teacher, in grades K -… Continue reading Reading Aloud Builds Better Writers

charts · classroom signage · IRA · Kristi Mraz · tcrwp

Interactive Charts

Taking Kristi Mraz's chart-making course at the July Writing Institute was so helpful to me.  Kristi really got me thinking about having a take away item (made with a post-it note) that you can hand to kids if they need a reminder to do something.  In addition, she encouraged the use of illustrations on charts. … Continue reading Interactive Charts

IRA · minilesson · strategies

Follow the Dialogue

Tomorrow morning in Reading Workshop, I'll be teaching a lesson with the following teaching point: Readers keep track of who is speaking in a text, regardless of whether or not there are dialogue tags. The reason they do this is so they always know who is speaking. I'm going to be using two passages from… Continue reading Follow the Dialogue

IRA · literacy

The Keys to Effective Instruction

Barbara J. Walker, President of the International Reading Association, wrote an open letter to President Obama in the February/March 2009 Issue of Reading Today, which I received in yesterday's mail.  Points four and five, of her letter, specifically deal with what quality writing instruction looks like in classrooms. Walker's letter is well-worth a read by… Continue reading The Keys to Effective Instruction

education · education articles · Election 2008 · IRA

Where do they stand?

I've blogged a bit about the upcoming election. Tonight's final Presidential Debate will most likely focus on the economy (Rightfully so considering the DJII's 733 point drop, the fact that people are losing their jobs left and right, and that states, like Massachusetts, are facing unprecedented budget deficits). However, as educators, it's important that we… Continue reading Where do they stand?

books · IRA · Read Aloud · reading · reading workshop · writing

Article About Characters Who Write

I just received the September 2008 Issue of The Reading Teacher. It's already accumulating sticky notes, tabs, and dog-ears since it's packed with a wealth of information. There's an article I highly suggest you read entitled "'To Be a Writer' Representations of Writers in Recent Children's Novels." Here's the abstract, which I took from the… Continue reading Article About Characters Who Write

books · IRA · Read Aloud · reading · reading workshop · writing workshop

My Book List Page Is FINALLY Complete!

I decided to transfer my old, messy, and incomplete book list that I kept on my Wiki to a GooglePages Website. I think I managed to record every single book I read aloud to my students this year by breaking out my read alouds into four categories: Reading Workshop Demonstration Texts Writing Workshop Touchstone Texts… Continue reading My Book List Page Is FINALLY Complete!

IRA · picture book · reading · technology

We’re going to Manhattan today!

Not literally, but I'm transporting my kids there through read alouds and through a PowerPoint Presentation I created of various neighborhoods and landmarks in Manhattan. The books we're reading today, as part of Picture Bookpalooza, are: 1. Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey 2. Mr. Belinsky's Bagels 3. The Doorman 4. This… Continue reading We’re going to Manhattan today!

IRA · slice of life · Slice of Life Story Challenge

SOLSC: Crying in Front of My Class

My copy of Number the Stars Originally uploaded by teachergal I cried in front of my class today. And no, they didn't torture me or each other to the point of tears. (Remember, I have super fourth graders! They'd never do that!) I cried today when I read Number the Stars to them. Though it's… Continue reading SOLSC: Crying in Front of My Class

art · IRA · writing

What scene has bothered you the most in the book?

The Soldiers Are Everywhere Originally uploaded by teachergal We're reading Number the Stars in Interactive Read Aloud right now. The kids love the book, even though they're disgusted with the way the Nazis treated the Danish Citizens in Copenhagen. Hence, after reading Chapter Seven today, I asked them to spend some time depicting the most… Continue reading What scene has bothered you the most in the book?

aimee buckner · IRA · poetry · silence · voice · writing

Poetry Pass in Interactive Read Aloud

We did a Poetry Pass for the first time during Interactive Read Aloud yesterday. I wanted to do it so that I could get the kids writing about a 'heavy' poem I presented them with, which is one of the texts in our voice/silence text set. They did a simply amazing job with responding, in… Continue reading Poetry Pass in Interactive Read Aloud