Do We Need a New Definition of Literacy?

Most educators define literacy as the ability to read and write. And it is true, to be literate we need to know how to read and write. But is this...

Assessing Independent Reading Without Killing our Students’ Love of Books

Of course, educators want students to develop into lifelong readers and learners. We want our students to find genres, authors, series,...

Want Adolescents to Read? Environment Matters!

It was workshop week at the high school where I teach sophomore English and a ninth-grade literacy course. I was just beginning a year where I...

Create a Culture of Literacy 

Creating a culture of literacy in the school isn’t just about raising reading scores. Instead, when a community comes together to celebrate...

Carrots and Candy: Letting Go of Rewards in Favor of True Motivation

Pizza for reading, tickets for good behavior, points for participation, stickers for homework completion, marbles in a jar for teamwork, a good...

Inquiry in ELA: 10 Ways to Make it Work

As an English and speech teacher for mostly sophomores, I found myself frustrated when students seemed to be just going through the motions,...

Maximize Time by Braiding Learning Goals

Working with English/Language Arts teachers on developing highly engaging and intentional inquiry units of study, one of the concerns I...

Cultivate Confidence to Promote Motivation

Recently I decided that I was going to commit to beginning each day with yoga. My work-from-home body was telling me I really needed to start my...

Just Let Them Read!

I was sitting with my colleague, a fellow reading specialist, in our empty classroom one summer. We were donating time to planning, as many...

A Coach’s Playbook: Conferring With Student Readers

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” — Billy Jean King As educators we keep trying to get things right. When I first started...

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