For most Americans, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Sunny days, pool parties, and hot dogs. But in reality, Memorial Day is a much more somber and serious holiday to honor those who have died in their service to our country. This year, let’s teach students about the true meaning of Memorial Day through age-appropriate activities. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
Anthologies and basals are arguably among the most hotly debated of textbooks–and for good reason. The basals of our childhood were too simplistic in their approach, biased, not diverse, and made teaching formulaic and boring. Today’s anthologies and basals, lumped together for the purposes of this article (although they have different features), are nothing like what you remember from your childhood.
Earth Day is April 22. This year I’ve collected a list of my favorite Earth Day activities. I tried to keep my list as diverse…
Including multicultural literature in the classroom is a prudent choice for teachers of all students, not just those who teach ELLs. We live in a world where students of all races and cultures are represented in today’s classrooms. In order to give those students voice–and to show them that they matter–providing these students with examples of literature that reflects their experiences, beliefs, and challenges gives them space to belong. For students who aren’t themselves diverse, multicultural literature acts as a window–a teaching tool–for teaching about differences, tolerance, acceptance, and education.
Reading and writing are related processes. Practice in one area deepens understanding in the other and vice versa. Writing is a great tool for clarifying thinking about reading, and reading strengthens writing ability. Obviously students benefit from reading about writing and writing about reading. Here are a few ideas to get reading and writing connected in your classroom.
When I began teaching English, I toyed with the idea of having separate days for reading and writing instruction. I look back on that time and laugh at myself–how could I even conceive of separating the two?! Now that I’m wiser and more knowledgeable of the ways of teaching and learning, I want to share with you what I didn’t know then, about the connections between reading and writing.
I want my students to discover knowledge, participate in authentic activities, and problem solve. I want them to think for themselves. But how to accomplish all this? One great way is through giving students opportunities to work collaboratively in stations.
As a teacher of all things literacy, I’m a big fan of the scripted read aloud. Call it what you will: read aloud, directed reading thinking activity (DR-TA), or directed reading activity (DRA), the purpose is the same. The teacher reads aloud to the student and regularly checks for comprehension, asks high level questions, and encourages students to think deeply about the text.
Human beings comprehend differently. How else can two people witness the same car accident and give police varying accounts of what happened at the scene? One or both aren’t lying! They’ve perceived the course of events differently.
Evaluations are coming up! Are you ready for your teacher evaluation? I don’t know a single teacher who likes this part of education. If you do, you’re a lonely minority.