Author Archives: Brett Whitmarsh

Why We Wrote STEM Lesson Guideposts

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By Jo Anne Vasquez, coauthor of the new STEM Lesson Guideposts

Many educators who have explored STEM education or been asked to add it to their curriculum will ask: How can we create our own STEM lesson and units? How can we address the standards and content we need to teach? How can we create experiences that will engage and be relevant to all my students? What does rigor look like in a lesson?

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The Heinemann Podcast: Making Teacher Evaluation Work

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During the evaluation process, teachers might be asking for one thing while evaluators are looking for something different. How do we bring these two perspectives together to reach common goals? In Making Teacher Evaluation Work, Authors Rachael Gabriel and Sarah Woulfin suggest there’s a way to not only improve the evaluation process, but use evaluations as a way to improve teaching. Rachael and Sarah have created a resource for teachers and evaluators to read together that walks them through every step of the evaluation process. We started out our conversation on how this book came to be.

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A Great Summer School Fit: Math in Practice

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Summer school teachers often struggle to find just the right tools to address students’ distinct and sometimes challenging needs. They also often have limited time to prepare lessons and deliver instruction.

The authors of Math in Practice are all master teachers and math coaches, most of whom are still in classrooms every day. They designed every component of Math in Practice to be flexible and helpful, keeping the varying needs of teachers and students in mind—and making it a perfect resource to support a summer school program.

Listen to Marcy Myers and Laura Hunovice, two of the coauthors, talk about how Math in Practice gives any teacher a place to start—along with lots of coaching, lesson ideas, and downloadable resources to support instruction:

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Connecting the What and How of STEM Learning

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"Where do I begin?" is a question many teachers ask when it comes to STEM teaching and learning. Inspired by this question, the authors of STEM Lesson Guideposts created a planning model with five key guideposts to provide educators with a structure and guidance for conceiving, creating, and organizing STEM experiences that are both rigorous and relevant to students' lives.

In the video below, coauthor Michael Comer talks briefly about the differences between STEM Lesson Guideposts and its predecessor (STEM Lesson Essentials), and how the focus of each book connects with the other.

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The Heinemann Podcast: What Are the Rest of My Kids Doing?

sm_E08775_Moses and Ogden_Book Cover_MG5D7280If you are a K-2 teacher, have you ever asked: “During reading workshop, what kinds of meaningful work can students be doing independently, while I confer one-on-one or with small groups?” Lindsey Moses hears this common frustration among those who work with our youngest readers in her work with teachers around the country. That’s why Lindsey, along with First grade teacher Meridith Ogden, wrote: What are the Rest of My Kids Doing? Their goal is to help you move beyond assigning busy work to providing purposeful learning experiences that build independence over the year and ideally take the anxiety out of reading workshop. 

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How Do I Use The Writing Strategies Book with Other Writing Programs?

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The Writing Strategies Book, by Jennifer Serravallo, can be used effectively, with nearly any writing program or approach. Its goals align well with many rubrics, scoring criteria, and assessment categories. To help you match your instruction with the strategies in her book, Jennifer has created a crosswalk to several commonly used writing approaches and programs. Those programs include:

This crosswalk between her hierarchy of 10 writing goals and six commonly used writing programs and instructional frameworks such as Traits Writing, Units of Study, Empowering Writers, Being a Writer, and Writing Fundamentals is a available as a free download here on The Writing Strategies Book page.