Category Archives: Differentiated Instruction

How to Support Student “Book Shopping” in Your Classroom

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Managing classroom libraries requires a delicate balance between organization, choice, behavior, and matching children with appropriate texts. Classroom libraries can be organized in many ways– by genre, series, or some other category. Susan Taberski (2000) suggests having bins of unleveled books from which students choose their independent reading selections and bins of books by level for when they need practice with something "just right." Other teachers label their books using the Fountas and Pinnell A through Z gradient. 

Because an "assessed" reading level doesn't always correspond with a student's level of comprehension, it is important that students spend time with more than just independent-level texts. To do this, it is necessary to spend time working with students on independent text selection that supports decoding development, fosters comprehension and thinking, and pique students' interests in reading.

"But How?" you might ask…

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PLC Series: Close Reading an Image

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we reflect on building lifelong literacy habits for all, from our smallest readers to our own practices as adults. 

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Introducing The Writing Strategies Book Study Guide

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Jennifer Serravallo has created a helpful guide for The Writing Strategies Book for book study groups or individual practitioners. As an educational consultant, Jen is in classrooms all the time, and this study guide reflects the questions and concerns teachers have brought to her about how to use strategies within an instructional framework for writing and especially how to match them to instructional goals and methods. The study guide contains over 25 pages of resources, ideas for conversations, activities, and practices that will strengthen your strategic writing instruction, raise the quality and engagement levels of your student writers, and strengthen collaboration with your colleagues.

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PLC Series: Using Charts…Smarter!

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

“No matter what area of the curriculum, we found that clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts were the key to helping children gain independence and agency in their learning. The more we charted, the less repeating we did and more teaching was possible.”          

 -Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli in Smarter Charts for Math,          Science and Social Studies.

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PLC Series: Mind Mapping

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

Last week, we explored the idea of sketchnoting with author Tanny McGregor, a practice that engages multiple modalities that support the brain’s processes to absorb and use new information. If you had not heard the word sketchnoting before, perhaps you have encountered the term mind mapping.

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PLC Series: Sketchnoting

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

Sunni Brown, an author and speaker specializing in visual thinking and information design, asserts that doodling is not the “nemesis of intellectual thought” but rather an ally. In her 2011 TEDTalk, she explains that in order take in information and do something with it, we need at least two modalities engaged—visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic—or one, with the addition of an emotional experience. 

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