Category Archives: Early Childhood Education

Fostering Independence and the Progression Of Literacy Development

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As authors Lindsey Moses and Meridith Ogden point out in their book What are the Rest of my Kids Doing?” Fostering Independence in the K—2 Reading Workshop, there are a variety of ways to discuss the stages of literacy development. Fountas and Pinnell (2011) developed a continuum of literacy learning with corresponding leveled text. Others use Lexile levels, Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) levels, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) scores, grade-level expectations, or various norm-referenced assessments. Although Moses and Ogden assess reading performance of young learners using these tools, they note that a more general understanding of literacy progression helps to inform decisions made about developmentally appropriate practice. The National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and International Reading Association (IRA) identify phases in a continuum of early reading and writing (1998).

Moses and Ogden note that, IRA and NAEYC recommend effective reading instruction for kindergarten and primary grades that includes but is not limited to the following:

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PLC Series: Public Celebration Conferences

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we celebrate the inspiring work that students and teachers do together every day. 

“Celebrating children and their writing isn’t just a feel-good activity. It’s crucial for children’s writing achievement.”—Regie Routman

Publicly celebrating children’s writing provides the opportunity for all young writers to learn from each other and share in successes. When children read their own writing to their peers, they get to share their ideas and the teacher gains an opportunity to comment on strengths and nudge the child’s writing further with brief teaching points. 

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What Kind of Writers Do We Hope To See In Our Classrooms?

E08880_Fletcher_Bookcover_9201Adapted from the introduction to Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low-Stakes Writing, by Ralph Fletcher


In the autumn of 1983 I started the MFA writing program at Columbia. This led to a famous first encounter, at least for me. In September I wandered uptown from 116th Street to 120th Street, walked into Teachers College, and met Lucy Calkins for the first time. She was a brand-new professor. I signed up for Lucy’s first course on the teaching of writing. Soon after that I took a position with the TC Reading and Writing Project as a consultant in New York City schools, helping teachers find wiser ways of teaching writing.

I didn’t realize it then, but more than taking an interesting job, I had embarked on my career. I have spent most of my professional life speaking, demonstrating, and writing books about the teaching of writing. Recently I ran into a teacher, a man in whose classroom I had worked twenty years earlier.

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How Old is Too Old to Read Aloud to Your Students?

NNTBT_NoMoreReading4Junk_1Students love choice. That's why giving students the power to choose books for independent reading, teacher read-aloud and classroom libraries makes them much more engaged and motivated readers.

In No More Reading for Junk, authors Barbara Marinak and Linda Gambrell provide teachers with research-based context for fostering reading motivation in children, as well as strategies and techniques proven to transform students into passionate, lifelong readers.

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Your One Stop Shop for Recent Podcast Highlights

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Each week on The Heinemann Podcast we bring you concise, relevant and thought-provoking interviews with Heinemann authors and educators in the field. We know teachers are very busy people and it can be hard to keep up with all of your favorite authors, so, as we wrap up another school year we thought you might enjoy a recap of some recent Heinemann Podcast highlights. Enjoy!  

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Tom Newkirk: On Writing Embarrassment—An Interview with Myself

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By Thomas Newkirk

In anticipation of the September release of my new book, Embarrassment: And the Emotional Underlife of Learning, I decided to reflect on what the book can offer teachers, students, and (I hope) other readers intrigued with the topic. We met in Tom’s office, a cluttered upstairs room of his house. From his window, you can see across Mill Pond Road to the former house of his mentor and friend Don Murray, who figures prominently in the book.

Why embarrassment?

In so much of what I read about education, the emotional life of the learner, particularly the teacher-learner, is ignored. We often get these rosy, uniformly successful depictions—all students are motivated, everything comes in on time, the teacher just loves every minute of her job. While I loved teaching, that was never my emotional reality. I regularly felt discouraged. I relived failures, often in the middle of the night. My successes seemed so much more intermittent than those in the accounts I read. I compared myself unfavorably with colleagues, and super-teacher authors and presenters—and I didn’t measure up.

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