Category Archives: Education Policy

The Big 5: Vicki Vinton on the Books That Pushed and Influenced Her Teaching Practice

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Every so often we like to ask our authors about the books that most affected their teaching, the books that served as turning points in their practice or opened their eyes to a new way of approaching their work, thinking about education, or seeing children. In this installment, we bring you the professional book top five of Vicki Vinton, a literacy consultant and writer who has worked in schools and districts across the country and around the world.  She is the coauthor of What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making and The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language, and most recently is the author of Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach. You can also find Vicki online, at the popular literacy blog To Make a Prairie


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The Heinemann Podcast: STEM Lesson Guideposts

E08776_Vasquez and Comer and Villegas_Bookcover_8779Think of your STEM journey as a highway. When you’re driving along you see those marker signs on the side of the road. These guideposts can provide direction and key information just when you need it. This is how authors Jo Anne Vasquez, Michael Comer and Joel Villegas describe how their work in STEM Lesson Guideposts is designed. They say their guideposts provide direction and key information at critical times when planning a STEM journey.  

We recently talked with Jo Ann and Michael, and started our conversation on the misconceptions about what STEM actually is.

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Language Study: Answering the Call to Action in the Classroom

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Written by: Jen McCreight based on a section from her book Celebrating Diversity through Language Study.


In today’s climate, many of our students’ families are feeling anxious. Anxious about whether they are welcome in the United States. Anxious about escalating disagreements and protests surrounding immigrants from countries near and far. Anxious that loved ones may be deported. Regardless of our own political beliefs, as teachers, we are called to empathize with, support, and love our students. We are called to respond to their social and emotional challenges as much as their academic ones. I am reminded of this each day that I open the newspaper or read about current events online, and over and over, the following story pops into my head, as clearly as if I had experienced it yesterday.

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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.

The Heinemann Podcast: Choice Time

ChoiceTime_MG5D9012How do you define play and choice time in early childhood classrooms? According to Renée Dinnerstein, play is an engine that drives learning. She writes, "during choice time, children choose to play in a variety of centers that have been carefully designed and equipped to scaffold children’s natural instinct for play.” In her book Choice Time, Renée gives us everything we need to set up choice-time centers that promote inquiry-based, guided play in a classroom. Renée also summarizes the research, describing the different kinds of play and why they are important. She says by giving your students choice time, and allowing them to engage in joyful, important, playful, age-appropriate work will empower them to become lifelong learners. 

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The Heinemann Podcast: Argument in the Real World

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How can we help students think critically about the community they’re speaking to online while giving them a real voice? How do we help our students create coherent arguments through social media? Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks say it’s not just about creating a podcast or blog, it’s about building an argument. On today’s podcast we’re hearing from co-authors Kristen Turner and Troy Hicks as they tackle these questions and more in their new book Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts.  

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