Category Archives: Education

How can The Writing Strategies Book Help With Your Own Writing Goals This Summer?

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Jennifer Serravallo's The Writing Strategies Book offers help for all steps in the writing process, and while it is intended for grades K–8, we find ourselves turning to it regularly to find new ways of thinking, refining, and sharpening our own writing.  Have you made a goal of writing more over the summer? Is it somewhat daunting? overwhelming? terrifying?

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Heinemann Fellow Anna Osborn: “Hurry Up September!”

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A year ago, I did not think I would be ready for year two of my research. Who am I kidding, at our Heinemann Fellows meeting in Denver last December, I felt my research faltering. But after an inspiring and rejuvenating three days with my co-fellows where Ellin Keene mentored us through a deep dive into our data, I had a realization: if I was going to move my students, I needed to focus more closely on my own biases and how I enacted those biases in our classroom.

My research question—In what ways does the exploration of personal identity through reading and discourse impact students’ perceptions of themselves as stigmatized readers?—made me look long and hard at my teaching practice.

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Gearing Up for a Powerful Launch to a New Year: Reflecting on the June Teachers College Writing Institute

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille 

This week, institute season kicks off at The Reading and Writing Project, as thousands of educators gather at Teachers College in New York City to reflect upon, reinvigorate, and refine their teaching of writing. The workshops, lectures, keynotes, and often informal study groups they will attend will help them to hone their teaching practices so that they begin the next school year in the strongest place yet. 

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What is Math in Practice?

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“What is Math in Practice?” We get that a lot. It might be more important to first talk about why Math in Practice.

Sometimes we look back to the “good old days” of teaching math with rose-colored glasses. But did everyone learn and love mathematics in those classrooms? What do you remember about math class when you were the student? What was a typical assignment? What did your classroom look like and sound like? As I listen to teachers across the country, I am struck by the similarity of their experiences as they recall:

  • lots of memorizing
  • long worksheets
  • silent practice
  • a teacher telling how to do it
  • one right answer
  • one way to get the answer
  • no group work
  • no manipulatives.

We know that one of the biggest changes in the teaching of math is a new definition of proficiency. Computation skills are still important, but it takes more than that. We want our students to understand why math works.

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When is Feedback Most Useful?

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In Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach, the new book by Vicki Vinton, she writes: 

"Feedback has long been seen as a powerful form of teaching, though increasingly researchers are recognizing that certain types of feedback are more effective than others. It turns out, for instance, that grades and written comments on student assignments, which are the most common type of feedback, are the least effective. That's because, as Dylan Wiliam writes in Embedded Formative Assessment, " in such situations, feedback is rather like the scene in the rearview mirror rather than through the windshield. Or as Douglad Reeves once memorably observed, it's like the difference between having a medical [checkup] and a postmortem.""

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