It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.
I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will
Sing for me . . .
—From Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The gray hangs from the February sky like the roof of a tent heavy with rain. It’s during these wintry days when I feel most vulnerable as a teacher. I’m also sensing winter’s hold on my students, and I begin to wonder if I make even the smallest difference for them.
As a reader, I am captivated by characters. Major characters who drive plot or who find themselves transformed by conflict, minor characters who flesh out stories and live in the space between interesting and important, or characters who are easily forgotten.
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.
In A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Lucy Calkins writes, “Your classroom library holds a lot of power. It sends a strong message to the readers in your classroom, and it should convey that reading is important and that books are to be celebrated, treasured, and enjoyed.”
Lucy outlines critical tips for organizing classroom libraries, including:
On Today’s podcast — exploring science in children’s literature. Science is everywhere, in everything we do, see, and read. All books offer possibilities for talk about science in the illustrations and the texts… once you know how to look for them. Children’s literature is a natural avenue to explore the seven crosscutting concepts described in the Next Generation Science Standards. In their new book: Sharing Books, Talking Science, authors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz help teachers develop the mindset necessary to think like a scientist, and then help students think, talk, and read like scientists. We started our conversation on how the idea for this book came to be and what they call “the surprisingly powerful friendship of children's literature and science.”
"The nature of teaching elementary children is that we teach all subjects. True integrative teaching means that each new lens is not additive, but rather it is synergistic. Each of the crosscutting concepts can be seen in all types of literature, and learning to see them enhances the reading experience itself while simultaneously developing the mindset necessary to think like a scientist. This is why we see literature as an authentic context for helping students see science concepts everywhere."
"The way that we’re trained and the way that we’re educated influences the way that we see anything; the way that we approach anything; the way we see life, approach literacy, approach stories. That’s how we saw one way we could collaborate by looking at science through literature and literature through science."
In their new book, Sharing Books, Talking Science, authors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz explore scientific concepts through children's literature.