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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What Makes Math Intimidating for Teachers?

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Raising students’ math achievement doesn’t mean ripping up your planning book and starting over. In Accessible Mathematics Steven Leinwand shows how small shifts in the good teaching you already do can make a big difference in student learning. Thoroughly practical and ever-aware of the limits of teachers’ time, Steve gives you everything you need to put his commonsense ideas to use immediately.

In this video, Steve talks about the intimidation that mathematics gives teachers when they are accustomed to simply knowing how to get the right answer, and how to combat it. He states: "the issue of intimidation is a natural tension when you know you're being asked to do things that you're not prepared to do." 

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How the Lessons in Short Nonfiction for American History Build Knowledge

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In this visual podcast ( this is the second in the series, the first can be viewed here) Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey walk you through the structure and content of each of the ten lessons in the Short Nonfiction for American History series. This overview will show you exactly what students will learn with each lesson, and how these resources are developed around a gradual release of responsibility framework. 

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How to Begin the Shift to a Problem-Based Approach

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In her new book, Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading Vicki Vinton calls for a shift of focus from complexity of text to the complexity of thinking a reader must engage in in order to understand the text. 

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Tips and Tools for Student Research, Grades 3-5

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille​

To research well, students must draw upon an array of reading and writing skills, flexibly, simultaneously, and confidently. They must skim through texts to locate relevant parts, read across and integrate information from multiple texts, accumulate knowledge and grow ideas, and read critically, considering the authorial intent of their sources. They must organize their thinking and their writing to communicate their learning with others. 

When students research, then, the full range of their literacy skills is on display.  Further, engaging in research is essential preparation for the kind of reading and thinking students will need to do as secondary and college students, and as informed citizens, attempting to make sense of the world around them. The opportunity for students to engage in research projects of all shapes and sizes is crucial.

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Connecting Comprehension and Content: A Visual Podcast with Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey

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Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey have created the Short Nonfiction for American History Series in order to embed reading and thinking strategies into social studies and history instruction, so that comprehension and thinking strategies become tools for learning and understanding content. Throughout the series, Anne and Stephanie show that teaching historical literacy means merging thoughtful, foundational literacy practices with challenging, engaging resources to immerse students in historical ways of thinking. 

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