by Anna Gratz Cockerille
For many teachers and students, the summer months are a chance to change pace, to dig into projects of personal interest, and just…breathe. But for many kids, summer is also a time when learning grinds to a halt. Students in lower socio-economic households in particular have little opportunity to practice the academic skills that began to take root and gel by the end of the year. One particular area of well-documented summer decline is in reading. When students don’t read during the months of summer, the effects on their academic progress are disastrous.
When we think about engagement we almost immediately focus on the student who won’t talk or just doesn't engage. But what about the student who is over engaged? On today’s podcast we’re continuing our series of conversations with Cornelius Minor. Today we’re talking about a student he has nicknamed “Prez” short for president of the class.
In the first two installments of this blog series, we discussed why particularly chosen books matter and how the TCRWP Classroom Libraries were selected. In this final part of the series, we will explore additional, innovative ways that the team focused on driving reading engagement.
One such way is through the tools and resources that accompany the libraries. A vast collection of brightly colored, attractive book bin labels and book level labels lure kids to bins with irresistible topics. Additionally, student sticky-note pads help promote close, active reading. Students can identify “Must-Reads” and “Watch Out!” sections for others by leaving these helpful sticky notes in the book. Watch the video below to check out these amazing resources:
by Anna Gratz Cockerille
I have come to love fantasy novels, particularly young adult fantasy. There’s no doubt that the Harry Potter series stirred this love. Who couldn’t adore a book that got millions of children to read? The teen fascination with Twilight and The Hunger Games did the same thing—literally millions of teens are reading and talking about these books. They join blogs, they dress up like the characters, they attend the film releases, they compare the books to the movies. Fantasy has been a force for good in literacy.
—Mary Ehrenworth, in Learning from the Elves: A Genre Study of the Complexities and Themes of Fantasy
Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection.
During read aloud, we have the opportunity to share the oral beauty of language, model comprehension processes by thinking aloud, and engage with our students through a variety of texts. What are the possibilities for write-alouds?
Write-alouds can help teachers to model—and students to practice—orally using the language we wish to put on the page. In her article, available for download below from the Heinemann Digital Library, author and literacy consultant Leah Mermelstein talks about the role of write-aloud in the classroom, where it might fit, and how this is different from shared or interactive writing. Leah notes that when we can “say it well, we can write it well”.