Tag Archives: Teaching

128 Reasons to Love The New Heinemann Catalog

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128 reasons to love our new catalog. Why 128? Because our new catalog contains 128 pages of resources for teachers. 128 opportunities to help you start or continue your professional learning journey. Our mission is to provide top-quality classroom resources that respect the work and expertise of teachers, and we are so excited to share our latest and greatest resources with you.

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5 Ways to Use Liberation Literacies in Your Classroom: Practical Strategies

el_colors2-copyThis week on the Heinemann blog, we’re sharing a series on Language in the Classroom. The series was inspired by an article published by NPR on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, on the ways we teach English Learners in our country. While the NPR article was specific to English Learners, our hope is to use that as a jumping off point to broader topics of language instruction in the classroom. Each day this week we will feature articles, excerpts and insights directly from Heinemann authors and affiliates that further the conversation surrounding language diversity in the classroom, the challenges it presents, and what we know works.


In the first part of this two-part blog, Jamilia Lyiscott introduced liberation literacies pedagogy. You can find it here.


5 Ways to Use Liberation Literacies in Your Classroom: Practical Strategies

By Jamila Lyiscott


Begin the year with a Literate Identity Assessment of each student 

One of the goals of Liberation Literacies as a pedagogical framework is for students and teachers to find and employ agency within the stifling constraints of most classrooms, such as the pressures of teaching to the test. Within Liberation Literacies pedagogy teachers challenge the goals of assessments in their classrooms so that alongside the mandate of rigid exams are a series of assessments beginning on the first day of school to better understand the background knowledge, interests, and learning needs of each student as necessary for shaping curriculum. A Literate Identity Assessment at the beginning of the year can include the following prompt along with one or two others:

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Colleen Cruz: Show Your Thinking

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From dealing with writing workshop skeptics to working with students both gifted and challenged, and of course combating that eternal barrier—lack of time—The Unstoppable Writing Teacher offers tried-and-true strategies to address and overcome obstacles. 

For the struggles unique to you, author Colleen Cruz helps you identify your own individual roadblocks. "We can’t solve all the problems we’re faced with in writing instruction," she promises, "but we can choose how to respond to them. And our responses will make all the difference."

If a teacher dares and is confident enough to write in front of students, then maybe you can catch that writing epiphany–the spark of an idea–to inspire students to do the same. In the video below, Colleen has a few ideas on how to capture that.

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Colleen Cruz: Writing As A Tool For Thinking

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From dealing with writing workshop skeptics to working with students both gifted and challenged, and of course combating that eternal barrier—lack of time—The Unstoppable Writing Teacher offers tried-and-true strategies to address and overcome obstacles. 

For the struggles unique to you, author Colleen Cruz helps you identify your own individual roadblocks. "We can’t solve all the problems we’re faced with in writing instruction," she promises, "but we can choose how to respond to them. And our responses will make all the difference."

In this video, Colleen discusses how writing can be a tool for thinking. If you keep writing, something good will come of it. Your mind will sharpen.

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Colleen Cruz: Writing Is Really Hard

Veteran teacher and author Colleen Cruz has seen it all in the writing classroom—and she’s got something to admit: this is hard work. Real hard. In her new book The Unstoppable Writing Teacher she takes on the common concerns, struggles, and roadblocks that we all face in writing instruction and helps us engage in the process of problem solving each one.

In this video, Colleen Cruz offers a refreshing and honest truth: writing is hard. But there's something exciting about facing this challenge. How do teachers prepare students for it?

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Looking Forward In 2016: What Will Your Legacy Be?

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by Judy Wallis

The session had just ended at the conference I was attending. I watched as a renowned literacy educator walked toward the group of young presenters to congratulate them on the smart ideas they’d shared. Though I was already standing and ready to leave, I lingered to watch the exchange. I thought back to my earliest days as an educator and the sessions I’d delivered. I thought about how unsure I’d felt on occasions. I thought about how passionately I’d shared ideas and pondered whether or not they were sound. And then I thought about how exhilarating this must be for those young professionals as they embark on the work of a lifetime. I watched the presenters engage in conversation and receive congratulations, and I thought that this is indeed the pinnacle of professionalism.

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