Developing Teaching Tools for the Classroom

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In their book, DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence, Kate Roberts, and Maggie Beattie Roberts focus on four main types of tools that teachers can create to support student learning in their classroom:

  • Teaching Charts

  • Demonstration Notebooks

  • Micro-Progressions of skills

  • Bookmarks

They go on to show readers how and why to create these tools, how to select the right tools for students, and introduce us to the thinking behind effective tool use. Drawing on inspiration from fellow tool-makers Marjorie Martinelli, Kristi Mraz, Roz Linder and many more, Kate and Maggie lead the charge on the DIY classroom front, showing us not only the why and the how, but giving us the confidence to use the skills we have to do it ourselves. 

In this video, Kate and Maggie talk about the four main types of teacher created tools that appear in the book and give us a glimpse into their thinking behind each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about creating your own tools for your students? Take a look at DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence. 


katerobertsGrowing up, Kate Roberts swore to never become a writer or a teacher. She became both and is very grateful that fate did not listen. Kate is coauthor (with Maggie Beattie Roberts) of DIY Literacy and of Falling in Love with Close Reading (with Christopher Lehman) . Each is informed by her experiences as a middle school language arts teacher in Brooklyn, as a literacy coach, and, currently, as a staff developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Her work with students across the country has led her to believe that all kids can be insightful, academic thinkers when the work is demystified, broken down, and made engaging. To this end, she has worked nationally and internationally to help teachers, schools, and districts develop and implement strong teaching practices and curriculum. Kate is the author of two produced plays, one undiscovered young adult novel, and coauthor of the blog “indent” (kateandmaggie.com). She lives in the same Brooklyn neighborhood she taught in so that she can keep tabs on her old students.

maggiebeattieroberts Maggie Beattie Roberts is coauthor (with Kate Roberts) of DIY Literacy. As a staff developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Maggie is committed to helping teachers tap into the power of their own deep engagement in reading and writing. Maggie has led research and development to help teachers use digital literacy and technology, including popular media, as an alternate way to help young people grasp fundamental concepts; she has also pioneered new work in content-area literacy. Maggie began her career in the heart of Chicago, and pursued graduate studies in the Literacy Specialist program at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences, and leads school- and city-wide staff development around the country.

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