DIY Literacy by Kate Roberts, Maggie Beattie Roberts. Teaching Tools
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DIY Literacy
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DIY Literacy

Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence

What’s DIY Literacy? It’s making your own visual teaching tools instead of buying them. It’s using your teaching smarts to get the most from those tools. And it’s helping kids think strategically so they can be DIY learners.

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Full Description

“We have never seen teachers work harder than we do now. These tools inspire kids to work as hard as we are.”
—Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts

What’s DIY Literacy? It’s making your own visual teaching tools instead of buying them. It’s using your teaching smarts to get the most from those tools. And it’s helping kids think strategically so they can be DIY learners.

“Teaching tools create an impact on students’ learning,” write Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts. “They help students hold onto our teaching and become changed by the work in the classroom.” Of course, you and your students need the right tools for the job, so first Kate and Maggie share four simple, visual tools that you can make. Then they show how to maximize your instructional know-how with suggestions for using the tools to:

  • make your reading and writing strategies stick
  • motivate students to reach for their next learning goal
  • differentiate instruction simply and quickly.

Kate and Maggie are like a friendly, handy neighbor. They offer experience-honed advice for using the four tools for assessment, small-group instruction, conferring, setting learning goals, and, most important, helping students learn to apply strategies and make progress without prompting from you. In other words, to do it themselves.

“It is our greatest hope,” write Kate and Maggie, “that the tools we offer here will help your students to work hard, to hold onto what they know, and to see themselves in the curriculum you teach.” Try DIY Literacy and help your readers and writers take learning into their own hands.

In Depth

As literacy consultants, we have never seen teachers work harder than we do now. And we have watched teaching tools help them feel as though all of their hard work is worth it. In part, the tools help get traction going with teaching and learning. In larger part, the tools inspire kids to work as hard as we are. These tangible, colorful, personalized offerings of our teaching are individual gifts to students. They communicate the message of I see you. I see your next steps. Let me help you. Here is this. These teaching tools invite kids in on the work of the class in a way that is tailored to them, allowing students to take control of their learning and do it themselves.

When we take on DIY projects, from remodeling a bathroom to making a new teach- ing chart, we know that part of the joy in this project is going to come from our own efforts. And while many times the hallmark of a DIY project is it’s imperfections, these flaws often become marks of character, points of pride, and evidence of learning.

One key to experiencing joy is working hard and seeing that hard work pay off. When mathematicians solve a problem they’ve been grappling with for months, when a musician perfects a performance of a complicated piece, when a learner masters a difficult concept, joy arrives.

It is our greatest hope that the tools we offer here will help your students to work hard, to hold onto what they know, and to see themselves in the curriculum you teach.

Onward to joy!

— From Chapter 1

Samples

Companion Resources

Color files of artwork:

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Bonus Chapter: Search Results for "Teach Students to Read Critically"
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Kristen's Bookmark for Editing Conventions
Kristen's Process Chart
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Afterword: Brandi Brown's Chart

Reviews

"After reading DIY Literacy, I felt like I had been given a superhero cape. I felt armed and ready to teach writing. I knew I could use my newly created demonstration notebook or a micro-progression or a chart to help me teach my students. Really, I felt empowered."
Dana Murphy, at Two Writing Teachers
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"DIY Literacy is not only a “how-to” book on designing visual tools but a source of advice on implementation in the classroom. Students’ learning is changed by concrete ideas that push them forward into independent problem solving."
—Sandy Wisneski, at MiddleWeb
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Related PD Services

PD Resources From Kate Roberts

Speakers

Workshops

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Maggie Beattie Roberts directly about professional development support.