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Putting an End to Fake Reading

All English teachers want their students to develop a love of reading, but this is anything but a simple endeavor. Although I used to give students time to read once a week in my English classes for several years, I always knew I wasn’t making the impact I was aiming for. After a few years, I was able to get the whole class to be silent during the reading period, but I realized that not all of the students were actually reading—and that my reading program was anything but a success. A few summers ago, I read Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer, and it made me rethink everything I did when it came to choice reading. Now, not only do I have far fewer students “fake reading” but I’ve had several students tell me that they’ve read their first book ever by themselves in my class. While I’m still constantly on the lookout for better ways to help my students find books they love and develop a habit of reading, I’ve put together a toolbox of concrete ways to make choice reading work in my class.

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Fostering empathy in kids and teens We need empathy more than ever in our current world, and we think books are one of the best tools for understanding another person’s perspective. We highly recommend you read our original deep dive into children’s books that teach empathy for detailed recommendations based on age groups, but we’ve also taken a fresh look at some recent and favourite books that encourage empathy in babies, kids and teens. Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury This modern classic uses sweet rhyming text to introduce babies in contrasting pairs – starting out with just two – which results in the cutest baby gang ever. The babies come from all over the world, born into different circumstances and locations.

Using Literacy Skills to Solve Math Word Problems When Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES) opened in 2013 in the wake of the planned phaseout of P.S. 385, which the New York City Department of Education had tagged with a D, students were struggling academically. “When we arrived, we found a major deficit across all content areas,” said incoming principal and school founder Alexa Sorden, who was particularly alarmed by the reading scores. “The first year was challenging because we were trying to come up with a plan and say, ‘OK, how are we going to make sure that all the children are reading on grade level so that they’re prepared?’” Sorden, a former literacy specialist and teacher, felt that a strong foundation in reading and writing underpinned success across all content areas—and she made it the school’s mission to be literacy-first. In mathematics, a subject area not traditionally associated with literacy, Concourse Village has developed an especially innovative model that reinforces both reading and computational skills.

The ‘teacher’ in ‘teacher librarian’ – SCIS Teacher librarian Tania Sheko highlights the teaching aspect of teacher librarianship, and how she facilitates learning in her school. Last year, through Twitter, I became acquainted with Lisa Hinchliffe, Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an affiliate faculty member in the university’s library school. While perusing her writing, this paragraph resonated with me: Careful consideration to constructing the learning environment and not only focusing on teacher performance has been a mantra for my instructional design practice since then. This is a particularly interesting area of investigation for me as a teacher librarian because it helps me articulate what the ‘teacher’ in ‘teacher librarian’ might be about. When people ask me where I work and I say Melbourne High School, they assume I’m a teacher.

The Deskless Classroom: UFLA 19 Presentation Handout TPR Storytelling™ = That trademark is owned by Blaine Ray. TPR® is a registered trademark owned by James Asher. Fluency Fast® is a registered trademark. Reading Culture at School As you know reading fosters empathy, language skills are developed, improved focus and concentration, mental stimulation, vocabulary expansion, better writing skills among other things. There is a need to know how to promote a reading culture at school and find fun ways to motivate students to love reading. Enjoy this list of mine for ways the school library and all staff can promote a reading culture for students and the community: Let students see educators reading.

In High School, the Kids Are Not All Right I lost my first student to suicide not long ago. The student was no longer in my class at the time, nor even at the school, but I was flooded with the expected surge of feelings: overwhelming sadness, periodic despair, compulsive frame-by-frame replays of our every interaction. I felt the loss deeply. It was unspeakably tragic—for the student’s friends and family, for me, and for the world I’d hoped the student would help shape. I was haunted, too—I still am—by the fear of a similar tragedy among my raw-nerved and anxious students. And the recent spike in teenage suicides in my area has underscored this fear sharply.

Why School Librarians Are the Literacy Leaders We Need - Teaching for the Whole Story Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how teams of teachers can work together across subject areas to improve student reading. I received comments on the piece from two school librarians, pointing out that they have important contributions to make to the effort, and questioning why I had not included school librarians in my suggestions in the first place. Well, they are absolutely right about this, and their voices prompted my reflection on the topic. CI Non-fiction Library Major errors, broken links, copyright violation, etc? Please report any problem with the CI Non-fiction Library to the "Report an Issue" form below or email Errors: The CI Non-fiction library is designed as a safe place for teachers to share their non-fiction texts written for their classroom with the hopes that other teachers will also share.

YA and Middle Grade Reads for Game of Thrones Fans This week, Game of Thrones fans the world over are wondering what will happen on the show's Sunday finale. Will Danaerys ultimately assume the Iron Throne? Will Jon Snow's true parentage become public? And whatever happens, will it be any good? We're asking different questions: What should teen viewers read when it's over? Overcoming Test Anxiety in High School A rapid heartbeat. Sweaty palms. Clouded thoughts. For many students, the biggest obstacle to passing a test isn’t what they know, but the anxiety they feel. Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on a student’s ability to concentrate on tests, leading to poor performance and, ultimately, fewer opportunities to succeed in school.

Transliteracies and Libraries Good school libraries value the social, distributed nature of meaning making. Good school libraries facilitate the mobility of people and things. In this spirit, they are natural sites for nurturing transliteracies. In the current issue of the Journal of Literacy Research, Amy Stornaiuolo, Anna Smith, and Nathan C. Phillips author a piece called “Developing a Transliteracies Framework for a Connected World.” In it, they offer four analytical tools that could be used to investigate transliteracies and mobility, namely: emergence, uptake, resonance, and scale.

Digging out of the reading rut by Carrie Toth - Fluency Matters At iFLT 2017, I presented a session called “Digging out of the Reading Rut.” In this session, we explored ways to read chapters of a text differently and activities to follow up those chapter readings. Because many Fluency Matters Comprehension-based readers have 10 chapters let’s look at 10 different ways to read. Read in a new environment: One of the easiest ways to make the reading feel different is to change the place you’re reading.