Increasing Comprehension: Bridging the Physical and Mental Domains

Increasing Reading Comprehension I read a fascinating blog post today by Annie Murphy Paul (of the Brilliant Blog) about the power of making stories come alive to strengthen reading comprehension.

It was one of those articles that is SO affirming because it puts data behind an already-held philosophical belief. A quote from Paul’s post: [Read more…]

What Do Kids Need To Learn About Writing?

What Do Kids Need to Learn About Writing I got some great responses to my last post– many of them in person in school hallways or grocery store aisles, but also via text and email. The overarching themes were:

1- Writing is about so much more than conventions! 

2- Teachers want to be excellent writing teachers but often feel they need some coaching and support to get there.

I agree and am thrilled to engage in this topic here on Wonder Teacher!

Did you try my little exercise from the last post? (You know- the one where you wrote down all the things “good writers” do and then examined your practice to see if you are teaching those things to your students?)

I did! Here’s what I came up with. This is not a comprehensive list, by the way, just a bit of my brainstorm. After each point, I’ll list an implication for our teaching practice. [Read more…]

Maximize Student Learning After A Weather Break: Publish a “special issue” class magazine

publish a class magazine after weather break

What do you do when you have experienced a weather-related school shutdown (like “Southern Snow Storm Leon AKA “Smowmageddon 2014”?)

Sleep late and wear your PJs all day, of course!

No- I mean when you get back to school. Do you just jump back in right where you left off? Or should you stop and spend some time processing what happened with your students? After all, if school was canceled, you probably experienced a significant and/or unusual local event. The children will have a lot of schema and story to share along with interest and excitement for writing about an event they personally experienced.

But what should you have them do? Talking about it in a morning meeting is nice, but with all that “real life” experience, you could take it a lot further.

Please do not lame out with something like this: Write a paragraph telling what you did over the snow days. So boring! My eyelids are getting heavy just thinking about it.

Let’s take that idea 5 steps further. How could you engage your students in thinking, writing, and creating in an authentic manner that will be fun and motivating?

Here’s an idea! Publish a “special issue” magazine! [Read more…]

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