Engagement – Classroom

Literacy Acceleration Playbook

Win. Excel. Beat a personal best. These are the mindsets of athletes. Even those who are not athletes know that in order to meet goals such as winning or surpassing a personal record one must practice, put in hard work, train, learn technique, and take feedback to help refine performance. In addition to the aforementioned …

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The Secret Strength of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

There’s this widgetsmith on the opening screen of my iPhone that reads, “As long as we’re creating it’s not too late to change our story.” People’s stories motivate and inspire but they also connect us, help us grow. Throughout my years of being an educator, tucking in beside my fellow professionals, really hearing their journey, …

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D.R.E.A.M. Literacy

A literacy environment should be cultivated by its curriculum.  Learning how to read and develop literacy skills is a process that will benefit a child their entire life.  It is the foundation for other subjects, and a manner in which students learn to communicate and learn about their world, near and far. The process to …

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Creating A R.I.C.H. Literacy Environment

Most students either really love to read and find joy in growing and sharpening their literacy skills, or they feel the opposite. Their experience depends on two things- the instructional decisions made and the environment in which they learn.  Educators are often told to create a “literacy rich” or “print rich” classroom setting, but what …

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PenPals: Handwritten Letters to Support the Whole Child

When was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten letter? For thousands of years, handwritten letters have played a critical part in our lives. In this age of digital communication, handwritten letters are becoming a lost art. Emails and text messages can be sent instantly; however, the impact of a good old-fashioned handwritten …

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Meet the School Librarian

August and September traditionally serve as the months for Meet the Teacher nights. Families file into school buildings to check out classrooms, admire bulletin boards, and inquire about policies and procedures. I am suggesting that parents make a detour on their way to classrooms this school year. Visit the school library. Yes, it’s true. School …

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Autonomy in K-3 Literacy Learning

Something that I’ve learned in my time as an educator is the power in providing students with choice. Choice to explore their learning, choice to figure things out on their own, choice to learn new things in a variety of ways. Literacy skills are the foundation of learning, and something that educators should get excited …

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10 Ways to Explode Your Students’ Excitement for Reading!

How do you get kids excited about books? Over my 25 years of teaching, I’ve discovered many ways to spark excitement. Here are 10 to get you started: Start an After-School Book Club Invite a guest reader from the community to kick off the meetings. After the read-aloud, the kids spread out to read independently …

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Let\’s Leverage The Fun To Connect Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing!

The young students frantically waved their hands high in the air. They couldn’t wait to run to the front of the gym and participate in a game I call, “5 in Ten!”. I recently spoke with hundreds of students in different settings (urban, rural, and suburban) and they all enjoyed “5 in 10’!”. The gist …

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