Engagement – Family

Parent Teacher Conversation with Small smiling child

Do you have your parents’ support and engagement?

Are your parents aware of their children’s true progress? According to an article in EdWeek, 92 percent of parents believe their children are at grade level and doing just fine in the classroom, despite the widespread evidence that the majority of students are struggling. Could it be that they would willingly and collaboratively engage with …

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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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Teaching Students to L.O.V.E. Literacy

Opportunities to sharpen our literacy skills are all around us. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons (lack of support/resources at home, irrelevant curriculum, etc.) students can often be disengaged with literacy learning early in life. Once that foundation is shaken, it is tough to rebuild and instill the skills, confidence, and attitude necessary to …

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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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Finding the Hook

It’s all about the hook. Find what is inspiring to the youth and you find the hook into reading. Take baby steps even if needed. Not interested in reading a book? Start with a graphic novel. Even the old school Baby Sitters Club books are coming back with a vengeance in graphic novel form! Boys! …

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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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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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