What really matters to your students? They might say the issues in front of them at school and in life. When students inquire into those issues and they’re given an opportunity for their arguments to be read by the city council or published in the local newspaper, they’re eager to research and find relevant information in nonfiction texts to bolster their claims. They become committed to writing, revising, editing and correcting their grammar. They want to think broadly about what reasoning will be effective with their audience. Whether you teach English, social studies, science, or math. From Inquiry to Action by Steve Zemelman’s helps students become, not only college and career ready, but citizen ready. From Inquiry to Action offers practical guidance that leads students to grow as engaged, thoughtful citizens in our communities. We started our conversation on what civic action in schools looks like?
What comes to mind when you think about the traditional 5-paragraph essay? Do you cringe? Sadly, many students only know “essay” as a 5-paragraph, tightly structured writing assignment that must check all the boxes of a standardized formula. How did essays in school get so far away from essays in the world? In her newest book, The Journey is Everything, Katherine Bomer makes a case for the benefits of authentic essay writing that breaks free of the 5-paragraph formula used in most middle and high school English classes.
How many times during a writing workshop have you thought, “If only I could clone myself!” Well, authors Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul have a solution for more one-on-one teaching time during your writing workshop: flipped learning. In their new book: Flip Your Writing Workshop, they explain how a blended learning approach allows students access to instruction and support when they need it, as often as they need it.
In her newest book, Reading Science, author Jennifer Altieri reminds us that literacy skills aren’t add-ons to the science class—they are critical parts of instruction. Since science requires specialized literacy demands, students should be prepared for, not only today’s science class, but for future science classes and the world beyond the classroom. Jennifer writes that a love of reading is just a start and that literacy in all areas keeps doors open. We started our conversation about when content literacy should be used, and what it means:
In When Kids Can't Read, Kylene Beers offers teachers the comprehensive handbook they've needed to help readers improve their skills. Recently, Kylene hosted a Facebook Live Q&A on this book. We've taken the audio of the conversation and made part of The Heinemann Podcast. You can take Kylene's words of advice with you in the form of a podcast.