Tag Archives: Texts and Lessons

Honor The Work By Using It, Not Grading It

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"Whenever it comes to writing," says Smokey Daniels in this video, "most teachers feel like their primary responsibility is to grade it." But that shouldn't be the case, he argues alongside Nancy Steineke. The work of students should be honored and activities in the classroom should reflect that. Smokey provides tips to share different types of writing work, while Nancy says well, if you have to grade, here are some better and more productive ways of assessing work while still honoring it.

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Why Are Short Texts So Powerful?

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Reading competes with so many things for kids' attention these days, says Nancy Steineke in the video below. With coauthor Harvey "Smokey" Daniels, she talks through why their new Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Writing emphasizes short, high-interest pieces of writing to keep students engaged.

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The Key to Content-Area Writing: Short, Frequent, and Shared

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By Nancy Steineke

While we must commend the Common Core Standards for recognizing the importance of literacy in all content-areas, a literacy long overlooked, the Core’s narrow vision of writing concerns us. Yes, of course we want students to be able to write cogent arguments, expositions, and narratives, but where in the Standards is the route that leads to this sophisticated writing? Where is the practice? That’s the bridge we offer in Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Writing.

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New Texts And Lessons—How It’s Organized

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When Nancy Steineke and Harvey "Smokey" Daniels designed the new Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Writing, they designed it like a cookbook.

"In a cookbook," says Nancy, "you can open up any chapter and say, 'I'm going to make a dessert, what looks good?'" As it relates to teachers, seeing Texts and Lessons as a cookbook helps how you might focus on reading skills or writing skills. In this video, Nancy and Smokey walk you through the new book.

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Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Writing: Using Writing

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Content-area teachers, rejoice once again: Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and Nancy Steineke bring you the companion volume to their ever popular Texts & Lessons for Content-Area Reading—this time helping students “write to learn,” using powerful writing and thinking strategies that get students engaged in your content and prepare them for academic writing, but don’t increase your workload.

In this first video previewing the authors' work, Smokey and Nancy talk about the uses of writing and how it's a great way to help students remember new knowledge.

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Making Your Teaching Life Easier, One Text and Lesson at a Time

The Common Core has brought close reading to the forefront in discussions of literacy education. Drawing on their professional expertise and their in-depth knowledge of the CCSS, Heinemann authors have developed practical resources that address the rigorous demands of close reading without sacrificing engagement, student independence, or the joy of reading. We are going to spend some time taking a closer look at each of these authors and resources and how they can help you in your classroom.

Making your teaching life easier, one text and lesson at a time.

The range of reading skills seems wider than ever in any given class that walks through our doors. We see more kids with identified learning issues, more kids who are just acquiring English, kids who lack the background knowledge we took for granted back in the day, and still more kids who just seem to fight off reading with all their might. How can we train our students to read, work, talk, and think productively together? The trick is to teach kids how to read deeply and then have intellectually engaging discussions. It all starts with a combination of interesting text, instruction in smart-reader strategies, and an explicit understanding of what skills are needed for a good discussion.

Texts and Lessons for Teaching Literature contains the best and most engaging short literature for young people, along with a collection of new, step-by-step lessons that guide students into, through, and beyond these texts. Sometimes it seems as though the same 50 short stories and the same 15 poems are anthologized over and over. But there are plenty of other works of great literature out there, if you know where to look. To plan out what selections would be included in this book, Smokey and Nancy logged many hours of emails and calls, trading and reading aloud great short pieces. The reading selections gathered in Texts and Lessons for Teaching Literature cover the genres of short story, poetry, drama and the novel.

With over three dozen innovative, Common Core-correlated lessons selected for their literary quality and student engagement, Texts and Lessons for Teaching Literature can help save you hours of prep time looking for mentor texts and compiling lessons that match the reading strategies you’re trying to teach. Engage and empower your students while promoting joy in reading!

In Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading, authors Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and Nancy Steineke have compiled more than 75 of their favorite articles from sources ranging from the New York Times to Rolling Stone to the Chicago Art Institute. Each of these reproducible, kid-tested nonfiction texts was chosen for its subject-area relevance, its interest to teens, and for its “wow factor”—the texts most likely to engage kids in discussion and debate.

Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading includes 33 simple, ready-to-go lessons that can help you deepen comprehension and support effective collaboration. Step-by-step lessons accompany each text, including 23 strategy lessons that focus on at least one key comprehension strategy or collaboration skill that proficient readers use, and 10 text set lessons that offer deeper, longer engagement in the subjects and strategies at hand. By using quick and engaging activities that add to, rather than steal from, subject-matter learning, Smokey and Nancy show that you can turn your kids into much better readers in your subject field.

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Harvey “Smokey” Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs. He works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers. Connect with Smokey @smokeylit.

Nancy Steineke is currently an English teacher at Victor J.Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois. Nancy consults nationally as a keynote speaker, workshop presenter, and literacy coach for middle and high school teachers. She specializes in content-area literacy, nonfiction writing, purposeful close reading, literature circles, and student engagement. Nancy keeps the focus on manageable teaching strategies that best benefit students. She presents annually at the National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, and various state conferences. She is also an Illinois Writing Project leader. Along with Harvey Daniels, Nancy has organized and led over 50 multi-day residential institutes for teachers in locations around the United States. Connect with Nancy at @nsteineke.