At any moment of the day, a variety of stimuli are vying for our students’ attention. Video games. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Texting. Facetime. The list goes on and on. Thus, in order for a kid to choose a book over all the other competing options, we must cultivate a culture of reading. Reading must be equally as “cool” as Fortnite. Period. Here are three tips for cultivating a culture of reading in your classrooms and schools.
Teaching is hard! As teachers we work with young people whose bodies are changing and causing them feelings that are difficult to understand.
Their minds are curious and questioning, including questions like, “Why is this important to learn? Will I use this? Why do I have to come to school?” Teachers are constantly juggling investing students in the learning, managing classroom behavior, creating a positive classroom culture, and teaching the content to kids with different abilities.
As English language arts teachers know best, teaching students to read is multi-faceted and incredibly complex. One of the best professional development (PD) experiences I have had was Close Reading led by Doug Lemov and the Teach Like a Champion team. At this PD they emphasized and re-emphasized the importance of text selection when teaching students to read.
As the polar vortex is creating record lows and cities are experiencing the harshest cold in years, be certain your classroom climate doesn’t mirror this event. Instead, create or infuse a climate of JOY in your classroom as we head into the spring. Think back to a lesson you were taught in school that you still remember. What did the teacher do to make it stick?
We began the “Data Series” blog posts emphasizing the importance of daily independent practice, then explored 5 concrete steps to ensure your lessons are aligned to state standards, and most recently the 3 types of meaningful data that will help increase results in your classroom. In the latest post, the second type of data discussed was daily classroom data: data that a teacher collects during the lesson in one class period. This type often helps determine who is on track for mastering the daily objective and who needs immediate remediation. The game-changing strategy used to collect data daily is where we will end our “Data Series” posts. Educators, allow me to introduce you to Aggressive Monitoring.
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” ~Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Raise your hand if you use intuition and a gut feeling more often than concrete data to make decisions.
If you didn’t raise your hand and you use data to make all of your decisions, then skim the rest of this post and leave a reply at the bottom with a how-to guide so that we can all become more data-driven humans.