How to Cultivate a Culture of Reading

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.

Collecting Meaningful Data to Drive Instruction

“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.

2 Elements That Must Exist in Your Teaching Practice

For K-12 educators, the spring semester is PACKED with state assessments, holidays, end-of-year field trips, benchmark or interim assessments (i.e., Common Assessments, NWEA, interims, STEP/Fountas & Pinnell/DRA), spring break, unit or module assessments, mid-module assessments, spring concerts or performances, and did I mention daily or final assessments? For many of us, simply reading this list is exhausting — imagine staying organized throughout the process! Due to the sheer amount of “goings-on” in the spring, in my first couple years of teaching, I often found myself planning day-to-day, having stacks on stacks of papers sitting to grade (thus mostly trusting my gut on daily mastery instead of graded evidence), and getting to the state assessment hoping and praying my children would do well.

I have some good news!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some best practices on MEANINGFUL data collection (what to collect, how to analyze it efficiently, making adjustments based on the data) and giving students feedback so that they own their knowledge and learning.