Scholastic Teaching Resources

The Engaging Classroom

    • In Other Words

    The Twisted History of Snow White

    In 2006, a survey found that while only 24% of Americans could name two Supreme Court Justices, 77% could name two of Snow White’s dwarves.

    I find that disturbing. Not because the Supreme Court is more important than Snow White. I will, in fact, argue just the opposite.
    • Teaching Tips

    Use Movement and Music to Improve Language Arts Instruction

    Back in April I wrote a Teaching Tip in which I described what I consider to be the three most effective types of “brain-friendly” strategies that we teachers have at our disposal in our effort to improve student learning and energize the overall classroom environment—those involving movement, songs, and stories. I refer to this collection of strategies as the “3 Game Changers.”
    • Teaching in ACTion

    Scaffolding Close Reading of Text

    Justin StyglesJustin Stygles from ACT uses his highlighted and underlined books as starting points to teach close reading to his students.
    • In Other Words

    To Link or Not to Link, That is the Question

    A love/hate reading relationship has formed between digital reading on tablets and moi. I dearly wish one side would just finally pummel the crud out of the other so that I could at long last jump on one side of the fence as to how I feel about these things and simply move on with my reading life.

    • Teaching Tips

    Moo. Moo? Moo! Writing a Single Word Story

    For my latest children’s book, I gave myself the challenge of telling a complete story using only one word. I almost succeeded. On the final page, I needed to introduce a second word (and sharp-eyed students are quick to point out that there are four additional words used in the illustrations).

    • In Other Words

    Finding My Perspective in Unexpected Places

    “To read well is to take great risks, to make vulnerable our identity, our self-possession.” This is a quote by George Steiner. He goes on to say that the task of the literary critic is to help us read as total human beings. I feel the same might hold true for writers. To write well often means to take great risks and make vulnerable our identities. Sometimes we must lose our self-possession in order to write as total human beings. We must, in short, slip out from the comfort of our own skin and inhabit others’.
    • In Other Words

    Ending Bullying Begins With Us

    Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but today, parents and teachers are talking about bullying behavior and its effects on children much more than in previous generations. This heightened awareness around bullying is a good thing. Unfortunately, however, this awareness has come as a result of the now countless number of cases in which bullying victims have lost their lives...
    • In Other Words

    Writing My Wrongs for Victims and Bullies

    Students and young readers often ask me if I was bullied as a child. It’s a fair question, since bullying is a major topic in both of my young adult novels (BUTTER and DEAD ENDS), and it deserves an honest answer.

    Yes, I tell them, I was bullied. Sometimes, the youngest—and bravest—students will ask how I was bullied.

    • In Other Words

    A Safe Space to Embrace What You Love

    When I was in eighth grade, I loved things. I loved my friends. I loved Bad English and Poison. I loved reading David Eddings’ fantasy series The Belgariad and The Mallorean. One of these things was not quite as socially acceptable as the others, but I didn’t really know that. Or if I did, I didn’t really get it. I was, and am, a passionate person. I love out loud.
    • Putting Books to Work

    Putting Books to Work: TWERP

    Middle school boys have been waiting for Julian Twerski.

    In the recent novel TWERP, author Mark Goldblatt turns the bully paradigm on its head, giving us a gruesomely honest account of the middle school power dynamic.

    Many books have been written about the “mean girl” mentality and about bullying in general. Let's face it: teasing, ridicule, abuse, and the desire to belong are so rife in our tween years that practically no middle grade book would be complete without them.

    • Teaching Tips

    Going Back in Time Using a Daily Living Journal

    I’ve had some major breakthroughs with my students because they were able to express themselves more readily using a keyboard and computer screen rather than traditional pencil and paper. But, sometimes, it’s refreshing for us as teachers to take a step, or two, back to a time when all writing was done using a goldenrod colored stick labeled No. 2 and sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper.
    • Putting Books to Work

    Putting Books to Work: Gene Luen Yang’s BOXERS and SAINTS

    BOXERS and SAINTS is a two-volume work hot off the presses (September 10, 2013) from highly acclaimed AMERICAN BORN CHINESE author, Gene Luen Yang. AMERICAN BORN CHINESE was the first graphic novel to win the Michael L. Printz Award (2007) and was also a National Book Award nominee.
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