Write Now! Empowering Writers in Today's K-6 Classroom

The Engaging Classroom

    • 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.
    • Teaching in ACTion

    Notes from a Library of Congress Institute Fellow

    Karyn GlodenKaryn Gloden reflects on her time as an Institute Fellow at the Library of Congress in the first column in our new series from the Advisory Committee of Teachers.
    • Putting Books to Work

    Putting Books to Work: CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS

    IRA’s theme for International Literacy Day 2013 was “Invent Your Future.” The idea of “inventing your future” made me think immediately of George Washington Carver and Marilyn Nelson’s gorgeous verse biography of him and his life. The combination of Nelson’s poetic skills and Carver’s amazing life resulted in a magical work.
    • Teaching Tips

    Career Education in First Grade?

    In the not-so-distant past, teachers knew exactly what jobs they were preparing their students for. There were a limited number of careers available for graduating students, and the reading, writing, and numeracy we taught in schools prepared those students for all of these possible positions. We knew what the jobs would be, so we knew what skills our students would need.
    • In Other Words

    What Teaching for Career Readiness Looks Like

    What is your favorite subject? What is your favorite genre? What career do you imagine for yourself in the future? These are the types of questions we should ask our students at the beginning of every year, starting in kindergarten, to get a sense of their interests. Depending on their age, we can have our students draw a picture, compose an answer, orally communicate thoughts, or complete a written survey.
    • Putting Books to Work

    Putting Books to Work: ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

    In ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER, a young girl learns to follow her dreams no matter what else happens. Rosie Revere is a young girl who sees beyond the trash and finds treasure. At school, she is very shy and hides her talents; at home, when no one is looking, she makes amazing creations. She hides out in the attic and creates all sorts of gadgets until she’s too tired to continue working. Why does she hide her fantastic inventions?
    • In Other Words

    Teachers: You, Too, Can Present Like Steve Jobs

    With the recently released Steve Jobs biopic, Apple’s legendary founder and pitchman is back in our national psyche. We can all agree that Jobs changed how we view design and creativity by elevating the quality and tools of many of the technologies we use every day. He was also a natural showman, and his Apple speeches were must-watch events for Apple fans around the globe.
    • Teaching Tips

    Did You Say Citing Evidence Using Video Games? Incorporating Gaming in the Classroom

    Have you ever thought about incorporating video games into literacy and math? YES! You read it correctly: Video games. Literacy. Math. It all began when I was thinking, “How could I engage my students in learning the process of citing evidence, summarizing, evaluating material, and using problem-solving skills?” I determined the best way was to incorporate gaming into the classroom.
    • In Other Words

    Characters with Big Dreams Inspire Student Readers

    My newest science thriller for young readers, WAKE UP MISSING, has had me thinking a lot about dreams and goals lately. In it, four middle school students with concussions are sent to an elite head injury clinic at a former military facility deep in the Florida Everglades. But not long into their treatment, they begin to suspect that the doctors there are doing more than treating their headaches.
    • In Other Words

    IRA Student Council: Preparing Me for my Future as a Teacher

    Ever since I was a young girl, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. That’s the role I’d take when I played “school” with my older sisters. I come from a family of teachers; my mother and two of my aunts were teachers. At the beginning of each school year, I would help my mother organize and decorate her classroom. In high school, I was required to complete an internship program in the career field I was interested in pursuing.
    • In Other Words

    More of What’s Meaningful: Formative Assessments

    I believe that students today are over-assessed and under-taught. So would it be hypocritical of me to spend a blog post lauding the value of assessments? There’s an important difference between the multiple-choice, high-stakes, quantitative assessments and the kind that we need more of.
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