Kristi Hemingway


Tee Up to Reading

Did you play any golf this summer?

A few years ago my niece gave me a mayonnaise jar full of silver golf balls (and some other stuff) for Christmas. It had a little story attached to it about a professor who filled a jar with golf balls and asked his students to tell him when the jar was full. When the golf balls reached the top, the students signaled him to stop. But then the professor picked up a box and […]

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Q & A on Independent Reading

Part 6 of The Independent Reading Series
(Originally posted on Sept. 23, 2015.)

In keeping with our independent reading series, we asked teachers from the districts where we work to share some of their ideas and responses to a few of the most asked questions about independent reading. Here’s what they said!

What are some ways you’ve found to inspire and motivate reluctant readers?

• iPads: Storia
• Raz-Kids
• Letting go of my “issues”—i.e. if Captain Underpants is what motivates them, so be it.
• Summer […]

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The Spiral Curriculum: Letting Go of Mastery

This post originally appeared on Feb. 11, 2015.

Although we debate about modes and methods, educators mostly acquiesce to the need to assess student proficiency. The problems start when, in the search for appropriate measures, we toss around words like “mastery.” As ELA teachers, we of all people should be aware of the importance of word choice. “Mastery” stresses us out because in teaching literature, what is it that we are asking students to “master” exactly? How does one master a […]

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Must-Read Books for ELA Teachers

Not exactly a list of “beach reads,” but if you are looking for a few books to enhance your teaching craft and knowledge this summer, these are the ones we find ourselves recommending, referring to, and quoting on a regular basis as we work with teachers around the country.

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and
What You Can Do About It
Kelly Gallagher

This is the book that we all agree every teacher should read. Gallagher meticulously lays out […]

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Metacognition and Self-Apprenticeship

“All apprenticeship begins with the instructor’s capacity
to describe the performance and/or product of the novice.”

I’ve used this quote often in talking about an apprenticeship approach to teaching, and somewhere along the line I’ve lost track of the source. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

In order to move any novice along a continuum, the expert must be able to describe to the novice exactly what she is doing, where her performance places her in relation to the […]

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