Month: April 2016

The Singular They

One year, one of my students gave me a notepad as a gift. It said,

“A teacher never knows how far their influence reaches.”

I thanked him sincerely, though I was secretly appalled that this little notepad had gone through all the stages of being created, marketed, shelved, and sold without anyone catching the error. And he bought it in a store for teachers! Come on, people.

I waited for my next hour class to write the sentence on the board […]

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Picture Books with Secondary Students

Everyone Loves a Story

Here’s what I’ve found with tweens and teens. They love stories. And they love to be read to. Even when my middle and high schoolers were struggling or just stubbornly resistant readers themselves, I’ve never once in my entire teaching career had a student resist listening to a great story read aloud. I started using picture books in my classroom for all kinds of things, but mainly because we love them. They are beautiful and rich and […]

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Read-Alouds: Tips and Titles for Tweens & Teens

After last week’s Never Too Old For Read-Alouds post, we wanted to offer a few ideas to feed the read-aloud fire.


Host an all night read aloud like St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY. Students and their families gather for a sleepover each Spring, beginning Friday afternoon and continuing to midday on Saturday. Participants listen to classics read in their entirety. Sleep breaks are taken and literary food is served.

Read the first book in a series or the first few […]

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Never Too Old for Read-Alouds

Our January and March Newsletters listed our favorite picture books and juvenile literature. We offered these partly in response to the hot trend of using picture books, juvenile literature, and read-alouds in a variety of ways to increase literacy with secondary students. We decided to riff on that topic for a few weeks…

A few years ago I was teaching at a K-12 charter school. In my classroom, I taught everything from creative dramatics for elementary students, to Junior Great Books […]

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