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Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters

Review by Laurie Thurston

It’s no longer about “best practices.” It’s about disrupting practices.

Authors Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst open their new book with two essential questions: What needs to change? What assumptions make that change hard? The goal of their work is to create a classroom culture that empowers readers to embrace struggle. The goal is not to make the work easy, but to create conditions that support the student during challenging moments in order to find their way […]

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The Power of Resilience

By Laurie Thurston

“No fake work” is the cornerstone of Inquiry by Design. And it’s within this mindset that I approach all learning with my students. The work needs to be authentic, relevant, and meaningful. There needs to be an end product: something the students can create that is evidence of the effort and commitment they made to learning. Not all of this needs to come from the texts and lessons crafted by Inquiry By Design, however. Teachers can take projects […]

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Support for English Learners

By Sarah Noble

I am in the midst of grading my 8th graders’ first interpretive paper of the school year. I am pleasantly surprised by what I see in the first few papers. My students are thinking deeply and engaging in the text based on the evidence they pull from the story. I breathe a sigh of relief, and keep slogging through the remaining 63 essays. The next essay is by “Johnny,” a low-intermediate English learner. He just moved here from […]

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Grounding in the Body Before Grounding in the Text

One of our most popular posts last year was Mindfulness and Interpretive Discussions, by IBD Professional Developer John Nolan. Along those same lines, we bring you this week’s post from another of our amazing Professional Developers, Bridget Evans.

I was recently in a fourth grade class co-facilitating a whole-group discussion about the main message in the book Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. Some students immediately began flipping through sticky notes where they had marked important quotes in the book. […]

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Mindfulness and Interpretive Discussions

by John Nolan

Last year, in considering classroom environment, I dug deeper into the concept of respect and the culture of restorative justice. Fortunately, I had a very helpful coach who had a lot of experience in building a greater culture of mindfulness and respect through practices related to restorative justice.

She explained that all humans have a need to be heard and respected. I agreed but knew that making it actually happen was quite challenging. She introduced me to the “restorative […]

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