Kristi Hemingway


Race, Gender, Equality, and More: Challenging Times and Challenging Conversations

Looking back on 2017, we—just like the rest of the country—have repeatedly found ourselves conversing over issues of race, gender, and equity.  Likewise, teachers and school districts are struggling with how to foster and facilitate safe and productive classroom conversations around these issues and other provocative topics—whether they come up in discussions of history, current events, or literature.

At Inquiry By Design, we always consider these moments—particularly as they relate to our ELA curriculum—as opportunities to engage and dig deeper into […]

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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

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 text? We’ve been interpreting, reinterpreting, and debating […]

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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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