Category: Reading


Texts as Tools for Thinking: The Topic is Not the Message

The study of literature presents interesting difficulties for teachers and students. More than most subjects, literature invites interpretation and introspection on the part of the reader—it raises questions, offers ideas for consideration, and challenges assumptions—and a text can be “difficult” for different reasons. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of dated language, but other times, the difficulty lies in the shape of the stories and characters themselves.

Inquiry By Design is not a “one-note” curriculum. Our texts contain selections that tend […]

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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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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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