Four-Corners Reading Day

the ASK: It took me awhile to make sense of “reading days.” I know it sounds ridiculous, but I struggled to find the sweet spot between “teacher work day” (which I knew it wasn’t) and “stations” or “mini-lessons” (which I also knew it wasn’t). Ultimately, I didn’t...

Purpose Driven Discussions

the ASK: I’m constantly working towards creating more purposeful and authentic discussions in class. I’ve written about the way grading discussions don’t work for me and have offered other ways I’ve tackled this same question. I’ve wondered what a simplified approach...

Paint Chip Discussions

the ASK: I often have trouble determining how engaged students are in discussion. There was a point (long ago) when I tried to use some kind of graded discussion as evidence of participation and engagement. Largely, all I ended up with was something that felt more...

The Transition “Game”

the ASK: I noticed that in our writing and in our conversations, we were struggling to call on transitions. I wondered how we could practice these in a way that didn’t feel like an isolated lesson. the TRY: First thing on a Monday morning, I asked students to all...

Sentence Stems for Helpful Peer Feedback

the ASK: I’m constantly struggling with ways to help students give more authentic feedback to each other, whether it’s formal or informal. So, I thought about universal sentence stems that could help jumpstart their conversations. the TRY: I actually first tried these...

Vocabulary Families

the ASK: I never seem to have enough approaches to teaching vocabulary. Here, I wondered how I could get students to construct deeper understandings of words by seeing them as “families.” the TRY: I gave students a series of words that all had something to do with the...

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