All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Hot Topics in Adolescent Literacy

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Free Technology Tools for Student Research Projects

Talking about Free Tech Tools for Teaching Fractions

Implementing Blended Professional Development

Organizing Patterns in Mathematics

Reviewing: Making Changes in Writing with Technology

Thinking Aloud in Mathematics

Planning Your Blended Professional Development

A step-by-step plan blended professional development.

Blended Professional Development: Assessing Needs

The first article in our series on blended professional development (PD) provided an overview, drawing on the exciting resources and information available at PowerUp What Works. Taking the next step, here you will learn about ways to access the needs of your intended audience for blended PD which might include general and special education teachers, school administrators, specialists, and other staff.

A well-designed needs assessment will allow you to identify more specific objectives aligned to the short- and long- term goals of your district or school. What is the source of those goals? Are they aligned with the Common Core Standards, College and Career Readiness Standards, those of your state or local school district?

Clarity about overarching goals helps set the context for determining specific PD objectives in English Language Arts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), mathematics, science, social studies, history, technology, and/or vocational skills.

Rethinking Language Goals in Science with Three-Dimensional Learning

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Emily Miller and Rita MacDonald offer ideas for new ways to think about language in science instruction using a three-dimensional model of learning and numerous classroom examples.

Meeting Professional Development Needs Through Blended Professional Development

It's a given that high-quality, ongoing, and student-focused professional development (PD) is key to improving teaching and learning. But questions about time, adult learning needs, relevancy, and technology integration plague PD coordinators, team leaders, coaches, district and school administrators, and consultants. Recently, a growing number of schools are finding answers to these compelling questions by exploring, designing, and conducting blended PD.

The First Snowfall

For many English language learners, their first snowfall in the United States may be the first they have ever experienced. It can be a magical experience, and it can also be a little overwhelming — and cold! These resources are great for turning a snowy day into a memorable teaching moment.

Conducting Research

The ability to conduct research is a critical skill that all students need to be college and career ready. Across the country, it is common for students from the elementary grades through high school to be required to carry out a research project in English Language Arts (ELA), social studies, history, or science.

Word Analysis to Expand Vocabulary Development

Using Mathematics to Support Science

Understanding Word Problems in Mathematics

The Language of Mathematics

What You Need to Know About Reading Instruction in Spanish

Self-Questioning to Support Reading Comprehension

Using Visual Representations in Mathematics

Summarizing to Understand Text

Making Presentations with Multimedia

Using Context Clues to Understand Word Meanings

When attempting to decipher the meaning of a new word, it is often useful to look at what comes before and after that word. Learn about the six common types of context clues and how teachers can provide struggling students and those with learning disabilities with direct instruction in how to use these clues.

Connecting Word Meanings Through Semantic Mapping

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.

Interacting with Peers in Mathematics

Peer interactions can greatly benefit a student's understanding of mathematical concepts. To facilitate peer collaboration, teachers should pair students carefully, model effective ways to interact, provide students with relevant tools, and offer specific and differentiated advice. Struggling students may find it especially helpful to interact with peers who can provide explanations, clarify a process, and ask and answer questions.

Modeling with Technology in Mathematics

Models help promote mathematical thinking by facilitating an understanding of key concepts and mathematical structures. By seeing and moving objects, students engage their senses to better understand and reason with abstract concepts, or to make sense of — and solve — problems.

Visualizing to Make Meaning

By incorporating differentiated models, practicing visualization, and supporting your students as they visualize (drawing on principles for Universal Design for Learning), you can help your students learn to use all of their senses to engage with and imagine the world of a text, and to bring that world to life as they read.

Building Fluency: A Fundamental Foundational Skill

Learn about specific strategies you can use to differentiate instruction to help your students overcome fluency problems, as well technology tools that can support development of fluency skills.

Next Generation Science Standards: Offering Equitable Opportunities for ELLs to Engage in Science

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Emily Miller provides an overview of ways in which the NGSS provide ELLs with more equitable science learning opportunities, as well as considerations for implementing the NGSS with ELLs.

Opportunities and Challenges for ELLs in the Science Inquiry Classroom (Part 1)

In this excerpt from Chapter 4 of Becoming Scientists: Inquiry-Based Teaching in Diverse Classrooms, Grades 3-5, the authors describe some of the challenges that ELLs may face in an inquiry classroom and offer guidelines for identifying important academic language features, writing language and content objectives, and choosing appropriate strategies for students' proficiency levels.

Essential Actions: 15 Research-based Practices to Increase ELL Student Achievement

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Bright Ideas author Kristina Robertson offers an overview of WIDA's new Essential Actions handbook and shares a step-by-step process for using this valuable tool as part of a professional learning community focused on meeting ELLs' academic language needs.

Got a newspaper? You've got learning!

Just a few pages from your newspaper can be turned into lots of early learning activities. In this edition of Growing Readers, you'll find "letters and words" activities for the youngest, plus fun writing prompts and tips on how to read and analyze the news for older kids.

When Writing Is Hard

Let’s face it: Not all kids love to write. For some, every step of the writing process is difficult — including spelling, handwriting and getting organized ideas onto paper. In this edition of Growing Readers, you'll learn more about dysgraphia and how you can support your child's writing.

Supporting Very Young Writers

Preschool aged children love to write. Always in search of a marker or crayon, those early scribbles are an important step on the path to literacy. Parents and preschool teachers can support a writer's efforts in some very simple ways. And it's never too early to start!

Top 10 Resources on Spelling and Word Study

Learn more about the English spelling system, how spelling supports reading, why children with dyslexia and dysgraphia struggle, which words should be taught, and instruction that works.

Top 10 Resources on Reading Together

Find tips on how to read with your child from the time he is born, learn how to build comprehension and critical thinking skills during read alouds, browse our book-centered activity packs, and discover links to dozens of themed book lists.

Reading: The Perfect Gift

Reading is a wonderful gift! Books make wonderful memories — especially when you share them with someone you care about! For some ideas of book titles and other holiday gifts that will encourage your child to read, take a look at these suggestions!

IF kids code, THEN...what?

The new focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) includes efforts to get kids — even very young kids — involved in computer programming. Coding builds logical thinking and problem-solving skills. It's also creative and collaborative! Find out how you can introduce your child to the basic concepts of programming.

Supporting the Common Core Writing Standards

Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know the four "anchors" of the Common Core writing standards and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in all of these areas.

Reading Adventure Pack: Archaeology

Go on an archaeological reading adventure! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. (Level: Second or Third Grade)

Reading Adventure Pack: Government

Go on a reading adventure to learn all about our government! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. (Level: Second or Third Grade)

How Parents Can Support the Common Core Reading Standards

Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know what the four main areas of the Common Core reading standards mean and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in these areas.

Top 10 Resources on Back to School for Teachers

Get ready for a great school year. Discover ideas for planning a sparkling back-to-school night, creating a literacy-rich classroom that is welcoming to all students, establishing an effective 90-minute reading block, building parent engagement, and more.

Top 10 Resources on Back to School for Parents

Get ready for a really great school year. Find out what to look for during your school's open house and back-to-school night, tips for helping your child make a smooth transition from summer to school, how to establish homework routines, and even a booklist full of wonderful school-themed picture books to share.

Kids Who Blog

As the parent of a young child, you may think your child is too young to have his or her own blog. Here's your chance to reconsider that idea! There are several free blog sites that make it easy to get started. And writing for an audience gives kids a meaningful purpose — a reason to use their developing reading and writing skills. Here are some tips to get you and your child started.

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The Effects of Mandatory Retention

In many states, third graders who cannot read proficiently are required to repeat that year. This policy, known as mandatory retention, can greatly impact students' emotional and cognitive development. In an effort to reconcile the academic and social needs of young learners, this article addresses the pros and cons of mandatory retention, global treatment of the problem, and possible solutions.

Summer Literacy Challenge!

For most parents, it's a challenge to keep kids reading and writing all summer. Suddenly 10 weeks of summer can feel like a very long time! We've got 10 ideas to help make this summer full of fun, creativity and learning.

Children and Digital Media: Rethinking Parent Roles

Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and even our youngest children interact with technology on a daily basis. Find out what you as a parent can be doing to help your young learner navigate the digital world — you may need to reconsider how you connect with your child during technology use.

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