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Blogs About Reading, Writing, and Thinking With Adolescent Learners!

Hear from the field! We’re writing about the best practices in secondary literacy instruction, how to support literacy across disciplines, and support students’ curiosity and motivation. 


Blog: Decoding KidLit

Keiana Mayfield knows books are magical mirrors and windows that support adolescents’ social and cognitive development, but how do we get them to… read books? Keiana will be your guide. She will use her expert knowledge of adolescent development, family dynamics, academic functioning and motivation, and insane bookishness to help you through the labyrinth that is Kidlit. Together you’ll explore new and old titles that will captivate and intrigue our middle grades and young adult readers. She will provide you with potential discussion questions, themes to explore, and assignment suggestions. 

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Blog: LITerally Everything

Jamie Marsh knows that teaching literacy skills extends beyond a theory in a book. It’s hard work but it is also some of the most important work in the world. Using her broad scope of teaching both middle and high school students, she will show you how to squeeze literacy skills into any lesson across curricular areas.

Literally everything you teach can become rich with reading and writing with simple tweaks. Jamie has tips and tricks to help infuse lessons with reading and writing that are fun and approachable. How do teachers create moments of literacy in their room? Stay tuned to find out…

Head shot of Jessica Lander outside

Blog: Making History

Jessica is an award winning teacher and author who shares her experiences bringing history to life while supporting her immigrant-origin students’ development as readers, writers, thinkers, and community changemakers. Jessica shares classroom projects and instructional approaches that engage students to add their experiences and perspectives to the American story. Jessica is the author of Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education(opens in a new window)

Josh Lawrence

Blog: Reading Ways

Dr. Joshua Lawrence is a professor at the University of Oslo. His research interests relate to adolescent literacy development, second-language acquisition, hybrid learning, and improving instruction through coaching and leadership.

Josh and colleagues will provide insights from their ongoing support of state, regional and district literacy initiatives. All posts are reprinted with permission.


Headshot of literacy expert Timothy Shanahan

Blog: Shanahan on Literacy

Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan shares best practices for teaching reading and writing. Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs. All posts are reprinted with permission from Shanahan on Literacy.

Graphic novelist Gene Yang

Blog: Reading Without Walls

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 2006, his graphic novel, American Born Chinese — a memoir about growing up as an Asian American — became the first graphic novel to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. He is the author of the Secret Coders series and has written for the hit comics Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. In 2016, Yang was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. 

David Bruce Smith, founder and president of The Grateful American Foundation

Blog: Opening a Door to the Past

David Bruce Smith is passionate about history and knows the importance of engaging kids’ curiosity about the past. He is an author and founder of the Grateful American Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring enthusiasm in American history for kids and adults.