7 Ways to Get Kids Deeper into Text Right Now

All students are capable of thinking deeply about a text. But that doesn't mean it's easy. And often it doesn't come naturally. Sometimes it feels like if you can just unlock the right door for them, students will get to that deeper level... Read More

How a Simple THOUGHT BUBBLE Can Send Students Deep into Literature

When you read, do you ever think about what a character is thinking? This is not a trick question. You do, right? Of course you do. You may not even realize the extent to which you do it. If we slow down the process (like, The Matrix slow-motion slow), an experienced, engaged reader... Read More

Step In, Step Out: A Strategy for Thinking Deeply about Text

You're sitting at your guided reading table, your little group gathered around you, wide-eyed. Or are you the one who's wide-eyed? Sure, you know what you're doing, but maybe right now you're thinking your lesson plan doesn't fit the book like you thought it would. Or that maybe your lesson plan is just lame. Or maybe... Read More

Mapping a Character's Goals

Sometimes the problem in a story hits you in the face. Lost in the woods... BAM! Problem. Villain destroying the city... BAM! Problem. If you need to teach "problem and solution," stories with external, tangible problems can be a clear-cut way to do it. But the conflicts and struggles that go on within a character are often the most difficult to understand... Read More

Using Text Features to Understand Text Structures

My teaching has come a long way when it comes to text features. It used to go something like... "Oh, don't forget to look at the text features before you turn the page." And then it moved more to... "Let's see if we can identify what text features are on this page." And lately it's shifted more into... Read More

Tracking Readers in a Sustainable, Simple, & Significant Way

For a long, long time, tracking the progress of my readers felt like a ride on a huge swinging pendulum. I was always looking for a method that would work for me, yet I always settled on something either too complicated and fussy, or too open-ended and random, or just plain meaningless, all of which created this Bermuda Triangle of short-lived attempts at tracking my students as readers... Read More

How to Organize Your Reading Groups

Imagine yourself on two separate trips to a popular tourist destination, let's say... to Paris. Trip A is planned to the minute, maximizing your time, allowing you to see every landmark, statue, and sidewalk cafe recommended by your travel book. When you meet... Read More

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