Welcome back! It’s time for our annual Summer Reading Club: 15 articles filled with new ideas, inspiration, and information to prepare you for an excellent 2021-22 school year!
Learn with Colleagues
Excited by something you learned? Confused? Have something to add? Learning happens best when we do it together. This year, each blog post is paired with a discussion prompt or question. Form a summer reading small group with colleagues in your school or join the conversation on Twitter and discuss these questions with educators across the country using #ATCSummerReading. You can also start a conversation with fellow readers by leaving a comment at the end of each blog post.
Increasing the diversity of authors, characters, and themes in student texts is an important first step, but it’s not enough. Brainstorm some lesson activities, features, and instructional practices that will ensure the study of these texts goes beyond representation.
Reflect on this quote from the article: “In designating power standards, educators make plain their bias that students can’t master all the standards.” What are other ways to focus instruction without limiting what students have access to?
This author suggests several activities to introduce themes of racial justice into reading and writing--which might you try? If you’ve tried some before, what challenges did you face and what strategies could you use to mitigate them in the future? If you were to try something new, what challenges might you encounter (and plan for) in trying to implement the activity in your school?
The author provides several examples of collaborative lessons that make use of Google Jamboard. Think about students in your class who tend to feel less comfortable contributing to whole-class discussions and activities. How might Google Jamboard encourage their participation?
The authors share that student engagement increased after implementing new, culturally relevant math lessons. Discuss what conditions they put into place to support this approach. Bonus: Explore the dataset linked in the article and brainstorm math problems for the grade(s) with which you work.
Reflect on this quote from the blog post: “Shifting from a traditional lens of assessment that may look for gaps in student understanding that can be “fixed” or using data to sort students and assign grades, to thinking deeply about how we can (through assessment) create opportunities to make student thinking visible and use data to plan intentional next steps that leverage the assets of students within our classrooms can be a challenging journey.” What makes re-envisioning assessment so challenging?
Consider the author’s claim that “there’s no prescribed way to do culturally relevant pedagogy. It’s an active practice—always changing to meet the needs of students in classrooms.” Is your school culture one that embraces change specific to students? What might that look like?
The authors share several student work examples--some of which have correct answers and some of which do not--but they assert that ALL these students are ready for grade-level work. Share an example (real or invented) of student work that features a wrong answer and describe how you would build on what the student does know to be successful with grade-level content.
Reading fluency is all about practice. To be able to understand if students are making progress, fluency practice must occur out loud, which can be intimidating for students struggling with reading. What are some strategies for helping students feel confident and excited about oral fluency practice?
The authors mention several accessibility tips that benefit from technology (e.g., hidden “opt-in” prompts for students who get stuck during an independent assignment). How might these look different or the same in an in-person classroom setting?