• Summer Reading Club 2021

    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.

    Article  Discussion Prompt
    You Have a List of Culturally Diverse Texts. Now What? 
    - Keenan W. Lee
    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.
    Solutions to Unfinished Learning in Math Must Go Beyond Academics
    - Chrissy Allison 
    Discuss how students’ self-esteem is impacted by unfinished learning, and what educators might do to rebuild their students’ self-confidence.
    Let’s Not Make Power ELA/Literacy Standards and Talk About Why We Didn’t
    - Kate Crist, Torrey Palmer 
    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?
    Textbooks: Who Needs Them?
    - Devin Evans
    What are you currently using for instruction? What are the pros and cons in your experience?
    Why Teaching Justice Through Reading and Writing Cannot Wait
    - Yvonne Thompson
    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?
    Google Jamboard: Connecting Students, Curating Thinking and Learning
    - Jim Bentley
    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?
    Writing and Implementing Culturally Relevant and Responsive Math Lessons
    - Nichole Campbell, Peggy Nayar
    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. 
    Why Re-Humanize Assessment?
    - Jody Guarino, Shelly Mymon, Christina Selstad, Michelle Sperling, John Drake
    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?
    Dismantling Academic Tracking in Mathematics
    - Shelbi Cole
    How are students assigned to math courses in your school/district? What implications does this have for the support they receive and the opportunities they may have later in their academic careers?
    Beyond the “Magic Bullet”: Lessons on the Integration of High-Quality Instructional Materials and Personalized Learning
    - Sue Pimentel, Cathy Sanford
    What are some concrete actions you could take in your own school setting to bring the Five Fundamentals discussed in the article to life in your classroom or school?
    On Hip Hop and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
    - Tara Martinez
    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 False Construct of Readiness in Mathematics
    - Ashley Powell, Kristin Gray 
    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.
    Are We Forgetting About Fluency?
    - Anne Lyneis 
    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?
    Improving Accessibility for All Students
    - Fishtank Learning 
    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?
    Not a “Math Person”? Teachers Should Tell You Otherwise.
    - Alisha Watts Burr
    Why is it important for students to see themselves reflected in examples of successful adults? How do stereotypes (positive and negative) shape what students are interested in?