Author Conversation: Mark Overmeyer on his new book, Let’s Talk

We just posted the full preview of Mark Overmeyer’s new book, Let’s Talk: Managing One-on-One, Small Group, and Peer Conferences. We also had a chance to sit down with Mark during NCTE in National Harbor, MD, where he talked about his new book and about how peer conferences can engage students.

 


Add comment January 26th, 2015

Now Online: Let’s Talk

lets-talkKids love to talk about their passions and tell stories about their experiences. How can you transfer this enthusiasm to writing? And how can you use other types of talk–one-on-one and in small groups–to build trust, inform revision, and develop confident writers?

Veteran instructional coach Mark Overmeyer gives you five useful structures for making the most of talk in writing workshop in his new book, Let’s Talk.

In addition to the classic one-on-one student-teacher conference, Mark guides teachers on how to incorporate teacher-led small-group conferences, teacher-led public conferences, peer conferences, and small-group peer review conferences. Along the way you will pick up dozens of tips and examples–effectively giving feedback, asking better questions, assessment, meeting the needs of ELLs, conference & record-keeping forms, and more–that will help you become a better writing teacher.

Thoughtful and concise, Let’s Talk is now available for full-text preview!

Add comment January 23rd, 2015

In the Schoolyard: Exploring Books

We continue our outdoor learning series with Herbert Broda with a new post that includes some helpful book recommendations and activities for outdoor learning in the winter.

Using Books as a Springboard

moving-the-classroom-outdoorsWinter is a great time to explore books that could be incorporated into outdoor teaching. A few years ago I met Florence Milutinovic of Park Forest Elementary in State College, Pennsylvania who shared with me a wonderful way to incorporate outdoor learning into a unit about prehistoric life. Here is the activity she shared with me for Moving the Classroom Outdoors.

Florence takes her students outside and reads the book If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most to her second grade class. This whimsical children’s book entertains kids by showing dinosaurs in a modern day setting, catching lost kites and pushing away rain clouds. She then poses the question, “What if dinosaurs came to our schoolyard?” Students then draw pictures of what that might look like and also write about what they think might happen. Creativity as well as a sense of scale come out as kids write things like, “They would eat all the leaves” or “They would give children rides.”

As students continue to learn more about dinosaurs, Florence poses the question, “Could dinosaurs fit in our schoolyard?” She then cuts yarn to the lengths of various types of dinosaurs—the longest was 180 feet, while the smallest was three feet in length. The class took the yarn outside and held the various lengths to see for themselves where the various “dinosaurs” might be able to go on the school grounds. As a culminating activity, dinosaur “eggs” were hidden on the schoolyard and the class trooped outside for a new twist on the traditional egg hunt!

The dinosaur in the schoolyard activity is a great example of using the outdoors as a venue for learning. Although Florence could have read the book to students seated in a classroom, the concept of “dinosaur” and the scenarios portrayed in the book are enhanced by an outdoor setting. Simply talking indoors about the size of dinosaurs just doesn’t make the same dramatic impression that is created when twenty-five kids hold 180 feet of yarn and try to imagine the body that occupied such a large space.

schoolyard-enhanced-learningPark Forest teachers also suggested two books by Lois Ehlert as great springboards for outdoor activity and discussion. One is Leaf Man, a delightful picture book that tells a story with leaf collages that take the form of different shapes and animals. The book can inspire wonderful art projects using fall leaves, and most certainly makes children more aware of the variety, beauty and complexity of the autumn landscape. What a great precursor to a walk!

Planting a Rainbow is another Ehlert book designed for primary level children. The book is a perfect way to build excitement for planting on the school grounds. It begins in the fall and introduces children to several types of familiar bulbs that can be planted on most school sites. Beautiful pictures then show the springtime flowers that emerge from the bulbs. The book progresses to familiar annual flowers that can be planted as the weather warms. I love the last third of the book that shows the spectacular colors found in common flowers around the schoolyard and in home gardens. The color section would be a perfect segue into an outdoor color matching activity. I like to use paint chip samples (usually readily available from paint or home improvement stores if you explain that you are a teacher) and have children try to match the paint sample with something in the outdoors.

At the primary grades, there are hundreds of picture books that can create enthusiasm for outdoor exploration. Like the books described above, many books written for very young readers immediately and almost instinctively lead to outdoor activities.

If you are looking for a good source of current outdoor related books, the National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) website is good place to begin. NOBA is “a non-profit, educational program, sponsored by the National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University.” The program was founded in 1997 and includes a children’s books category. You can look at lists of book winners for every year since the program began. You can search only for children’s books and get a good listing of books that have been selected since the beginning of the program. At a time when traditional outdoor-themed books are being eclipsed by social issues and dystopian topics, the NOBA site provides a helpful compilation of books that emphasizes the outdoors.

Add comment January 21st, 2015

Now Online: 59 Reasons to Write

59-reasons-to-write“Writing with my students made me a mentor and a far better teacher. Because I was in the middle of the messy process, just as they were, I understood the feeling of wanting to finish but being stuck. I could relate to their fear and their failures–and that made all of our successes so much more to celebrate.”

The more you write, the better writing teacher you will be. But how do get started, find the time, and make the most of it to benefit your students?

Award-winning author Kate Messner draws on her popular summer writing camp (Teachers Write) and more than 50 professional writers to inspire you to write every day–on your own, or with a group of colleagues–in her new book, 59 Reasons to Write.

You’ll get a concrete framework for a writing program that can be used in any school, with groups of any size, led by anyone who wants to support teachers and librarians as writers and as mentors for the young writers they serve. Prompts and mini-lessons will hone your skills on organizing, characters, voice, setting, plot, pacing, poetry, revising, critiquing, and more.

If you’re ready to write (or write more), now is the time, and 59 Reasons to Write is the resource you need to start and sustain this essential part of your work as a teacher of writing. The book is available now, you can preview the entire text online.

Add comment January 16th, 2015

Here is why you write

We asked a simple question yesterday on Twitter: Why do you write? Here are some highlights from your responses. Keep writing and to get more inspiration go online to preview Kate Messner’s new book: 59 Reasons to Write: Mini-Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers.

1 comment January 14th, 2015

Preview now: Up & Running with the Daily 5


In their new video, Up & Running with the Daily 5, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The 2 Sisters”) take you and your staff into real classrooms where they work with teachers to demonstrate key components of the Daily 5 literacy structure, including:

• the 10 Steps to Independence;
• brain & body breaks;
• differentiating student choices;
• Math Daily 3; and
• strategies for “barometer students.”

The perfect companion to the second edition of The Daily 5, Up & Running with the Daily 5 is essential for any school starting or sustaining the structure used by hundreds of thousands of teachers to help students achieve literacy independence. And you can get five three-month subscriptions to The 2 Sisters’ Daily CAFE website for each video ordered by using the code 5FREE (valid through 3/31).

You can now purchase this video and all Stenhouse videos in streaming format in addition to DVD. Streaming offers access for an entire school from any online device, enables you to embed clips and/or playlists into your learning management system, and provides tracking/reporting features for PD leaders. Get details and a free 48-hour trial here!

Add comment January 7th, 2015

Stenhouse now offers streaming video

video-previews-cover-cropped

Stenhouse now offers video streaming—powered by our partner Kanopy—directly to your school, allowing teachers to watch professional development videos where they want, when they want.

For as low as $150 per title you can stream Stenhouse videos directly to your entire school! Or you can save up to 30% on a one-year subscription and 45% on a 3-year subscription when you purchase one of our ten collections.

With Stenhouse streaming you can:

 

  • Enjoy more than 75 hours of quality professional development
  • Watch videos anytime, anywhere, on any device
  • Embed videos, clips and/or playlists into any learning management system
  • Pull clips and create playlists of favorite moments with just a few clicks
  • Receive 30% off a one year subscription and 45% off a three year subscription
  • Access reports to track teacher progress

To sign up for a 48-hour trial or to find out more, just visit our website!

 

1 comment January 5th, 2015

Happy New Year from Stenhouse!

We are wrapping up another great year at Stenhouse and I want to thank you for following us along on our blog. I hope you found some interesting reading this year and that you will join us again in 2015!

Here are some of the highlights from 2014:

What were your favorite teaching and/or learning moments in 2014?

See you next year!

Add comment December 30th, 2014

Now Online: In Defense of Read-Aloud

in-defense-of-read-aloudSteven convinces us that reading aloud must be a cornerstone of every teaching day regardless of the age level, subject matter, or discipline we teach.
—Regie Routman

Should be on every teacher’s must-read list.
—Jim Trelease

What do you say to someone who questions the value of reading aloud to your students? How can you use read-aloud to teach reading and writing skills? And how can you enhance your performance to leave your students engaged, transfixed, and begging for more?

Drawing on the latest research, Steven Layne provides a convincing argument for reading aloud every day across the grades, and gives teachers practical advice and specific strategies in his new book, In Defense of Read‑Aloud. You’ll learn how to:

  • arrange the best seating plan;
  • select the best read-aloud;
  • prepare for and launch a new read-aloud;
  • plan for teachable moments; and
  • read with expression to maximize engagement.

Correspondence between teachers and noted authors Katherine Paterson, Lois Lowry, Nancy Werlin, Andrew Clements, and Ben Mikaelsen open each chapter, and the book is filled with reflections and book suggestions from teachers and prominent educators such as Brian Cambourne, Richard Allington, Debbie Diller, Doug Fisher, Kelly Gallagher, Linda Hoyt, and Donalyn Miller.

In Defense of Read‑Aloud will entertain, challenge, and inspire you to make the most of this essential literacy teaching practice. You can preview the entire book online now!

Add comment December 15th, 2014

Preview the full text of 5 new books

We just posted the full preview for five new books from our Canadian publishing partner, Pembroke Publishers. They are all available in print and e-book formats!
8301Q-Tasks
How to Empower Students to Ask Questions and Care About the Answers (Second Edition)
Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan
Grades 4-12 • 160 pp • Available now
$24.00 print • $21.60 e-book • $34.00 print/e-book bundle
Helps you develop a questioning culture and empower students to think critically, with 103 activities on curiosity, question types, building good questions, comprehension, opinions, interviews, surveys, writing, and more. The new edition incorporates technology tools and collaborative learning.
 

8299Exploding the Reading
Building a World of Responses from One Small Story, 50 Interactive Strategies for Increasing Comprehension
David Booth
Grades K-8 • 160 pp • Available now
$24.00 print • $21.60 e-book • $34.00 print/e-book bundle
A fascinating look at how hundreds of students respond to the same story, and how a variety of teachers at different grade levels tailor instruction using different modes of response such as text talk, role play, writing, and technology to improve comprehension.
 

 

82953-Minute Motivators
(Revised Edition)
Kathy Paterson
Grades K-12 • 160 pp • Available now
$24.00 print • $21.60 e-book • $34.00 print/e-book bundle
More than 200 simple, fun activities for any grade that will help you use “a little magic” to take a quick break, engage students, and refocus them on the task at hand. 150 of the motivators are new to this edition.
 

 

8298Stop the Stress in Schools
Mental Health Strategies Teachers Can Use to Build a Kinder, Gentler Classroom
Joey Mandel
Grades K-6 • 128 pp • Available now
$24.00 print • $21.60 e-book • $34.00 print/e-book bundle
You may not always be able to remove the source of your students’ worries, but you can employ the strategies in this book to respond in the most positive way and help kids calm themselves, become more resilient, and build their confidence, even during the most difficult moments.
 

 

8300Dramathemes
Classroom Literacy that Will Excite, Surprise, and Stimulate Learning
Larry Swartz
Grades 4-12 • 160 pp • Available now
$24.00 print • $21.60 e-book • $34.00 print/e-book bundle
Presents a set of games, activities, and resources based on 10 themes such as identity, bullying, fantasy worlds, and the immigrant experience. Each unit uses games and drama to make connections to a variety of literary genres and enrich your literacy instruction.

Add comment December 8th, 2014

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