The Stenhouse Blog

Sparking Freer Thinking

Posted by admin on Feb 14, 2019 3:41:44 PM

"Quick writes integrate social emotional learning with literacy as students write to explore their beliefs, understandings, and perceptions as well as appreciate and accept the divergent thinking of others."

-Paula Bourque, author Spark! Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms

The Gateway to Literacy

Freeing Up Student Creativity

For Paula Bourque, author of the just-released Spark! Quick Writes to Kindle Hearts and Minds in Elementary Classrooms, “quick writing” is akin to “improv on paper.” This “low stakes, low risk” technique helps free up student thinking and creativity. Hear more from Bourque in this short video.


Developing Young Writers
Jeff Anderson, co-author of Patterns of Power, showcases his methods during this spirited student discussion of grammar and conventions. Check out a sampler of the forthcoming Patterns of Power Plus: Extension Lessons for Young Writers, for grade 1-5 ELA teachers.

Using Art to Invite Engagement
Mary Howard showcases five “gifts” from Trevor Bryan’s newly published The Art of Comprehension. Bryan’s “immense wisdom” and tools “swing a comprehension door wide open so that we can invite our children to enter a supportive thinking space where all ideas are welcome,” Howard notes.

Eight Ideas for Diverse Readers
Kari Yates and Christina Nosek, authors of To Know and Nurture a Reader, share their ideas in this blog post for managing students’ needs in a diverse class of readers. “It’s an ongoing journey of recognizing what’s going on, reevaluating what’s working, and adjusting as needed.”

Study Guide for Literacy Essentials
Find ways to deepen your understanding and application of Literacy Essentials: Engagement Excellence, and Equity for All Learners, by Regie Routman, with this new Study Guide. Consider forming a study group to stretch your thinking and raise new questions.

Five-paragraph Essay: “Two-edged Sword”
The formulaic five-paragraph essay gives Cathy Fraser pause. In this blog post, the author of Love the Questions: Reclaiming Research with Curiosity and Passion weighs in on the deleterious effect the formula has on student writing and reading complex texts.

Close Reading for Young Readers
In her new book, Little Readers, Big Thinkers, Amy Stewart shows primary grade teachers how to use close reading to help young students see that reading can be both meaningful and fun. Learn more in this Q&A.

Invitation to Mathematics

Quick Math Routines
Incorporating quick five-, ten-, or fifteen-minute number sense routines into each math class can help your students become more engaged and develop number sense that will last a lifetime. Jessica Shumway, author of Number Sense Routines, shows us how. Read more in this blog post.

Making Change Last

Ways to Train Your Brain


If your New Year’s Resolutions haven’t quite taken hold, Lisa Lucas, author of Practicing Presence has some tips. Read her blog to discover five strategies for making change last. “Make more of your desired behavior automatic by establishing routines,” she advises.


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