In case you missed it, here is a roundup of every blog post in our One Thing You Might Try . . . series so far.
Scroll to read about everything from how to motivate writers through blogging to teaching for social justice. We'll be taking the summer to work on part two of the series, but we'll be back in August. In the meantime, over the next few weeks, we will continue to share posts from the archives. Be sure to follow #OTYMT so you don't miss out on our back-to-school posts in the fall!
Rethinking Reading at Home
by Grace Choi
In this first installment in the One Thing You Might Try . . . series, teacher and parent, Grace Choi, gives us some creative ideas on how to help kids enjoy and succeed in reading at home. Grace is a Central Title I Literacy Resource Teacher in northern Virginia. She has spent her career teaching and coaching in primary classrooms and loves experiencing the brilliance of our youngest students. She believes that giving students choice is key to developing lifelong readers and writers.
Yeah, We're Living in a Pandemic: But We Can Still Stay Connected
by Jen Vincent
In this post, Jen Vincent, considers how pandemic teaching has affected the way we develop instructional relationships and shares a helpful idea for checking in with students authentically from six feet away. Jen is a 7th/8th grade English and Social Studies teacher for Carl Sandburg Middle School in Mundelein, Illinois. As the founder of Story Exploratory she provides opportunities for people to engage in identity work through guided exploration. She is a first-generation, Latinx, mix, #ownvoices writer.
It's Okay to Not Share Your Thinking
by Zak Champagne
In this post, Zak Champagne nudges us to reconsider requiring students to share their ideas and helps us reimagine what it means to participate in the distance learning or socially distanced classroom. Zak is a Lead Teacher and Math Specialist at The Discovery School in Jacksonville, Florida. He teaches in a multiage classroom with 1st and 2nd grade students. Zak has spent over 20 years in education learning about how students come to learn mathematics.
Shared Reading and Shared Writing: A Powerful Partnership
by Katie Keier
In this post, Katie Keier, offers a few ideas for maintaining the critical aspects of shared reading and writing during virtual learning and creating “Read it again!” moments for young learners—no matter what instructional setting you find yourself in. Katie is a kindergarten teacher in Alexandria, Virginia. She is the co-author of Catching Readers Before They Fall from Stenhouse Publishers, and she believes that learning should be joyful, playful and meaningful.
Exploring Our Names in the Virtual Classroom
by Janaki Nagarajan
Having conversations with students about their names can be incredibly powerful. Our names reflect our cultures, our families, and ourselves. In this post, Janaki Nagarajan writes about her class’s mini-unit of study on names—and why doing this kind of identity work is more important now than ever. Janaki is an early career elementary teacher in Seattle, WA. She loves learning about how children make meaning and aspires to center her teaching around student voice and choice.
Teaching for Social Justice Online
by Santasha Dhoot
In this post, Santasha Dhoot tells the story of her class’s voting rights unit and challenges us to make space for social justice work in our classrooms—whether they are in person or online. Santasha is a Punjabi Sikh first-grade teacher in the Greater Seattle Area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Masters in Teaching. She has a passion for educational justice and aspires to be a part of building an education system in which all students thrive. She loves learning alongside our youngest students and believes our future is bright because of them.
Embracing the Home Environment’s Role in Distance Learning with Young Children
by Natali Gaxiola
In this post, Natali Gaxiola, writes about reimagining the early childhood classroom online and the power of building a classroom community that celebrates both students’ home and school lives. Natali is a preschool teacher for the Lennox School District in Los Angeles County. She is a chapter co-author of Choral Counting and Counting Collections. Natali believes there are rich learning opportunities in any environment and children learn when given the freedom to explore.
Motivating Writers Through Blogging
by Dawnavyn James
In this post, Dawnavyn James, writes about blogging with her young students and how their self-directed use of the comments feature helped them to connect with each other’s ideas. Dawnavyn is an early childhood and elementary educator. She has taught kindergarten, fifth grade, and all of the grades in between. She graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education. She currently teaches kindergarten for the Columbia Public School District and this is her sixth year of teaching.
In Support of Independent Reading . . . Again
by Pernille Ripp
In this post, teacher and writer, Pernille Ripp, calls us to stay true to what we know is valuable, despite the mounting pressures that seem to continually demand our instructional time and energy—especially during a pandemic. Pernille is a 7th grade teacher, whose passion for student learning and reflective teaching shines through in her multiple books and essays. She is the founder of The Global Read Aloud and blogs regularly about teaching and great books.
Building Active Anchor Charts to Support Teaching and Learning
by Gwen Blumberg
In this post, Gwen Blumberg shares ideas for building anchor charts as visual scaffolds that can be easily implemented regardless of instructional setting. Gwen Blumberg is K–8 literacy leader in Greater Boston. She’s an avid reader who loves to share books with kids and listen to the stories they write and tell. She believes book and topic choice are essential ingredients for students to develop authentic reading and writing lives.
Amplifying Student Voice and Encouraging Action Through Art
by Paula Liz
In this post, Paula Liz writes about how her students are using digital art projects to make their voices heard and explore ways to make change in the world. Born in Puerto Rico and raised near Baltimore, Paula attended the Maryland Institute of Art where she received her BFA in Painting and MAT in Art Education. She believes in the power of student voice and community artivism. Paula Liz currently teaches elementary art at a two-way immersion school just outside of DC (in Maryland) where she continues her anti-bias, anti-racist art teaching.
Using Pear Deck During Remote and Hybrid Learning
by Victoria Thompson
In this post, Victoria Thompson shares a great technology tool that will invite your learners to share authentically—whether you’re teaching remotely, face-to-face or in a hybrid setting. Victoria is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation—a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools—a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE. She has been in education for five years and began her journey teaching fifth and sixth grade math and science in Summerville, SC. She now resides in Seattle, WA after completing her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
Learning to Let Go So Students Have Ownership
by Jennifer Orr
In this post, Jennifer Orr writes about her ongoing journey of letting go of control and shares some tips for making space for student ownership in the classroom. Jennifer has spent more than twenty years teaching and learning with elementary students from kindergarten through fifth grade. She currently teaches third graders at Fort Belvoir Upper School in Fairfax County, Virginia.