In this episode of Teacher's Corner, Sara Kugler, author of Better Book Clubs is interviewed by her friend and colleague Grace Choi, an educator in northern Virginia. Listen in as Sara and Grace share their perspectives on the benefits of book clubs both in and beyond the classroom. Whether you're a book lover, a book club pro, or just curious about getting started with book clubs, you won't want to miss this.
In this episode of Teacher’s Corner, we tune in to a conversation between Matthew Kay and Jennifer Orr, authors of We’re Gonna Keep On Talking: How To Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Elementary Classroom. They discuss how they chose the book’s title, productive strategies for talking about race with young children, and what readers can expect in their new book.
In this episode of Teacher's Corner, Maria Walther and Karen Biggs-Tucker, authors of The Literacy Workshop, join Gina Picha, author of Conferring in the Math Classroom, to discuss the art of conferring across both literacy and math. They discuss the parallels between conferring in different content areas as well as teaching strategies that are specific to literacy or math.
I was recently chatting with an old colleague about our days teaching in New York City public schools today. “Ugh,” she moaned. “I hated teaching book clubs.” About a week later, I was in a meeting with a different colleague who said, “Book clubs just didn’t work for my kids last year.” Whenever I hear the same things twice, my pattern-seeking brain starts to go into overdrive. There was a common feeling here that I needed to explore and unpack. I sat with those comments for a couple of weeks and let them marinate. If I’m being honest with myself, book clubs were sometimes a huge struggle for me as a classroom teacher as well. But now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the difference between what I was trying to do ten years ago and what I’m trying to do now, I realize that it wasn’t the structure or “book clubs” that were the root of the problem. It’s that I had a narrow vision of what I thought book clubs were “supposed to” look like and be like.
"Teaching with text sets is not a luxury. It’s a possibility. It’s an approach to student-centered teaching that allows you to cover what you need to cover while engaging students in perspective taking and sense making. Because of that, it is both practical and aspirational."
In this Introduction to the forthcoming book, Text Sets in Action, the authors, Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes, tell us their "origin stories" that led them to write a book about how to successfully use text sets to carve a pathway through content area literacy. They show us how using text sets in instruction is both aspirational and practical in helping to create structures and contexts in which required learning can take place while going beyond what is merely required. They show us how this work allows for an integrated curriculum that will lead to working smarter, taking advantage of students’ interests, and customizing a curriculum that takes advantage of contemporary issues, values, and contexts. Take a look!