Academic Discussion Norms

Class Discussions That Run Themselves

What I Was Thinking… Much of my classroom instruction revolves around the fifteen cognitive strategies Carol Booth Olson describes in her book The Reading Writing Connection.  If you have not yet heard of Olson’s strategies, they name and explain processes strong readers and writers undergo as they build understanding. For specific details about cognitive strategies, click […]

Recommended! Outstanding Books for the College Bound

*This post was originally published in the course blog of INFO 266: Research and Discussion Forum I’m sure many teachers and librarians are well-acquainted with the Young Adult Library Association’s online list Outstanding Books for the College Bound, but you may not know there is a book by the same title. The book version expands on […]

Getting Started with Reading-Writing Workshop

This year I’m experimenting with a workshop approach to reading and writing instruction. In my mind, this means three things: Student choice in what they read and what they write. Time for students to read and write in class. Authentic writing tasks—Students write for real audiences and purposes. Logistically, trying a workshop approach means I’ve had to make major shifts […]

Are Engineering and Robotics the New Cool?

Bascomb, N. (2011). The new cool: A visionary teacher, his first robotics team, and the ultimate battle of smarts. New York: Crown Publishers. Summary: The New Cool tells the story of high school teacher and MacArthur Genius Award winner Amir Abo-Shaeer as he mentors a “band of high-IQ students” training to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Hailing from the […]

Eye See! The Eyes of Creatures from Bullfrogs to Buzzards

Jenkins, S. (2014). Eye to eye: How animals see the world. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Summary: Based on the premise, “Eyes are the most important link to the world,” Jenkins introduces the reader to a wide range of animal eyeballs, explaining the difference between types of eyes—from the  starfish’s eyespot to the camera eye of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Colorful and visually-appealing […]

A Mathematical Adventure in Angleland

Neuschwander, C. (2001). Sir cumference and the great knight of angleland (W. Geehan, Illustrator). Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. Summary: Radius, the son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, goes on a knightly adventure where he uses his knowledge of angles to complete his quest. Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Level AD450L*, ATOS Level 4.2, Flesch-Kincaid Level 4.5 *Lexile […]

Revolution: Historical Fiction from Different Perspectives

Donnelly, J. (2011). Revolution. New York: Ember. Description: Revolution tells the story of two seventeen-year-old girls: Andi, a high school student from modern-day Brooklyn, and Alexandrine, a Parisian street performer from the time of the French Revolution.  Andi’s family is recovering from a terrible tragedy, and because Andi’s mental state is deteriorating, she takes a trip to Paris with her […]