Teacher education

October 19, 2015

The popular fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes said,“it’s a capital mistake to theorize before you have the data.” Ben Johnston makes the same point when schools seek school success for struggling readers. He offers a solution for improving decisions whenever questions about providing reading accommodations seem more like a game of chance than a science. 

Subjective Decisions...

August 10, 2015

"Sophia's Dyslexia Fight Song," posted on YouTube by Lisa Grannucci on Aug. 7 (3.21 min.) is a video letter by a student with dyslexia to her 5th grade teacher. She makes a compelling case for instruction that is delivered this year so that she can succeed in school. Teachers not only need awareness, they need strategies, accessible educational materials, and instructional methods...

July 22, 2015

Free Webinars from well-respected sources are plentiful this summer. All found here advance the use of accessible educational materials and technology devices with learning supports. These go a long way to help students stay on grade, reach individualized education goals, and master district objectives and their state standards of learning. Accessible materials are the only way to close an...

June 11, 2015

We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) just launched a Booktalking Kit that is now available to download at no cost. The kit is comprised of 30 titles and helps to increase the comfort level involved in identifying, reading, and discussing books that feature diverse...

May 5, 2015

So many special education webinars, so little time. It is hard to choose. But, podcasts can be a short, sweet, and entertaining opportunity to inform teaching and learning.

Jump On In

When Sharon Plante uses her combined expertise of technology in education and learning disabilities for her #spedchat "Learning Differently" podcast interviews, the BAM Radio Network's Special Education...

January 22, 2015

Hopefully, all educators have New Year's resolutions in place to improve professional practice. "POWER Up What Works," an activity of the federal education department, is lending a hand by publishing five proposals by Judy Zorfass related to improving teaching...

January 12, 2015

With IEP "season" just beginning, says the National Center for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), two webinars are coming in February to help educators and families know the basics and determine a student's eligibility for alternatives during instruction when books in print are barriers to learning.

Alternatives to print help to assure that students with print disabilities are...

January 7, 2014

Is there a relationship between grammar and reading comprehension? Yes, says Timothy Shanahan on Shanahan on Literacy. In summarizing the research, Shanahan suggests "as students learn to...

August 1, 2013

Do you feel like you just got caught up with the iPod Touch and the iPad? You probably have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and can find your way around the App Store with ease. You're good, right? Well, not so much, if you take a look at the 2013 Horizon Report K-12 Edition. For the fifth year in...

May 6, 2013

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week! I hope every teacher out there feels the love they deserve during this week of national celebration. Big or small, I know each gesture is appreciated.

Rita Pierson, a 40-year teaching veteran, shares her teaching philosophy in a very touching TED talk,...

November 8, 2011

Classroom teachers are really busy people. It's often hard enough to keep up with the day to day demands of the classroom, without having to worry about keeping up with the latest research and scientific findings. Any more, it seems as though every product and curriculum out there touts their "research based" foundation. With all the hype about "research based," "scientifically based" and "...

March 23, 2011

Lots of May graduates are looking for jobs right now. School job fairs and district openings are full with pre-service teachers looking for their first teaching job. While these soon-to-be college graduates are busy worrying about what the interviewer might ask them, I've always encouraged prospective new teachers to ask a few questions of their own. I told my UVA students to realize that they...

October 21, 2010

It's funny the way things work sometimes. Over the weekend, my husband told me all about the making of an Old Spice commercial. Apparently the commercial was all filmed in one shot, which will surprise you if you watch it! Twenty-four hours later, I'm wandering through the blogosphere on a totally unrelated topic and find...

May 26, 2009

I don't know a single teacher who stops thinking and learning over the summer. Whether we're teaching summer school, doing curriculum development, taking summer classes or observing flowers and insects at the pool, there's a small piece of a teacher's brain associated with sharing information with kids that doesn't shut off (OK, there are no fMRI's to support that statement,...

May 4, 2009

Stories from a time when we had "more enthusiasm than commonsense" enable us to share a laugh. As Brenda Powers, editor at Choice Literacy wrote, the most memorable stories often begin with a failure — the bigger the better.

As school begins to wind down for the summer, I always remember one afternoon in May from my first...

November 5, 2008

As I write this blog on Wednesday morning after our historic presidential election, I'm struck by an article I read on msnbc.com. Howard Fineman summarized what he saw as Obama's seven-prong approach to his campaign that served him well.

It was easy for me to see how well these same seven prongs could serve schools and...

September 29, 2008

I recently reviewed Mindful of Words, Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8 by Kathy Ganske.

The book is a great resource for teachers and tutors who work with upper-level spellers. Based in developmental spelling research and vocabulary learning, the book helps teachers understand how...

August 26, 2008

Those were the first sentences out of Anna's mouth when she read her teacher assignment for this year. Out of 20 classroom teachers at our school, there's exactly one male teacher. He teaches first grade, and Anna got him!

She's thrilled, of course. All the kids know Mr. B. All the parents love him. "Gentle giant," they say. "A real calm presence." Sounds good to me. I'll let you know...

January 17, 2008

Continuing this month's Reading Rockets theme of reading and writing in the digital world, I thought I'd highlight TeacherTube. If you haven't seen it yet, it's YouTube for teachers. There are thousands of videos there, created by and for teachers. It also includes student projects and videos teachers could use for teaching. Viewers can see...

June 18, 2007

One the perks of working at Reading Rockets is that I get to review books and curriculum materials that we are considering adding to the Learning Store. I've reviewed several recently that made for very pleasurable professional reading. I thought I'd share two of them with you in case you're looking for something to read this summer....

Pages

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks." — Dr. Seuss