Use game design lenses to make your current curriculum more contemporary.

Try This Activity: Contemporary Curriculum with Game Design Lenses


Based on The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement

This blog post is also a self-guided quest on using game design lenses to make your current curriculum more contemporary. You, the reader, ultimately get to decide your destination and the impact that this will have on curriculum design, instruction, and assessment. We are going to lay out some thinking points, and you will get to apply them to your current curriculum. We invite you to share any “AHA!” moments that you have in the comments section, so we can collaboratively grow from each other’s ideas and expertise. Read more

7 Active Reading Activities for Students

Literacy is NOT a Spectator Sport: Hands-On, Minds-On Active Reading Strategies

Categories: Literacy

This blog post is based on the book 200+ Proven Strategies for Teaching Reading.

Whether we teach six- or sixteen-year-olds, we need to awaken the students’ brains to make meaning out of text and boost comprehension. What do good readers do? Our brains are actively predicting, visualizing, contextualizing, questioning, critiquing, summarizing, synthesizing, and applying how to use this information as we are reading.

As teachers, we need to unpack these skills for our students by providing opportunities to engage with texts that utilize these skills. The message is clear: awaken their brains for hands-on and minds-on reading. Read more


Revising Student Writing: An Instructional Tool for Self- and Peer Assessment

Categories: Literacy

This blog post is connected with the book (Re)Designing Narrative Writing Units for Grades 5–12.

To effectively revise their writing for improvement, students need guidance on how to critically examine their own and classmates’ papers to detect strengths and weaknesses. To aid them, create a revision sheet that functions as an instructional tool for self-assessment and peer review. It should be expressly designed for students to critique key elements of the genre they aim to produce and align with the writing checklist and rubric that reflect expectations and criteria for the task.

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When and How Often Should Students Discuss? (Small Groups, Big Discussions 8)

Categories: Instruction

This is the eighth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.

We know that employers want workers who can communicate well and work effectively in groups. We also know that the area of language arts includes speaking and listening standards. Yet, these speaking and listening standards often ride in the back seat with the reading and writing standards driving the work. Providing the skills needed in the workplace while building our students’ confidence requires making the decision to increase quality student-led discussion in your classroom. Read more