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Read This Book on Titanic Not That One

A Night to Remember (Lord, 1955) is listed as an exemplar text in Appendix B of the Common Core. It’s okay, but not stellar. Instead I would recommend reading Titanic: Voices from the Disaster (Hopkinson, 2012). It is a better exemplar of what 6-8th grade students should be reading. See my blog on Hopkinson’s book …Read more

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Review of Exemplar Text in Appendix B – Grades 6-8 – Oh, my!

So I’m reading all of the texts on the Common Core Appendix B Exemplar Informational Text list. My reading is focused on what makes these texts rigorous for a particular grade band, what makes them hard for students, what do we need to think about when students are reading texts like these with a lot …Read more

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Close reading anchor chart…but remember…

So…I’ve been getting a lot of questions about “anchor charts” for “close reading.” I’ve been hesitant because I don’t want students to consider close reading as a lock-step process. Close reading is the simultaneous orchestration of multiple skills, used fluidly and iteratively. BUTĀ there are potential benefits when we use an initial anchor chart as a …Read more

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Museums as Nonfiction Sources with Central Ideas

Ā  I’ve always found field trips frustrating. The students are very excited, but most of the learning is superficial. But what if we treated field trip locations as nonfiction texts that have central ideas? What if, while on a field trip to a museum, we did the kind of thinking we do to make sense …Read more

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Nonfiction Text Set – Labor Movement in Chicago

Since I work in the schools in Chicago, I think it might be timely to trace the history of labor movements in Chicago. The current teacher strike is part of a larger picture and long history of Chicagoans being at the heart of movements that have led to better working and learning conditions for everyone. …Read more

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Are you reading aloud non-narrative nonfiction?

Hey – I hope you have found time to read nonfiction to your students and are discovering the power of these books to pull kids into reading more. I have a question for you. What are some of the nonfiction titles you have been reading aloud to them? The Librarian of Basra by J. Winter? …Read more

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