Artfully Connecting School and Home

Artfully Connecting School and Home

Imagine the backpack of a student you currently have in class or perhaps (for parent readers) your own child’s backpack. Unzip that backpack. What do you see in the open? What do you see inside each folder? What do you see that intentionally connects school to this...
Simply Assign Complex Texts?

Simply Assign Complex Texts?

This blog post has been updated from its original version posted in 2013.  What makes a text complex? Is it the structure? Is it sentence length? Is it student motivation? Text complexity takes into account all of these characteristics and more. If we know that one...
Why the Read-Aloud?

Why the Read-Aloud?

Name this show. “Take a look. It’s in a book…” The title of the show presents itself in the next line of the song. We hear of “A Reading Rainbow” that promises readers we can go anywhere and be anything. When Reading Rainbow® aired in 1983, it was in response to...
Non-Fiction Articles Published by Lexile Levels

Non-Fiction Articles Published by Lexile Levels

The Common Core State Standards challenges us, as English Language Arts teachers, to shift the way instruction looks and sounds in the ELA classroom. One of those shifts is the attention to the staircase of complexity. We know that for students to be ready for the...
Was Life in the Middle Ages Really a Fairytale, Continued

Was Life in the Middle Ages Really a Fairytale, Continued

Guest Blogger Stella Baker is an English Language Arts teacher at Owsley County Middle School. She has been teaching in Kentucky schools for 29 years. Over that period of time she has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels, but has always returned to middle...