Art has the power…

Art has the power…

When someone asks me why the arts are important to learning, I usually respond by describing my own experience in using the arts to excite learners. One such experience follows.  Here is the scene: A narrow, windowless room in an urban middle school, with twelve desks...
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...
CTL Staff Spotlight: A Passion for Adolescent Literacy

CTL Staff Spotlight: A Passion for Adolescent Literacy

The online bios of CTL staff members feature quotes that reflect each person’s passion or special interest within education. For Educational Programs Specialist Ashley Perkins, the quote actually includes the word “passion”: “Adolescent...
Not Your Mother’s Vocabulary List

Not Your Mother’s Vocabulary List

In the previously published blog titled, Teaching Critical Vocabulary, I outlined a simple way of thinking about changing the way teachers traditionally approach vocabulary instruction in all content areas, starting with careful selection of words with which students...

Was Life in the Middle Ages Really a Fairy Tale?

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...