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Cross-Curriculum Literacy

bigstock-Young-smiling-student-using-he-48119156.jpgLet’s face it. Literacy is an integral part of being an effective citizen of society. Accommodations are sometimes necessary (and should be provided when required), but the most important skill you can encourage a student to pursue is literacy. Sometimes, you have to be creative when encouraging literacy. One way to do is by planning cross curriculum literacy. It doesn’t have to be complicated and overwhelming when the planning process begins. Similar to our students, you should build upon your knowledge and skill by providing a good foundation. Here are three ways that you can incorporate literacy across all curriculum areas.

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Halloween as Cultural Competence: A Spooky Strategy

halloween.jpgI grew up in religious schools that were skeptical of Halloween, but the delight of children to dress up as characters, animals, or haunts and solicit treats from strangers is difficult to squash.

Thankfully, most public schools have gone the way of Anoka, Minnesota (the first city to host a public children’s parade for Halloween- and self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World”) and host events themselves.

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Ideas for Struggling Readers

iStock_000006627042XSmall.jpgAs a school librarian, I often interact with frustrated parents. Whether in person, at conferences, phone calls or even when they see me at the grocery store they want recommendations for their child so they will enjoy reading or to become better readers. I gladly give them some exact titles, but there is a method behind my madness.  I am constantly reinforcing these ideas with teachers as well. Students need to READ so they can become better READERS!  I feel, it doesn’t matter so much as what they are reading, but they enjoy it.

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Getting Focused: Mindfulness in the Reading Classroom

sunset-691848_1920.jpgWith many things to distract student’s attention throughout the day, it can be challenging to capture and maintain students’ interests in learning. Whether it’s texting on the cell phone, wondering about private family issues, or physically going to and from work each day after school, our students are increasingly facing challenges that can supercede their learning experiences. If not managed properly, these challenges lead to academic, behavioral, and social problems within the classroom.  Lessons slow or stop, classroom management challenges rise, and overall productivity decreases. This is where mindfulness comes in, a strategy where students learn how to unclutter their minds and concentrate on a specific, relaxing topic–which could be nothing at all.

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Encouraging Reading at Home

Student_Learners.jpgSometimes, it can be like pulling teeth to get students engaged in reading. Any teacher that has set foot in a classroom knows exactly what I’m talking about. We don’t always understand a child’s reluctance to reading. It is an important skill and it can be a great leisure activity. The reality is that not all students will read for pleasure, but every one of them will read to gather information. How do teachers encourage students to read at home then?

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Critical Thinking Strategies for Practical Writing Ideas

Blog_Picture_11.pngWriting Workshop is a strategic approach that provides students opportunities to use critical thinking through the steps in the writing process. Expressly, students think critically about what they are actually writing through a planned process. Big Universe offers a variety of lesson plans that include a story from the library, and a plan for writing with a critical thinking component.

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Motivating Reluctant Readers

iStock_000000279695Small.jpgWe have all encountered students that proclaim they hate reading. Sometimes, students will even act out behaviorally to resist reading. Many teachers become distressed over this issue. You have to understand that it is not personal. It is not necessarily your teaching that causes them to be unengaged with the reading.  Many teachers read for pleasure. It is difficult to grasp how someone could not enjoy reading. I was surprised the first time a student described that they did not see stories become “alive” while they read. It has been just words to them. I think this is an important difference in how people perceive reading. Some of us do enjoy reading for pleasure, but not all.  Everyone does, however, read for information. It is a critical skill to have as an adult. I teach my students that knowledge is power. I would love for them to be experts in their choice of matter, but more importantly, they need to know to read and understand application procedures, legal documents, and other materials required to become a productive citizen of society. How do you solve that problem?  

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