• Books,  Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf,  Reading Instruction

    How to Facilitate Deep Reading & Foster Biliterate Brains

    This is the sixth in a series of posts about Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. You can read the introductory post and find links to other posts in the series here. Before getting to Marynne Wolf’s final point in Reader, Come Home, I wanted to share some practical takeaways from the book. These are my own personal takeaways and I’ve divided them into two categories: Examining My Own Reading Life, and Imagining My Children’s Reading Lives Examining My Own Reading Life Since reading Reader, Come Home I’ve been ever more aware of my shallow reading tendencies. I experience continuous partial attention when I read on my phone, and that bleeds over to…

  • Books,  Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf,  Reading Instruction

    The Biliterate Brain: The Reading Brain of the Future

    This is the fifth in a series of posts about Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. You can read the introductory post and find links to other posts in the series here. So we know that deep reading is good and shallow reading is problematic, which begs the question…what do we do? Throw our phones in a lake? Raise our kids off the grid? Maryanne Wolf suggests a more balanced, more livable option. She’s the first to admit that we can’t go back in time, and wouldn’t want to. The goal, according to her, is to maximize the benefits of digital media and minimize the costs. She has suggestions for both the adult…

  • Books,  Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf,  Reading Instruction

    What You Need to Know About Digital Media & Shallow Reading

    This is the fourth in a series of posts about Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. You can read the introductory post and find links to other posts in the series here. “Will the quality of our attention change as we read on mediums that advantage immediacy, dart-quick task switching, and continuous monitoring of distraction, as opposed to the more deliberative focusing of attention?” maryanne wolf, Reader, Come Home In Reader, Come Home, Maryanne Wolf points out that while we may be reading just as much as ever (we may very well be reading more than ever) the quality of our reading has become shallow. She connects this to our inundation with digital…

  • Uncategorized

    What You Need to Know About Deep Reading

    This is the third in a series of posts about Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. You can read the introductory post and find links to other posts in the series here. “It takes years for deep reading processes to be formed, and as a society we need to be…vigilant about their development in our young from a very early age. It takes daily vigilance by us, the expert readers of our society to choose to expend the extra milliseconds needed to maintain deep reading over time.” -maryanne wolf, Reader, come home Deep reading comes down to time. Do we contribute the time and focus necessary to understand an author’s argument, to be…

  • Books,  Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf,  Reading Instruction

    What You Need to Know About Brain Plasticity

    This is the second in a series of posts about Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home. You can read the introductory post along with links to other posts in the series here. “The crux of the matter is that the plasticity of our brain permits us to form both ever more sophisticated and expanded circuits and also ever less sophisticated circuits, depending on environmental factors.” Maryanne Wolf, Reader, Come Home The above quote sums up brain plasticity. A more familiar way to say it is, “Use it or lose it.” A lot of what Maryanne Wolf has to say depends on the concept of brain plasticity. The circuitry of our brain…

  • Books,  Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf,  Reading Instruction

    Reading: The Canary in the Mind

    “Let us begin with a deceptively simple fact…human beings were never born to read.” -Maryanne Wolf, Reader, Come Home Maryanne Wolf loves words. She has a prestigious background in reading research, but it’s her use of words that betrays her true facination. She’s one of those people I would read no matter what she wrote about–dump trucks, ceiling fans, plastic. Fortunately for me (and for you reading teacher!), she focuses on a topic that is both dear and relevant: reading. In her book Reader, Come Home, she reminds us how the reading brain works, how it can be altered by digital media, and how we can help our students (and…

  • Digital,  Distance Learning,  TpT Tutorial

    Design A Simple Header for Your Next Google Quiz

    Distance learning is on everyone’s mind. It brings up a lot of questions for teachers and one of them is–will I be able to recreate the classroom magic via a computer screen? Sigh. I don’t know. While digitizing reading quizzes I’ve been trying to add things to make assignments more visually appealing. It’s a small thing, but absent bulletin boards, pillows, quiet places, etc. we’re really relying on the small things. One fun thing to do is design a themed header for Google quizzes (through Google Forms). I did this for my The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Charlotte’s Web quizzes. I like the way they turned out! I…

  • Emotional Intelligence--RULER

    How to Build a Happy, Emotionally Intelligent Classroom with the RULER Acronym

    We all care about our student’s emotional lives and we do things in the background to help them out–create a welcoming atmosphere, develop positive relationships with them, and help them develop positive relationships with each other. Marc Brackett’s book, Permission to Feel, contains an excellent tool for explicitly nourishing students’ emotional lives. The RULER acronym gives you a way to teach and talk about emotional regulation with your students. Over the last few months I’ve created a series of blog posts on the RULER acronym found in Brackett’s book. Here’s a round up of the posts: Intro to the Ruler Acronym Intro to the Mood Meter Help Students Recognize Emotions…

  • Digital

    An Efficient Way to Digitize Multiple Choice Quizzes

    Sometimes I try to imagine how many of us our out there, going through our files and digitizing everything. It’s a gargantuan task and I’m slowly learning how to make the process easier, faster and more foolproof. Lately I’ve updated a series of multiple choice assessments that are part of my The Girl Who Drank the Moon novel study, and I developed a few tricks to make the whole process smoother. Here’s how I’m digitizing my multiple choice quizzes for distance learning: Mise en Place First up, get everything ready. So pull up the quiz you want to digitize and create a new Google Form. Pull up the quiz. Then…

  • For Your Lunchbox,  Pencils Down!,  Recipes

    The Best (and Easiest, and Healthiest, and Fastest) Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

    There are two things that make me desperately wish I was a better photographer: My children, and… these muffins. I have yet to take a photo of these muffins that does them any justice, so I hope you try them at least once because this is one of my most treasured recipes. These muffins are tasty, fast, and relatively healthy. In Great-British-Baking-Show parlance they “check all the boxes.” And best of all? You only have to dirty one bowl to make them. 1 Bowl + 1 Fork + 15 Minutes = 12 Muffins To make these using one bowl, I begin by mixing flaxseed and water, then squish the mixture…