One of the most commonly uttered phrases about literacy – “I’m not an English teacher, that’s their job to teach reading and writing” – really gets to me. In a negative way. How can we all not expect to use some form of reading and writing within our subject areas? Newsflash – we ALL use literacy, in ALL subject areas. No, literacy does not look identical from subject to subject but the foundations and skills are similar. Circa me five years ago, I would blame my students for not understanding a primary document or how to write a claim statement in an argumentative essay. Today, I’m obsessed with literacy and how to teach the concepts of writing. How do you go from a limited literacy teacher (like me circa five years ago) to one who not only exposes students to different forms of literacy elements but also constructs practical and applicable literacy skill building? Below are three of my favorite resources for building your literacy teaching skills.
Resource #1: Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)
Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a Gates Foundation program that focuses on bringing together free resources to help teachers effectively instruct students of any skill level, building level, and subject area on literacy elements. Sign up for a free CoreTools account to access a wealth of material and begin to build a library of instant literacy resources. One of personal favorites is the mini-task search – it allows you to search for small chunks of instruction for specific literacy based elements. The modules and collections are larger units of study and feel free to search for a content specific topic because there is bound to be a great literacy based instruction tool to use! Once you find something you like on the site, copy it to your library (simple function using the drop down menu) and modify for your personal and classroom needs.
Resource #2: The Thinker Builder
This blog is AMAZING! The tagline is “deep readers, bolder writers” and that goal is evident throughout the well-developed strategies. One of the most popular topics on this blog is the organizational strategies behind literacy blocks, book clubs, and other group activities. And with loads of freebies and printables, this is definitely a resource that you want to bookmark.
Resource #3: The SuperHERO Teacher
This is another blogger who has the most unbelievable and stocked Teachers Pay Teachers site with freebies that will make you feel like you’re getting away with a crime. Also, be sure to follow her on Facebook as she has contests, asks for feedback and suggestions, and offers amazing resources to her followers. I use the bellringers as my warm-up and her novel packages are gorgeous!
Don’t forget that my Pinterest is filled with loads of other ideas on how to apply more literacy rich lessons and teachable moments to your classroom and don’t forget to comment about some of your favorite literacy resources!