Thursday, July 11, 2019

Teachers, Make Room for Metacognition

July is here and depending on where you are, you are probably either getting close to finishing up a term before a school break or you are approaching a nice long summer vacation. Either way, the future is just around the corner. This is a perfect time to think back and think forward.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Grow Spectacular Readers: Read Aloud & Think Aloud


Many of you who are early-grade teachers are familiar with the practice of reading aloud and thinking aloud. However, unless you approach reading and thinking aloud with your students as you would approach watering your flowers in summer – regularly and responsively – the result will not be as spectacular as it could be. What does a spectacular reader do? When they read they want to “get it”. They know what they need to do to get it. If they don’t get it, they have good ideas for how to fix it. They engage – they ask questions, fill in the gaps, make connections, and grow all kinds of new ideas. They can do all this without the direction of their teacher.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tackling the Reading Comprehension Conundrum

In my last blog, The Reading Comprehension Conundrum, I wrote about factors, often not identified, that negatively impact comprehension instruction, particularly in developing countries. This blog will focus on one pivotal way to tackle the comprehension conundrum by making an alteration to the trajectory of teacher preparation.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Reading Comprehension Conundrum

The Reading Comprehension Conundrum

The blogs I will be posting will share teaching practices that have had a high-impact on teachers and their early grade literacy learners in Kenyan and Ethiopian low-resource schools. More specifically, I will focus on the critical space between teacher and student; the space where the magic happens or not. There are issues, however, that call for a lens adjustment – a wider lens for a broader perspective. This blog addresses one of those issues.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Thinking of 21st Century Education as a Double Helix* (*Two parallel lines that twist around their axis)

Reading the Brookings education blog, Education systems need alignment for teaching and learning 21st-century skills, left me wondering if the challenges it defines, encompass or omit the challenges that, I would submit, are equally impactful on the successful implementation of 21st-century education. The Brookings blog explains that assessment, curriculum, and pedagogy have to be aligned to bring about this new agenda that emphasizes critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, self-direction, effective communication and collaboration. Clearly, a piecemeal fix will not do. And yes, educators have lots to learn about what to teach, how to teach it and what evidence of students’ understanding teachers need to look for. However, when we watch teachers and students working with a 21st-century paradigm in mind, we realize there is another substratum at play that is crucial to the success of that undertaking.