About a year and a half ago, I came up with the non-freaked out approach to Common Core literacy while driving home from a conference for edu-policy types in my state capital of Lansing. I was frustrated by the acrimony that seemed to suffuse the day’s sessions — there were politicians bickering with superintendents bickering with teachers […]

## On Common Core Text Complexity, the Triangle of Life, and the Freakout

My argument here is simple: you, the teacher, have control over text complexity for your kids. I’m definitely not saying all teachers have the same amount of control. Some teachers get to pick virtually every text their students read; others allow their students to pick nearly every text they read; and still others have all of their course […]

## “Help! I Need Appropriately Complex Texts for my Elementary and Middle School Students!”

If you are an elementary or middle school teacher who has ever perused my article of the week lists (disclaimer: Kelly Gallagher is the man who invented Articles of the Week), you’ve probably wanted to hurt me. This is because my articles are often a stretch even for my ninth graders (after all, the vocabulary difficulty of newspapers has remained stable […]

## Using the Efficient “Take a Stand” Strategy to Hook Kids into a Reading

Let me just start out with this: Erica Beaton (of b10lovesbooks.wordpress.com/#seekthebalance/my next door teacher neighbor fame) introduced me to this strategy (her version is much more sophisticated — see her explanation in the comments), and I’ve also seen something like it accredited to George Hillocks in Michael Smith’s, Deborah Appleman’s, and Jeffrey Wilhelm’s book UnCommon Core (which […]

## Here’s What I Know about Reading for Meaning Statements

If you used any of the articles of the week I posted this year (just to be clear, Kelly Gallagher is the originator of the Article of the Week strategy), you definitely noticed some changes to the format. I’ve written elsewhere about why I use Graff/Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say strategy with AoWs (here and here), but I […]