Equity & Access

Creating Connectional and Critical Curriculum, from Family Dialogue Journals: School-Home Partnerships that Support Student Learning

Authors: JoBeth Allen, Jennifer Beaty, Angela Dean, Joseph Jones, Stephanie Smith Matthews, Jen McCreight, Elyse Schwedler, and Amber M. Simmons Summary: In this chapter from Family Dialogue Journals: School-Home Partnerships That Support Student Learning, the authors discuss what they have learned from families and how family funds of knowledge became...

Green(ing) English: Voices Howling in the Wilderness?

Author: Heather Bruce Summary: Noting that “in literature and language arts classes at the secondary level, where we do not hesitate to study the impact of ethical mores in human lives, where we do not hesitate to teach respect for life, we have fairly well ignored our impact on the...

Wise Eyes: Prompting for Meaningful Student Writing

Author: Mary Ann Smith and Sherry Swain Summary: How can teachers create effective prompts that motivate students to show what they can do as writers? Focusing on purpose, audience, authenticity, and accessibility, the authors of this short book analyze existing prompts and provide guidelines for teachers in developing their own prompts...

Writing from the Feather Circle

Author: G. Lynn Nelson Summary: In this resource, a writing teacher from Arizona applies the Native American feather circle to the teaching of writing and describes her work teaching sections of first-year composition exclusively for Native American students. The feather circle focuses on speaking from the heart; in the classroom...

Courageous Conversations: Meeting the Needs of Racially and Linguistically Diverse Students

Author: South Coast Writing Project Summary: Although conversations about race and diversity are not easy, they can allow teacher leaders to examine and interrogate their beliefs and practices to determine the direction of their teaching and of their writing project sites. This article describes how the South Coast Writing Project...

Voces del Corazón: Voices from the Heart

Author: Dolores S. Perez Summary: Family Literacy Nights were created by teacher-consultants from the Sabal Palms Writing Project who partnered with two middle schools to reach out to parents and families in low-income communities. The article tells their story through examples and parents’ and students’ words (Spanish and English). It...

The Five-Paragraph Theme Redux

Author: Elizabeth Rorschach Summary: What are the constraints of teaching the five-paragraph essay? Rorschach argues that its preset format can lull students into nonthinking conformity and questions whether struggling writers need such a format to be successful. Dive into this provocative piece, complete with student writing excerpts.

Theory, Politics, Hope, and Action: Building Immersive Writing Experiences for Bilingual Writers

Author: Carole Edelsky Summary: This article is a great resource for study groups, inquiry communities, and professional learning of all types with a focus on English learners and writing. After introducing two pieces of “gorgeous” writing from fifth graders in a dual language classroom, Edelsky explains how this writing came...

Why We Need a #techquity Conversation

Author: Joe Dillon Summary: This blogpost introduces a foundational conversation for teachers interested in issues of equity, technology, and instruction and offers readers access to an ongoing discussion on Twitter about students as users of technology that has its own hashtag: #techequity. The post includes hyperlinks to a number of...

Book Review: Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work

Author: Britton Gildersleeve Summary: In the ever increasing focus on college-readiness, we can lose sight of connected learning, career-readiness and the joys inherent in making. This book review suggests that reading Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft will provoke important discussion about out of school literacies, what counts as learning...