“It’s just good teaching.” While we’ve hopefully all been lucky enough to learn from at least one really good teacher, being a good teacher is definitely harder than recognizing good teaching, though that is a great place to start.
Within these last three years, the focus in Massachusetts adult education for ELA has been on scope and sequence, the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE), unit and lesson plans, and evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI).
While the emphasis has changed in response to federal and state imperatives, of course these topics are all important, all the time. Other areas may also be part of your quest to be a good teacher, such as (but not limited to):
- Recognizing and effectively teaching to learning challenges such as dyslexia, trauma, or executive function (haven’t you had a student who is disorganized no matter what they do?)
- Teaching ELA while also teaching Science or Social Studies
- Teaching with technology, but without reliable access to internet-connected devices in your classroom.
Check out these nine nifty resources, highlighted from among the more than 70 posted on the ELA website. Try a new learning opportunity this winter/spring. Join a conversation in the ELA PLC. What does "good teaching" mean to you?
Nine Nifty Resources
- What Is Evidence-Based Reading Instruction, and How Do You Know It When You See It?
- Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading
- Picking a text for your class goes beyond choosing a topic and grade-level equivalent (GLE); use these Rubrics for Qualitative Analysis of Text Complexity
- Compare how the CCRSAE instructional shifts in ELA and math can manifest in classrooms
- Teaching Strategies (“good teaching”) from Facing History and Ourselves
- Executive Function Interventions & Supports from the Landmark School
- National Institutes of Health curriculum supplements—teacher guides to lessons on the science behind selected health topics
- Movies in the Classroom—a few feature-length documentaries and associated curriculum materials
- Reflect & Connect—a blog written by practitioners in the field and members of our team
Evidence-Based Reading Instruction:
- Overview of EBRI; find sessions at ELA: All Upcoming Events
- EBRI: Diagnostic Assessment of Reading: The face-to-face sessions have all been completed. An online version is under development.
- EBRI: Alphabetics (online)—under development
- EBRI: Fluency
- EBRI: Teaching Advanced Readers
- EBRI: Comprehension and Vocabulary through Building Knowledge
History Made Memorable Through Multimedia (online)— Learn how to use three multimedia tools to create lessons that engage your students, even if you can’t access the web in your classroom.
The Recipe for Success: The CCRSAE and Instructional Shifts for ELA—Monthly online, self-paced mini-course; an excellent introduction to or refresher on the standards. Find sessions at ELA: All Upcoming Events.
A Different Kind of PD: Critical Friends
Critical Friends for ELA, coming soon, is a great opportunity for both experienced teachers looking for a collaborative way to stretch themselves, and newer teachers looking to expand their knowledge of how to actually use the CCRSAE in their lessons. Read about what Critical Friends meant to one of last year’s pilot participants. If you are interested in participating, contact Lakshmi Nayak (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Program-based PD and Support—ask Merilee Freeman (email@example.com) for:
- an EBRI or curriculum coach to work with your program
- program-based PD on topics such as teaching science at any level of literacy or exploring the CCRSAE for ELA while teaching social studies.