Blog

Keeping Students at the Center of Text Selection

Posted on June 9th, 2016 by Sara DeMartino and Anthony Petrosky

Personal & Culturally Relevant Reading In the Era of the CCSS

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 by Anthony Petrosky and and Sara DeMartino

Motivating Students to Read Whole Novels Before Studying Them

Poster on June 4th, 2015 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky argues that students benefit from reading whole books—as opposed to marching through them chapter by chapter—before they study them in class.

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The Faults in Frontloading Science Content

Posted on May 20th, 2015 by Rebecca Grainger

In this blog, Grainger argues the need to cease frontloading science content at the expense of building deeper conceptual understandings and developing skills important in and out of the science classroom.

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Getting to Know Us: Interview With Colleen Briner

Posted on April 21st, 2015 by Pam Goldman and Mica Jochim

Executive Director, Colleen Briner reflects on valuing a continuous culture of improvement, in both her personal and professional lives.

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Reasoning and Making Mistakes Like a Good Scientist

Posted on April 13th, 2015 by Rebecca Grainger

In this blog, Grainger argues the need to allow students opportunities to explain their reasoning to each other and to accept that errors of all sorts are common to doing real science.

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Text Selection for Literature Discussions

Posted on March 26th, 2015 by Vivian Mihalakis and Anthony Petrosky

Mihalakis and Petrosky argue that text selection as well as text based interpretive questions are critical for accountable talk literature discussions.

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Automating Feedback on Students' Writing

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky argues that our outdated factory model of education allows us to believe that formulas, templates, and automated feedback can replace students' needs to write something for someone and their need to have readers with repertoires of human responses to their works.

Reading To Write & the Common Core State Standards

Posted on November 11th, 2014 by Anthony Petrosky and Vivian Mihalakis

In this blog, Petrosky and Mihalakis argue for abandoning templates for writing and opting instead for having students write about and write like engaging, challenging texts that span the universe of genres.

How to Enable Student-To-Student Talk in Class

Posted on October 29th, 2014 by Anthony Petrosky and Vivian Mihalakis

In this blog, Petrosky and Mihalakis share a simple classroom routine for engaging students in talk among themselves on cognitively challenging tasks.

How To Develop Performance Assessments

Posted on October 15th, 2014 by Anthony Petrosky and Vivian Mihalakis

In this blog, Petrosky and Mihalakis explain the development and uses of two types of portfolios of students' work for curriculum embedded formative assessment along with a more traditional type of formative assessment that they refer to as drop-in. Their blog includes one-page guides that can be used to norm the development of performance assessments and to gauge mathematics and English/literacy tasks for their cognitive demands.

What Performance Assessments Do and Why We Need Them in Schools

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by Anthony Petrosky

In this blog, Petrosky makes the case of using performance assessments and portfolios rather than multiple choice tests of any sort.

Getting to Know Us: Interview With Deborah Jordan

Posted on June 5th, 2014 by Pam Goldman

Interview with Deborah Jordan, a member of the Institute for Learning’s Disciplinary Literacy Science Team.

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Getting to Know Us: Interview With Victoria Bill

Posted on April 7th, 2014 by Pam Goldman

Victoria Bill is the Chair of the Institute for Learning's mathematics Disciplinary Literacy Team. She talks about her work at IFL, mathematics, painting, and her love of puggles.

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Why Does Science Matter in the K-12 Setting?

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by Sam Spiegel

Spiegel makes the case for science education as a vital component for all students' education from Kindergarten through graduation.

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Getting to Know Us: Interview With Anthony Petrosky

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Pam Goldman

Interview with Anthony Petrosky, Co-Director of the Institute for Learning, and Associate Dean of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Getting to Know Us: Interview With Rebecca Grainger

Posted on February 17th, 2014 by Pam Goldman

Interview with Rebecca Grainger, a member of the Institute for Learning's Disciplinary Literacy Science Team.

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Getting to Know Us: Interview With Virginia Loh-Hagan

Posted on January 27th, 2014 by Pam Goldman

Interview with Virginia Loh-Hagan, the newest member of IFL's ELA team.

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Writing From Sources For CCSS ELA/Literacy Instruction

Posted on Apr 22nd, 2013 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky explains the importance of explicitly teaching students to use a repertoire of academic language for introducing, citing, and explain text references in their essays for the ELA/literacy CCSS.

Text-based Writing and Talk for the CCSS

Posted on Apr 10th, 2013 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky makes an argument for the ways that students' text-based talk and writing support each other in ELA/literacy CCSS instruction.

FAQ: What is the Role of Direct Instruction in a CCSS Classroom Environment?

Posted on November 27th, 2012 by Victoria Bill, Sandra Campo & Pam Goldman

Bill, Campo and Goldman discuss the role of direct instruction in the CCSS mathematics classroom environment.

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CCSS Success Requires District and School Leaders to Have Powerful Strategies for Improving the Instructional Core - Here's How to Get Started

Posted on August 29th, 2012 by Patricia Magruder

CCSS Success Requires District and School Leaders to Have Powerful Strategies for Improving the Instructional Core—Here's How to Get Started.

The CCSS's Emphasis on Mathematical Understanding and Implications for Lesson Planning

Posted on August 13th, 2012 by Victoria Bill and Pam Goldman

Bill and Goldman discuss detailed and focused lesson planning for the mathematical understanding emphasized in the CCSS.

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Preparing Students for the PARCC Assessments: Or What Is Good ELA/Literacy Curriculum?

Posted on August 8th, 2012 by Vivian Mihalakis and Anthony Petrosky

Mihalakis and Petrosky describe what good ELA/Literacy curriculum needs to look like to prepare students for the upcoming PARCC CCSS assessments.

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The CCSS and the Importance of Assessing Students' Mathematical Practices

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Victoria Bill and Pam Goldman

Bill and Goldman argue that student understanding and use of mathematical practices can and should be assessed.

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The CCSS and Science Writing: What Science Teachers Should Care About

Posted on June 20th, 2012 by Deborah Jordan and Sam Spiegel

Jordan and Spiegel make the point that science teachers need to understand the CCSS regarding writing in the science classroom.

The PARCC Assessments, The Common Core State Standards, and Comprehension

Posted on June 15th, 2012 by Vivian Mihalakis and Anthony Petrosky

Mihalakis and Petrosky argue that understanding the gist of texts is a crucial scaffold to reaching the CCSS standards of reading comprehension.

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The CCSS and Teaching Math: Look for and Make Use of Structure. It's Important!

Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Victoria Bill and Pam Goldman

Bill and Goldman explain the importance of paying attention to the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice, particularly Standard #7, "Look for and make use of structure.

Background Knowledge & Close Reading

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Vivian Mihalakis

Vivian Mihalakis maintains the debate about the role of background knowledge in the CCSS misses a key point that it depends on the text and the purpose.

What Does The PARCC Assessment Blue Print Signal for Teaching and Learning?

Posted on May 24th, 2012 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky addresses what the new PARCC assessments suggest will need to change in ELA/literacy instruction.

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Close Reading, Background Knowledge, and Historical Documents

Posted on May 21st, 2012 by Anthony Petrosky

Petroksy argues that context for historical and scientific documents matters immensely. A sentence by sentence close, literal analysis of these documents runs the risk of losing the complexity of the documents being read.

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Another Perspective on Close Reading, the English/Literacy Common Core State Standards, and Evidence-Based Explanations

Posted on May 7th, 2012, edited on May 16th, 2012 by Anthony Petrosky

Petrosky makes an argument for using a full range of learning repertoires. When readers work with a repertoire of text-based studies, the grain size of the close readings can be adjusted by the kinds of questions being asked and the standards being enacted by those questions.