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October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month. During this month, we celebrate the amazing stories of the many people who have overcome challenges associated with dyslexia to be more. Some of these people have gone onto to lead incredibly remarkable lives, people like Richard Branson, Pablo Picasso, Henry Winkler, Agatha Christie, Octavia Spencer, Tim Tebow and Steven Spielberg – showing that they are not defined by their diagnosis.
Whatever the reason for your leave, it’s not easy handing over your students to a new teacher. It’s even harder coming back after someone else has been leading the class in their own style. I recently returned to the classroom following maternity leave. Everyone was anticipating the transition but no one capitalized more than my homeroom students who took the opportunity to create their idea of a new normal for the classroom.
Henry Ward Beecher once said, a word is a “peg to hang ideas on.” A single word can conjure a host of meanings and associations. “Dyslexia” is such a word. In the last couple of years, well-known and respected researchers have been arguing that it is time to do away with the “D word.”
Let's get right to the point. Students are most interested in what they are interested in. In any classroom, the range of interests is infinite and changes whimsically. However, there are two things nearly every student is interested in: movies and music. That means movie scripts and song lyrics can be amazing reading resources in many ways.
What does it mean to “teach to the test,” and how is it different from “teaching to the rigor?” Many schools and districts give students round after round of reading and writing items that mimic the questions they will see on their state’s high-stakes assessment. Some educators believe practice makes perfect and, hence, more practice is better than less in increasing students’ odds for higher test scores.