• Welcome to Literacyhead!

    A Literacyhead is someone who is intensely serious about exercising creative literacy, making connections across multiple literacies, pursuing thoughtful literacy as an individual and as a teacher, and constantly searching for ideas. Literacyheads may have expertise in different areas of literacy, but all are committed to children's literacy, passionate about the arts, incessant thinkers, and display a propensity for having fun
  • What is Literacyhead?

    We wanted to help teachers nurture their creative lives while they meet the demands of high accountability to which they are subject. We saw that art naturally differentiates lessons leading to more student engagement and less time planning. We love children's books and art, and the connections between the two make us positively giddy.
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  • Vocabulary Lessons

    In our "Visual Vocabulary" we select five words from a featured book in our Reading Lessons and provide four images that illustrate the meaning of each word. In accordance with vocabulary research, three of the images are examples of the word's meaning and the last one is a "non-example." In addition, we present a definition simple enough for students to remember and really "get" what the word means.
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  • High-frequency Word Lessons

    Here we've created sets of images and discussion prompts designed to help you teach high-frequency words with visual art. Use the six images and accompanying sentences to make concrete connections to these abstract words. These lessons pair wonderfully with vocabulary words, reading lessons, and writing lessons.
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Our Blog

  • Writer’s workshop, a common instructional format for teaching writing, is based on the process in which “real” writers engage. A bedrock idea behind writer’s workshop is that these “real” writers take pieces of writing, usually on topics they choose to write about, through a series of stages–prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. The cycle is [...]

  • As the cold grips most of the United States, we begin today by asking you to imagine “unbearably humid” weather. (Does this ease the bite of the winter chill?)  If you were describing this to someone who had never before experienced it, what words would you use to help them understand what it’s like outside? [...]

  • On Monday, we posted a blog that described a couple of coaching contexts where we have worked in classrooms recently. As we work in schools, we are frequently reminded of the power of coaching in classrooms, and were pleased to see that, in its December issue, the American School Board Journal published a really thorough [...]

  • In this article “Personal Best”  from The New Yorker, Atul Gawande describes having some downtime while visiting Nantucket for a medical meeting. An avid tennis player, Gawande picked up his racket and headed to the court hoping to find someone willing to bat balls back and forth. The only person around happened to be a [...]

  • Like most, we have spent some time during the first few days of this month thinking about what we resolve to do better or differently in 2015. Returning to an idea we shared with you last new year, we have batted around words that embody the identities we wish to grow into.  We have basked [...]

  • If you were to draw your inner teacher, what would he/she look like? How does he/she feel? Excited? Nervous? Overwhelmed? In reading the work of Martha Beck–which encourages us to pay close attention to our emotions because they are our inner compass–we’ve discovered that our inner teacher’s emotions can serve as our teaching compass. After teaching, [...]

  • In our recent post Sending Children Off to do “Big Things,” we talked about how we are fueled by idealistic notions of helping children grow to become the kind of people who grow up to go off and do “big things.”  For example, we enjoy sharing with children Balloons over Broadway, a book about Tony [...]

  • Oh, sweet Washington, DC.  That was a great conference. While the sessions and the learning were inspiring, most inspiring of all were the connections.   On Friday, To Make a Prairie blogger and co-author of What Readers Really Do, Vicki Vinton, gathered together some of our favorite teachers/thinkers/fellow bloggers to present a session titled It’s Not [...]

  • We’ve been reading and studying Time journalist Amanda Ripley’s fascinating book The Smartest Kids in the World and How they Got that Way.  In this book, Ripley investigates schooling in three educationally high performing nations: Finland, Korea, and Poland.  In addition to carefully parsing apart the data revealed by the Program for International Student Achievement [...]

  • When the Common Core Standards were released, “close reading” was a nebulous term that left many not only seeking to better understand what it was and how it served children, but also wondering what it looked like in the classroom. Because discussions of the Common Core Standards placed such emphasis on close reading and most [...]