• 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

Burkins & Yaris
  •   Kim’s son, Matthew, now a junior in high school, is taking an acting class as one of his electives. His assignments have included things like carefully observing an animal for ten minutes and mimicking the way it moves, reflecting on discussions about consciousness and other thought-provoking topics, and most recently, watching a movie and… The post An Unconventional Writing Intervention appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Similar to the second blog in this three-part series, which clarified the term “next generation literacy,” this post clarifies the meaning of a word: agency. We adopted the word agency from Peter Johnston who, in Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning, explains that agency is the sense that we have the power to… The post What is agency? appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Today, we offer the second in a series of posts about questions that readers have asked about Who’s Doing the Work?. In particular, we offer some insights into the phrase “next generation literacy instruction.”From agency to automaticity, from fluency to phrasing, from schema to summative assessment, the language of literacy is chock-full of words that… The post What does the term “next generation” mean? appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Over the summer, several online discussions of Who’s Doing the Work? have cropped up, including the #G2Great group’s four week Twitter chat (Storify Links: read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading) the #HCPSRead group’s Twitter chat, and Lisa Maucione’s Literacy Teacher Book Club group on Facebook. We are very grateful to all of… The post How does Close Reading Fit Into Who’s Doing the Work? appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • How are you spending your summer? Over the last couple of weeks we have had the privilege of spending time with teachers so committed to learning and improving their craft  that they spend part of their summer attending regional conferences and optional professional learning provided by their school districts. The energy at these sessions has… The post Looking Forward to Seeing You at ILA Boston appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Like most readers of Slice of Life posts, we read books constantly. Almost every day, one (or both) of us reads something that we just can’t resist reading aloud. Kim just read aloud the text below, from Born for This, to Jan because she knew Jan would be excited about. Jan is particularly moved by stories of… The post The Urge to Read Aloud: “This Book Made Me Think of You” appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • The post #WhosDoingTheWork : Scaffolding vs. Carrying appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Once again, Jan has traveled to paradise to spend a week in south Florida working with Kim. We had decided to focus on deadlines for current writing projects and to take a hiatus from blogging this week. However, Jan’s husband wrote to her early today to tell her what Victor’s (Jan’s eight-year-old son) teacher did, giving… The post What the Teacher Did! appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Rich conversations support deeper understanding during read aloud, but sometimes time constraints can limit opportunities to discuss stories. We, along with a number of dear colleagues, have been collecting read aloud titles that are short, yet dense enough to support rich conversations. In collaboration with our Good to Great friends–members of our #G2Great Professional Learning… The post Short on Words, Big on Conversation: Quick Reads for Sparking Deep Discussions appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • The post #Who’sDoingTheWork: Core Beliefs Infographic appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.