Need ideas? Enjoy articles from the Mind Missions blog
Working Together (Again)
Whether working remotely or distanced from their peers, students have forgotten skills for working well with others. How can we help students to refresh skills
Supporting Social Skills
Distanced learning during the pandemic created gaps in student social skills. How can we support students as they rebuild and renew social skills in the
Key elements of building social-emotional health are learning to recognize and manage emotions. There are three strategies to support emotional management: emotional awareness, mindfulness activities,
Social Emotional Skill Recovery
This year has highlighted the importance of supporting social-emotional skills and emotional intelligence. Teachers worked valiantly in 2020 and 2021 to transition familiar routines and
Using Jamboard to Collaborate during Mind Missions
In Mind Missions learning, collaboration is central to our effort to build 21st century learning skills. Students need to learn to work in teams to solve
Building Executive Function
Building Executive Function Executive function is the set of skills that enable students to manage time and self-regulate learning. They are a set of essential
Distance Learning Tips
Distance Learning Tips Are you trying to teach in a distance-learning environment? The questions can be overwhelming. How do I get resources to my students?
Perseverance pays off. Just use these famous examples of flops to inspire perseverance. Mistakes are simply opportunities for learning. Bill Gates dropped out of college.
B+ (or Be Positive)
On cold January days, it can be tough to stay positive. If we can push through the gray days and attitudes to find positive energy,
Welcome Back from Winter Break
Returning from winter break can be difficult. Students (and teachers) are accustomed to sleeping in, following their own schedules, and relaxing. It can be tough
Supporting Civil Discourse in Classrooms
Most Americans believe that civility has severely declined over the past two decades. We hear stories daily about ridicule, bullying, and simple rudeness – and
Super Social Studies
“This is boring.” “Why do we have to learn this?” “My students don’t like Social Studies.” Why do students dread Social Studies and why
Creativity and the Internet
The information age has brought profound change to the delivery and volume of communication. Since the invention of the World Wide Web in 1990,
Promoting Public Service
Our communities depend on individuals that believe in public service. How can we inspire and nurture public service with elementary students? First, have a
Basics of Creative Problem Solving
What is Creative Problem Solving? Creative Problem Solving is a process of breaking down a problem, generating multiple solutions, and evaluating ideas for the most
Creative Problem Solving Strategies
Creative Problem Solving Strategies Students need to experience creative problem-solving opportunities to prepare for the 21stcentury. Adobe recently surveyed 2,000 educators and policymakers from around
More Facts than Fiction Please!
State and national standards are changing to emphasize the reading of more informational texts in elementary grades. In fact, Common Core standards require that 50%
Social Studies Matters Today
In an age when you can find facts about geography and history in your phone, some may wonder about the purpose of social studies education. Social
Moving to Learn
The growing field of educational neuroscience supports a critical connection between movement and learning. But this area of study is nothing new. Maria Montessori highlighted
What is student engagement? Student engagement is any learning strategy that requires the students to DO the learning; to actively engage in building understanding Why
Check out one of the latest articles from the Mind Missions blog here:
Reading for Readiness
by Susan Gallander
When we think about elementary reading instruction, we tend to think about fiction text. We reminisce about our favorite childhood books and novels. Our minds drift to happy memories of reading old and new classics such as the Little House series, Magic Treehouse books, and the Boxcar Children. Understandably, we want to share our love of these favorite stories.
However, we must be mindful of the increasing importance of learning to read non-fiction text. Informational reading is an essential skill. Yet, a 2006 report found that only half of the students taking the ACT were prepared for college-level reading. This data only represents students that intend to attend college. The problem is probably larger than this study suggests. In addition to learning how to read informational text, students need the background knowledge that comes from reading informational text. Studies suggest that background knowledge accounts for as much as 33% of the variance in student achievement. (Marzano, 2000)
Not surprisingly, the CCSS is now recommending that half of students reading should be informational by the end of fourth grade. By the end of their senior year, students should spend 70% of their reading on nonfiction text. This is appropriate. To function well in college and careers, students must become adept at reading and comprehending informational texts. We live in the information age. Adults are asked to comprehend more than 100,000 words each day using their ears and eyes. Children need to build skills to manage and analyze the vast amount of information they receive.
And students enjoy reading non-fiction, informational text. Students like to learn about the world they live in. They are fascinated by books about science, animals, and sports. They love to learn the stories of great people and events. In the process, they learn how to effectively read informational text, absorb critical background knowledge, and prepare for a lifetime of information. We just need to change our mindset to embrace a wonderful world of reading informational text.
Marzano, R. J. (2000). A new era of school reform: Going where the research takes us. Aurora, CO: McREL.