Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 3-5

About This Workshop

Asking Questions: An Interactive Guide

2. Looking at Literature

3. Starting Classroom Conversations

4. Classroom Dialogues

5. Using Art and Other Disciplines To Enrich Classroom Conversations

6. Beginning the Year

7. Many Students: Many Voices and Abilities


Key Points »

Learning Objectives »

Background Reading »

Homework »

Classroom Connection »

Teacher Reflection »

Ongoing Activity »

Additional Reading »

8. Reacting to Students' Work

9. The Professional Teacher

Site Map

Workshop 7. Many Students: Many Voices and Abilities


Jonathan Holden
"If I had a homogenous classroom with all the same kids, all at the same reading level, I'd be disenchanted. But every day is a new surprise with kids bringing to the table and discussions new material and new thoughts."

-Jonathan Holden, 4th -Grade Teacher,
Nathan Hale Elementary School,
Roxbury, Massachusetts

Diversity in American classrooms comes with many faces. While it may be tempting to think of diversity only in terms of ethnicity and culture, the term embraces many other characteristics as well, including economic backgrounds, language, ability levels, physical or emotional challenges, interests, and life experiences. Even in classrooms where the population appears homogenous, a tighter lens reveals multiple diversities invisible to the casual onlooker.

As a nation it is crucial that we learn to live with—and appreciate—these differences. While the complexities a diverse population brings to our classrooms present challenges, responding to those challenges may well be our most important educational responsibility.

The workshop teachers in this series believe that every child, no matter what his or her background or ability level, deserves to be in classrooms where he or she can and will learn—and thrive. In this video, you will listen as they discuss ways in which they work to create such classrooms—often through literature instruction—for their students.

For a complete guide to the workshop session activities, download and print our support materials.


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