• 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
  • As indicated by the subtitle, Who’s Doing the Work? is about teachers saying less so students can do more. That piques a lot of curiosity. People wonder about what it means to “say less so students can do more” and while it is nuanced in many ways, in simplest terms, it means this: letting students… The post Goosebump Moments appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  •   Like most areas of public interest, education is one of those topics subject to ongoing chatter about “what’s best” and “what’s most likely to reform or transform learning for all students.”  Exchange the words “how to teach reading” for the word “education” and you’ll find yourself raising the volume on the noise. Amidst such… The post Great Texts: Finding Love’s Signal Through All the Accountability Noise appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • In Readers Front and Center: Helping All Students Engage with Complex Texts, Dorothy Barnhouse makes the point that, while the creators of the Common Core Standards advise teachers to “employ professional judgement to match texts to particular students and tasks,” “the reality in classrooms is that the role of the students and teachers has been… The post Lexile Confounders appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • As we set (and write down) our short and long term goals, we inevitably work through the conventional thinking of writing our goals in categories, such as family, fitness, career, etc. There are a lot of ways to think about the areas of your life that need improvement. We’ve grappled with having too many categories… The post What’s in a Name? appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Not surprisingly, as we develop goals and plan for 2017, we are reading about goal setting. In 5: Where Will You Be 5 Years From Now?, Dan Zadra has blown us away with research on goal setting. He writes: “A goal is a dream set to paper. Don’t just think it–ink it. According to Dave… The post Are you among the 1%? appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • The beginning of January is one of my favorite times of the year. The process of reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I want to do differently or better to improve some aspect of my life invigorates me.  However, last year, when I reflected on 2015,  I discovered I hadn’t kept many… The post Thinking in the New Year (A Note from Kim) appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  •   One rainy day last year, while staying at a condominium at the beach, I took my two youngest sons to the indoor pool. There were two older women in the heated pool alone, deeply engaged in talking to each other. I said, “I apologize in advance for the ways we are about to change… The post Thinking in the New Year: A Note from Jan appeared first on Burkins & Yaris.

  • Recently, Kim sat at the kitchen table while her eleventh-grade son, Matthew, ate breakfast and chattered on about this and that. He landed on the topic of oral presentations in school and said, “Schools need to do more oral presentations. I think they don’t because kids really hate them, but I think they’re really important… The post When the Going Gets Tough appeared first on 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.