• 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

  • Beach Vector from Google Creative Commons (http://double-edged-sword.deviantart.com/art/Beach-Vector-60077213) Dear Friends, While we aren’t able to sit side-by-side in the sun, we are both at the beach for two weeks, coincidentally. The first half of our “vacation” we spent a lot of time working. This week, however, we want to spend time playing. So, we will get back [...]

  • Before you begin reading, take a moment and meet fourteen-year-old Suvir Mirchandani.  What began as a traditional, sixth-grade science project for fourteen-year-old Suvir Mirchandani resulted in findings that could save the federal government millions of dollars in just a few minutes! Mirchandani found that by switching government documents from Times New Roman and Century Gothic, [...]

  • After a recent day of professional learning in Ellicott City, Maryland a teacher wrote us the note above. Such feedback moves us because the heart of our work right now is helping educators meet the demands of accountability without sacrificing their highest ideals for teaching and learning. The professional learning day in Ellicott City included [...]

  • At the heart of the Common Core standards is a mission that has become as well known as the standards themselves: College and career readiness. No matter what your position or belief about this rally cry, most educators agree that the purpose of education is to serve students in ways that help them find success [...]

  • When the Common Core State Standards were first introduced, the rollout was accompanied by six instructional shifts. The second shift, “knowledge in the disciplines, ” popularized the idea that all teachers–including music, art, and PE teachers–are responsible for contributing to a child’s growth and development in literacy. These six shifts have since been condensed to three; [...]

  • Recently, we visited a kindergarten classroom to share one of Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie books titled Are You Ready to Play Outside? As we read aloud, we asked the students to pay careful attention to the character’s expressions and to think about how Gerald and Piggie were feeling based on the clues in the illustrations. [...]

  • Last summer, we wrote about Kim’s eldest son, Matthew, in our blog post Reading Power: You Get What You Focus On. Kim began reading aloud to Matthew in-utero and continues to read great books to Matthew, such as The Giver and Divergent. Great literature has always been a part of Matthew’s life, yet, much to [...]

  • In our post Solving Education’s Greatest Challenges: Unconventional Collaborations, we shared our fascination with nineteenth century French obstetrician, Stephane Tarnier, who found himself wandering through the zoo one afternoon during a break from his busy work at the Paris hospital across the street.  On the day that Tarnier visited the zoo, he paused at a [...]

  • As you might have gathered from posts such as Elevating Greatness, Learning Life Lessons from Books, and the title of our forthcoming book from Stenhouse, Reading Wellness, understanding how to live happy, well-balanced, fulfilling lives is an important theme for us. Looking to enrich both our personal and professional lives, we are always reading, listening [...]

  •   In November 2012, Dr. Atul Gawande gave a talk at Harvard University titled The Difference Between Coaching and Teaching.  In this speech, Dr. Gawande invites listeners to think about what makes some people good, or competent, at what they do and what makes others excellent.  At a time when the stakes have never been [...]