F&P 2016 Holidays


Teacher Tips


Free App from Heinemann


  • Daily suggestions from leading practitioners you admire and trust
  • Quick, actionable teaching tips that support instruction
  • Access to 30 days of prior tips so you can revisit a recent favorite or catch up on one you missed

Search for the Heinemann Teacher Tip in the App Store and the Google Play Store. 
Here are a couple of Teacher Tip examples that you might enjoy:

Literacy of Argument: Using Images as Evidence

Adapted from Argument in the Real World: Teaching Adolescents to Read and Write Digital Texts
by Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks 

The art of crafting an argument has drastically changed in the digital era. It has become much easier for anyone to make an argument via social media, personal blogs, or the comment section of an article. Today, arguments can be supported by images, and it’s important to teach students how images can be used as evidence. 

Try this:

Have students analyze magazine ads by answering the following questions:

  • What is the advertisement saying?
  • How do you know?

argument in the real world

Keep track of when students point out words as evidence in the ad and when they point out images. Then challenge them to find two more ads that use images as evidence.

To read more about Argument in the Real World and to download a sample chapter, click here

Explicitly Teach Strategies for Distracted Readers to Stay Focused

Adapted from Teaching Reading in Small Groups
by Jennifer Serravallo 

Try these strategies to teach distracted readers:

  • Place a bookmark or sticky note just a few pages ahead in your book. Concentrate on getting to that goal. When you do, take a break and say something to yourself about your book.
  • Place sticky notes every few pages in your book. When you read to the note, stop and jot a thought. Each time you read, put the sticky notes farther and farther apart.
  • When you catch your mind wandering, stop. Skim to find the last place you remember reading, Back up a few pages more than that. Reread.
  • Use a personal quiet timer to set a time goal for yourself.
  • Have a book in your baggie that can serve as a “break” read.


Use Interviews to Strengthen Students' Critical Thinking Skills

Learning how to conduct a survey or interview is an important skill in itself, and will also give students the opportunity to practice their reading, writing, listening, and critical thinking skills. When introducing interviews and surveys, consider the following tips:

  • Help students brainstorm what they want to know, then identify which questions will provide that information.
  • Have students test questions on each other to see which ones get the most useful information. This will show them how the wording of questions can affect the answers given.
  • Students should rehearse their interviews with each other.
  • When introducing the concept of follow-up questions, first model the practice with a student or another adult. Then encourage the whole class to ask follow-up questions, and finally have the students practice in pairs.
  • Remind students that during the interview they should be polite, listen instead of debate, take notes, and thank the interviewee for their time.


  • Refer to standards you are responsible for teaching during the whole process. By the time you have finished teaching the segment you will have addressed many of these points, as interviews and surveys provide good opportunities to practice reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking skills.
  • Have students use Elizabeth Robbins’s “Just One Thing Rule,” where they identify one thing they want to get out of the interview. Then they can construct their interview around that goal.