DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence

By Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts

ISBN 978-0-325-07816-8 / 0-325-07816-5 / 2016 / 128pp / Paperback / Grade Level: 3rd - 8th

What is DIY Literacy? It’s making your own visual teaching tools instead of buying them. It’s using your teaching smarts to get the most from those tools. And it’s helping kids think strategically so they can be DIY learners.

“Teaching tools create an impact on students’ learning,” write Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts. “They help students hold onto our teaching and become changed by the work in the classroom.” Of course, you and your students need the right tools for the job, so Kate and Maggie share four simple, visual tools that you can make.

Kate and Maggie offer experience-honed advice for using the four tools for assessment, small-group instruction, conferring, setting learning goals, and, most important, helping students learn to apply strategies and make progress without prompting from you. In other words, to do it themselves. “It is our greatest hope,” write Kate and Maggie, “that the tools we offer here will help your students to work hard, to hold onto what they know, and to see themselves in the curriculum you teach.”


Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts—and Life

By Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts

 ISBN 978-0-325-05084-3 / 0-325-05084-8 / 2013 / 152pp / Paperback / Grade Level: 5th - 12th

In Falling in Love with Close Reading, Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts show us that it can be rigorous, meaningful, and joyous. You’ll empower students to not only analyze texts but to admire the craft of a beloved book, study favorite songs and videogames, and challenge peers in evidence-based discussions.

Chris and Kate start with a powerful three-step close-reading ritual that students can apply to any text. Then they lay out practical, engaging lessons that not only guide students to independence in reading texts closely but also help them transfer this critical, analytical skill to media and even the lives they lead.

“We see the ritual of close reading not just as a method of doing the academic work of looking closely at text-evidence, word choice, and structure,” write Chris and Kate, “but as an opportunity to bring those practices together to empower our students to see the subtle messages in texts and in their lives."


Heinemann Units of Study

Kate and Maggie are proud to have contributed to the Heinemann Units of Study, as part of their work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.


Header image credit: "Livros" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Farley Santos