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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Filtering by Tag: complex texts

Behind BEES’ Big Boost

Becky Frutos

Craig’s goals for his school are bigger than his team: just eleven teachers and no assistant principal. How did such a small team manage to improve the school’s test scores by a whopping 4.2%—one of the largest positive percentage changes in New York City?

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The 3 keys to starting text talks

Becky Frutos

Text talks—those “book clubs” that help teachers plan instruction—represent a completely new approach to planning for most educators. Are you ready to try text talks at your school? Here is Fall Hamilton’s advice for implementing them as part of text-based planning.

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How I learned to love text-based planning

Becky Frutos

In this video, a 4th grade teacher from Fall Hamilton shares her perspective on what it was like to transition from a standards-based to text based approach to planning.

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Renaissance Charter School gives the gift of text complexity

Becky Frutos

The Renaissance Charter School in Queens, NY is doing great work around complex text. When you walk into different classrooms throughout the school, you’ll see first-grade students charting their stamina for reading, fifth-grade students reading and crafting their own memoirs, and sixth-grade students diving deep into texts and sharing their understanding with their classmates.

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 3. Quality and reflection matter

Becky Frutos

In this post, we want to share a case study of two Chicago teachers’ approach to using the open-source materials offered by the Vermont Writing Collaborative.  

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 1. Quality matters

Jeff Odell

We’ve all been there: You’re scrambling to prepare a lesson and you think, "Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s check the interwebs." You google your topic and…28,000,000 results pop up. How on Earth do you decide what might be worth using with your students?

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Rich discussions, better readers and writers

Jeff Odell

Discussion can act as a bridge between reading and writing for students. It can prompt them to articulate, refine, and build on their ideas; and listening to their peers can expand their thinking.

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Text quality matters for higher level understanding

Jeff Odell

If we want our students to be prepared for the reading, writing, and thinking they will do in the future, texts should be an essential component of what we think about when we sit down to create a lesson plan.

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Shifting to text-based planning brings exciting results

Jeff Odell

The Common Core standards clearly advocate placing texts front and center in planning and instruction. For many schools, transitioning to this approach in ELA has required a significant shift. 

Watch as leaders and teachers from Garfield Elementary School in Revere, Massachusetts share their experience making this shift. Their enthusiasm is palpable.

Ready to try this approach in your classroom? Here are resources to begin text based planning, and here is a quick refresher on focus questions.


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Our evolving approach to ELA data analysis

Jeff Odell

The Common Core’s emphasis on text complexity prompted us to change how we think about ELA data analysis, allowing us—and our partners—to draw stronger inferences about what students need next for instruction.

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