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

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  237 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
"We have never seen teachers work harder than we do now. These tools inspire kids to work as hard as we are."
-Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts

What's 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.

Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 8th 2016 by Heinemann Educational Books
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Mary Lee
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good professional books fill you with new ideas. Great ones show you how to lift your current teaching to a higher level. DIY Literacy is a great professional book!
Gretchen Taylor
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
It's no exaggeration to say this is one of the most powerful, foundational professional reads in my recent memory. Kate and Maggie are thoughtful, experienced, and honest, and this resource has huge potential to lift the level of teaching and learning in literacy workshop. (Maybe workshop, period) this one makes me miss having a classroom of my own! Must read. For real.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I loved this practical guide to creating tools that work for students. Some favorite thoughts:
-we shouldn't repeat the refrain of "you should know this by now." We ask a lot of our students throughout the day, so if they don't remember what we teach, we need to examine our teaching and make changes.

-micro progressions help students see the path ahead and give practical examples of how to lift the level of their work.

-involve students in the creation of teaching tools. If a student is
Maria Caplin
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm so happy I read this book because I didn't understand prior the idea of the tools. As each one is presented in a context of a classroom situation I realized the importance of thinking about which tool and as important the power of differentiation within the toolbox. I'm also excited to be discussing this as our Grade 3-5 professional text this school year.
Beth Honeycutt
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has many great ideas for helping students become self-directed learners. So many differentiation ideas and practical examples!
Michele Knott
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So many take aways from this book!
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is helpful for balanced literacy teachers who have a firm grasp on the structures of balanced literacy and the concept of strategy-based instruction. If these ideas are unfamiliar to you, I would imagine that much of the content of this text will be unhelpful.

Maggie & Kate Roberts share four teaching tools--demonstration notebooks, bookmarks, charts, and microprogressions--that, if used well, can assist students in becoming truly independent.

Lots of images and clear, concise explan
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many good tips for differentiation in both reading and writing--especially with creation of micro-progression charts, how to make them and how to use them effectively in a variety of situations in the classroom.
Emily Freeman
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Easy to read, succinct, and insightful. I like how Kate and Maggie stick to the four basic teaching tools and then approach them repeatedly in different contexts. The companion videos are awesome and will make you love these ladies even more!
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such practical and effective strategies for creating literacy tools for mini-lessons, conferring, or small group instruction. LOVE IT!
Brooke Riley
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
An empowering book with many practical suggestions that I plan to implement when I make my conferring toolkit. Great resource!
Karen Szymusiak
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent professional book!
Melody Riggs
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked that this offered mostly non-tech driven strategies for my classroom.
Dr. Raye of Sunshine
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me four hundred years to read this, which is not because the book is bad. It’s because it’s summer and I had better things to do! :)

Alas it is a great book, even for a veteran teacher like myself. I’m pumped to use the tools they share with my students this year. Written in a friendly and easy to follow manner they walk you through each of their DIY tools in multiple ways. I think my favorite part was the focus on rigor and their acknowledgement that it does look different for every chil
Classroom 8
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DIY Literacy does a very good job of crystallizing what every literacy educator should know about the tools at their disposal. I appreciated the simple and clear ways it presented the different tools, how to use the tools, and how to make them. It’s quite inspiring and made it very difficult for me not to run to the nearest shop to purchase whatever I may need to make these tools. Huge thanks to Kate Roberts and Maggie Beattie Roberts for making tangible what is often left abstract.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
I gave this book three stars because it felt more like a handbook for new teachers. It would be invaluable the first few years of teaching, but in my 16th year I feel like I have a lot of these ideas covered. The best thing in the book is the demonstration notebook idea. It's one I can easily share with teachers!
Patricia Higgins
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great ideas for supporting students. This book moves beyond the idea of an interactive notebook and anchor chart as a reminder by asking the reader to consider how students will use tools for learning. It's good stuff.
Alissa Monroe
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book for learning how to use common teaching tools most effectively in your classroom. Great tips for instant implementation. :D
Laura  Lit Lab
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literacy-teacher
One of my favorites! A very practical read to get you started on your own Literacy Notebooks.
Robert Straka
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Offers great advice for using tools within the classroom to advance students learning. My favorite chapter was the bonus chapter on forming strategies!
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent ideas! Good advice and ways to make these things a reality. Excited to try these in the fall.
Kris Patrick
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A nice way to stitch together so many of my favorite professional texts - Fletcher, Lehman, Harvey, Beers
Abby Landgraf
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
MUST read for any ELA teacher. Great strategies to use, especially with workshop model.
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
With three major teaching tools - the demonstration notebook, charts, and micro-progressions, this texts lays out the ways to use tools to improve retention of learning and increase access to content, increase rigor (which is defined as a behavior akin to engagement/flow), and to differentiate learning. I especially like the gradual release of the creation of the micro-progression. With defined criteria for three levels of performance, the routine continues with an "I do" for the first level, a ...more
Kimberly Wiggins
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THEM. Their analogies are great, suggestions real. At one point, they say the map is not the journey - and while they provide tools, they never forget that the teaching tool is not the destination. They narrowed it to a few teaching tools and really guide the reader through. It's a short book, but could take all year to master/ develop these tools.

I really appreciate it not only from the standpoint of a teacher, but as a reader. I thought about my own reading and writing and how I can be
Kimberly Mcdermid
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful practical guide for improving your classroom practices! Love the idea of micro-progression charts, guided practice notebook pages and student made bookmarks. The personality of Kate and Maggie come through and make it easy
to read and you know they've applied these strategies in their own careers. There are 8 webisodes on their website to accompany the book. I recommend the book to all classroom teachers, applies to all content areas and all ages!
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is transformative!! If you want ideas for already created anchor charts, read this book. If you want to learn how to make effective anchor charts, read this book. If you are looking for ways to help students remember what you have taught them in language arts, read this book. One of the best teaching books I've ever read (yes, very high praise!)
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-books
As awesome as I expected. I loved the focus on helping students develop independence in their work as well as all of the very practical advice for using these strategies in the classroom. While my school doesn't follow the reading/writing workshop model, I know I can use these tools with students to help them grow and to reflect on their own learning.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I like the way this made me stop and think. I like how this book gave me suggestions of things I CAN DO that support student learning. I can stop shaking my head and wondering, "what aren't they..." I like my new way of seeing and new point of view.
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