Sharing Student Success in Springfield

By Mal Keenan

Triple A

This is the first slide in a presentation I’m giving tomorrow with fellow teacher Jason Brogan at the Illinois Reading Conference. The annual conference is a fantastic opportunity to hear authors speak, listen to teachers share their classroom successes,
and learn from experts like Atwell, Wilhelm, and Fisher & Frey. The slide represents
our focus everyday which is reaching apathetic, alliterate adolescents, Triple A, through
literacy instruction. Journaling, book clubs, and inquiry groups are essential tools,
keeping students motivated and engaged. Reading aloud everyday is another powerful
tool that helps foster discussion and gets students involved. Along with student work,
sharing our imperfections, letting them see who we are, and making ourselves more
vulnerable and human builds trust and commitment among the young teens. Some
would say middle school kids are the hardest to teach and reach – I disagree – they want
to do well, but need to know we will show up with scaffolding to support their learning,
and encourage them as these adolescents take more responsibility for their academic

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