As I reflect on the last year, it’s my books that have provided a sense of freedom and adventure while I’ve been in quarantine and felt socially isolated. My books have transported me through time and space in a year when I have barely left my home. They have introduced me to new people and presented me with new situations. Reading provides a beautiful escape from reality.

Several of the teachers I coach have asked about strategies they can use to engage students during the asynchronous time, so I wanted to share some reading resources I developed.

A Reading Adventure

A reading adventure invites students to select a book they want to read based on their preferences about genre and topic. The slide deck encourages students to think critically about their book to explore the characters and their relationships to one another, the impact that setting has on characters and events, the central ideas or themes emerging in the book, and unfamiliar vocabulary. The work students do asynchronously on the slide deck provides them with choices about how they want to share their thinking and serves as evidence of their asynchronous work.

Reading Strategies Choice Board

Teachers can create choice boards for various purposes, including a skill or strategy board. The beauty of a skill-based or strategy-based choice board is that students can use it repeatedly over time.

For example, I designed the reading strategies choice board below, which can be used any time a student reads a text. They can select the reading strategy they want to focus on and practice as they read and annotate. This choice board gives them the agency to decide which strategy to work on at any given moment.

English Language Arts Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are another way to get students thinking more deeply about the texts they are reading. Digital graphic organizers make it possible to give students the option to complete their work offline and insert an image of their work or use the features inside of a digital document or slide deck to complete the activity.

Daily Reading Record

If teachers have their students reading for pleasure each day, it is helpful to have a place for students to document and reflect on that reading. The week-long activity below presents students with a daily prompt to encourage them to share something about their reading and a place for them to track how much they read.

If you would like me to send you a copy of these reading resources, complete the form below.

26 Responses

  1. I love your ideas! I had taken your blended learning course but was still struggling implementing it a bit; however, these resources are very helpful!

    • Thank you, Arlene.

      Blended learning is a journey! It takes time and experimentation to make the shift. I hope the course and this blog support you in that transition.


  2. Catlin, I have really enjoyed not only learning more about Blended learning, but I am really enjoying sharing these tips and resources with my students. I have started my own online educational venture called Diversify Learning ( or @divsersifyedu on Twitter, and IG), catering and personalizing lesson plans to meet the needs of each student and their learning style. All of your podcasts, books, blog posts have been so helpful.

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of ideas, expertise, enthusiasm, and love for learning.

  3. It’s really awesome to get all these practical ideas that can enhance students’ learning and engagement. Over time educators too got well equipped with using technology in the classrooms.
    Thank you very much for the great articles, videos, and many innovative ideas.

  4. Catlin
    My middle school ELA teacher would like a copy of these resources. How can I access them or send them to her?

  5. Dr. Tucker,

    Thank you for being such an innovative educator. I’ve been following your work for years related to blended learning and you are the best! Can you please share those templates with me? We have a new middle school reading and writing initiative and these resources would be great!

    • Thank you for the kind note, David!

      My apologies. The form that I set up to share resources wasn’t live, but it is now. You should be able to access the reading resources.

      Take care.

  6. Thank you, Catlin for such great ideas. If you don’t mind, could I get access to the resources?

  7. Our district’s instructional coaches are focusing on your blogs today, and I chose to read this particular blog. I’m walking away with some great ideas on how our 3-5 teachers may support reading in a remote learning setting for our students. Thank you!

  8. I would appreciate access to these resources. I am an academic support teacher for students JK – Gr 2. I am in need of books!

  9. I believe, after using these methods and earlier efforts, an amalganation will dictate situational leadership/instruction.

  10. This is very informative but will take time to implement. I love it when my kids work together, but it is hard when you have unmotivated students that no one wants to work with, because they know they will be doing all of the work.

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