I love the work we do in schools!  I love working with students. I love working with teachers and coaches and principals. I love watching kids work things out on their own. I love watching faces light up when they figure things out and connect the dots on their own. I love engaging kids and their teachers in work that surprises them. Learning—real learning—happens when we expect kids to work on the kinds of things real people do in real life (e.g., read, take notes, talk, write, ask questions, seek answers) and when we give them the tools and the time they need to work on the work and construct their own understandings. I love what all of you teach me every day—some days it is truly astonishing.

The High Progress Literacy Website

We started the HPL website in 2014 because we know there are so many of you out there working on our shared goal of facilitating change to cause all students to engage in reading, writing, and researching in appropriately challenging text at least 75% of the time in order to learn content.  This goal is firmly grounded in research that continues to show that the time students spend engaged reading and writing appropriately challenging text across the disciplines is the highest predictor of student achievement in all subject areas, and the ability to read and understand complex text is the highest predictor of success in college and the workplace. So that’s what we work on. And that’s why we work on it. Because we know that developing the ability to read, write, and speak the language of every discipline is what really matters if we are to ensure that our kids leave school ready for college or career; ready for life. Through the work we do together in schools, you continue to help us at HPL to surface areas where you need resources to be successful in this work. Our website is designed to respond to those needs, providing you with those resources. We focus especially on resources that literacy leaders can use with teachers. So here we would like to introduce some of the new resources and features on highprogressliteracy.com. (Ta Daaa!)  

New Landing Page

The old one was getting, uh, old. So we made a new one. We like it better. We hope you do, too! You’ll see that the main menu has changed, too. A lot of the items that people didn’t use as much are gone at the top of the page, but are still accessible on sections of the home page when you scroll down.


New Reading-Writing-Researching Workshop Page

This has been a long time in coming. And we’ve only just begun. Our new RWR Workshop page is accessible from the main menu at the top. On it, you’ll find two (new) videos, an Introduction to the Reading-Writing-Researching Workshop, and Planning Time in the RWR Workshop. There is a Workshop Worksheet to use when you help teachers plan time (you’re welcome, coaches!) a five-day workshop planning form that you can make into a lesson plan book, as well as two workshop examples, one for science and one for ELA. We’ll be adding more. We’d love to hear from you about other resources you’d like to see on this page.

Preview the new landing page

Lots of New Texts in TextDepot

We started TextDepot several years ago because we heard from so many teachers that it is difficult to find enough quality texts aligned to your science and social studies standards. This is especially true in our smaller, more rural districts. So we started TextDepot as a free curation service for educators. We find stuff that aligns with your standards and put it in a folder for you. What’s new in TextDepot?

  • We have a curator! Her name is Rachel and she is awesome. She’s a former science coach, she has two Master’s degrees, she’s super smart and very nice. She is currently staying home and raising four sweet children under the age of six. Rachel was looking for a way to play, and she found it. She is our TextDepot Curation Queen. She is available to help you build text sets or find texts. Contact her on the TextDepot page.
  • We also have a lot more texts than we used to (because of Rachel). Check them out!
  • We are expanding our focus with text sets to other areas as well. For example, in one of our CATE schools, we have been helping to build resources for their health sciences classes. Although these text sets are not yet published on TextDepot, we do want you to know that we have much in process (and we’d love it if you’d like to help)!

The Big Books Project

We started the Big Books Project three years ago for the same reason: early childhood teachers had a hard time finding books to read with their K-2 students who are not yet able to independently read informational texts that teach content. So enter the Big Books Project: Teacher-created electronic big books that you can download, project to your Promethean Board, and read over and over again with your students. Oh, and you can print out copies of them as little books too. Did we mention it’s free?

What’s new in the Big Books Project?

  • Tracey Preston just shared a new book called, Hello Fall. Check it out.
  • I just added a new book on Veterans Day.

The New Norms for Learning in HPL

Turns out, we buried the lead when we came up with the New Norms. They have become a cornerstone of our work in schools. The New Norms for Learning represent the “new normal” for how we do things in HPL classrooms. Kids use text sets (see TextDepot) and focus questions drawn from content standards to browse, preview, closely reading, take notes, talk from notes, and write in order to learn. When these norms are used daily, kids get good at them in a hurry and teachers are successful in facilitating change to cause all students to engage in reading, writing, and researching in appropriately challenging text at least 75% of the time in order to learn content. 

What’s new in the New Norms for Learning?

  • The Previewing page got a facelift, and there are several new resources on it. Look for a new video and a new, updated anchor chart for Preview 1 and Preview 2. There are also lots of resources there for assessing previewing processes that you don’t want to miss, as well as Tracey’s awesome anchor chart for previewing in early childhood classrooms.
  • The Browsing page has a new video and an updated anchor chart as well. Check it out.
  • The Close Reading page has a new video called, The Power of Talk. It’s about how we use talk to learn and to monitor our learning during reading. Also, we have a new two-page anchor chart for Close Reading that better explains our approach here, that is, as a constant process of adjusting reading in order to make sense of ideas and concepts.
  • The Taking Notes page has a new video called Taking Notes on a Talk. This is about the ways we adjust note-taking when we are listening to a lecture or a video and have to get things down in real time. (A second video on Taking Notes while Reading is in production.)
  • The Talking from Notes page has a new video called (get this), Talking from Notes: A New Norm for Learning. The Power of Talk video is also posted on that page.

Mindsets Page

There is so much great stuff out there on mindset; we are not trying to position ourselves as experts here. We just want to bring attention to the fact that a growth mindset is critical for success in school, life, and the workplace, and that there is much that educators can do and should do to help kids to build growth mindsets and to support one another’s learning potential. We have curated some of our favorite videos about growth mindset and neuroplasticity on this page. My new favorite is the one I call Growth Mindset Swimmer. Watch it. It’s short. But watch out: it might make you cry. I also included the two items from the HPL Reflective Rubric for working on a Growth Mindset.

Shared Reading Page

Everything here is old, but still good, I think. I’d love to hear from you what you want to see here. Shared Reading and Repeated Rereading are powerful structures for any K-12 classroom. We have seen teachers do shared reading with high school kids—and they love it.

So enjoy the resources, and share, share, share!

Please tell your friends and colleagues about HPL. And let us hear from you! If you’re a member, log in and leave a message below. If you’re not, set up an account (did we mention it’s free?) and leave a message.