Learning By Doing: Using the Arts to Enhance Reading and Stop Bullying

This is a guest post by Kathy Wade, CEO and co-founder of Learning Through Art. Her organization has developed five free resources to help caring parents, teachers, and community leaders bring the story of Chrysanthemum to their own learners.

Cincinnati Children's Representative Reading To South Avondale Class .png

At each mention of bullying, students folded their paper hearts until there was nothing left but a tiny, crumpled paper ball in their hands. They’d been instructed to fold in one section at a time, at each mention of bullying, during the read-aloud of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, a book in which the eponymous character is endlessly mocked by her peers for her unique name. At the end of the exercise they were asked to uncrumple the paper hearts and smooth them back out, but the evidence was clear: the damage remained. Students learned that the effects of bullying are lasting and irreversible. It’s hard to heal a broken heart.

This interactive exercise was a part of a 90-minute program designed to help kids recognize bullying, understand how their words and actions affect others, and coping strategies and resilience. We developed the program as part of a larger effort to bring performing arts literacy programs to under-resourced schools in Cincinnati to help students and their families learn and grow together.

As many as one in three students have been bullied at school according to StopBullying.gov. But research shows that caring adults and supportive school environments play a critical role in helping children identify, understand, and manage their emotions—an important first step in preventing bullying behaviors.

The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning

While bullying takes many shapes and forms, one identified cause stems from a lack of understanding of other people’s experiences. Social-emotional learning (SEL) can help equip students with the ability to manage their own emotions and experiences and learn from shared experiences with others.

Research supports incorporating social-emotional learning in schools through explicit instruction and across all academic subjects. One study investigated the long-term success of teaching SEL to all students, including those from low-income families, and concluded that effective SEL policies are key to reducing the education gap.

School leaders and educators are increasingly aware that providing a strong social-emotional learning program can foster students’ success. In fact, comprehensive SEL programs have been identified as the foundation for developing a positive school environment and helping to address some of the most challenging issues educators face today, including behavior issues and emotional distress.

Here are a few relevant articles that add helpful insights on these key topics:

Indeed, students begin to develop their foundational social-emotional competencies at a young age. There is no time to waste in helping each child develop healthy behaviors and learn to exercise empathy.

Intersection of SEL, Arts Education, and Academic Achievement

Leaders in SEL recommend that educators across all grades and academic subjects incorporate teaching social-emotional competencies—defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as self-awareness, self-management, social responsibility, relationship skills, and responsible decision making—into their classroom strategies. This is equally evident in ASCD’s whole child approach, with the goals of ensuring each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Addressing SEL and academics are not independent aims: they are each part of a comprehensive education. Studies have shown that students who establish core social-emotional skills experience significant gains in academic achievements.

Just as a whole-child education extends beyond mere academics, it includes much more than just “core” subjects on the academic side. The arts are a powerful vehicle for increasing students’ engagement with academic and SEL content. The creativity present in arts education unlocks learners’ personalities, makes them feel connected to their social-emotional competencies, and helps them develop important success skills for life.

To that end, my organization, Learning Through Art, teamed up with experts from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati to develop an anti-bullying program combining performing arts, reading, and drama to teach kids an important lesson about caring and resilience. Specifically, we knew that by integrating the arts into the lesson and giving kids the chance to create, perform and interact with one another, we could foster an active learning experience for children, so the lessons they learned would stick.

Here are three reasons to combine arts education with SEL:

  • Kids learn more by doing: When students are able to actively engage with learning materials and their peers, they are better equipped to take what they’ve learned at school and apply it to their experiences outside the classroom. Young children may have difficulty listening quietly and staying still throughout a read-aloud, but by tying experiential learning to curricular goals, students are able to make real-world connections at school.
  • Collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking: In practice, SEL combined with arts education fosters the 4Cs of 21st century learning. For example, after learning about the different types of bullying behavior, the students were asked to work together to re-enact Chrysanthemum’s experiences (creativity and collaboration) in order to identify examples of bullying and facilitate meaningful dialogue (communication and critical thinking) between children and caring adults.
  • Self-expression is amplified: Both SEL and arts education help equip students with the skill set to express their own thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Promoting avenues for self-expression is key to guiding students through a multitude of experiences in a healthy way. This is not only good for social-emotional development, but career development, as well: speaking skills, the very embodiment of effective self-expression, are desired by employers, but are not always taught in schools.

Final Thoughts

The growing emphases on SEL and the arts have come at a time when education is moving away from a traditional “one-size-fits-all” model or a focus only on academics, and embracing the need to support the whole child. By providing students with a platform to express themselves through a variety of arts-related activities and reflect on how their actions affect themselves and others, students are equipped with skills that will serve them well beyond the classroom.

About Kathy Wade


Kathy Wade is the CEO and co-founder of Learning Through Art, Inc. (LTA), the non-profit organization whose programs have impacted over one million participants by increasing opportunities for collaboration, arts education, artistic growth, community engagement, and economic development for the past 26 years. Kathy recently contributed a chapter to the book, Building People: Social-Emotional Learning for Kids, Families, Schools, and Communities. Follow Kathy and Learning Through Art on Twitter: @LTACincy 

Boys Will Be Boys

My son, appreciating the view of the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania

At one point in the school year, I was in my office with two different students, both males. A primary student was sent out of class because he refused to complete his math work. I helped him with the last part, which was challenging, although the student was fully capable. An intermediate student went into a complete shutdown in the LMC. He and another boy were playing tag in the library. After taking a break, he refused to leave, which led to climbing on windows, which led to threatening to pull the fire alarm, which led to…

Outside my office were three more boys. They had taken a snack off of a classroom table and then gotten into an argument with the teacher about who was the guilty party. When I attempted to engage in a conversation about what happened, lots of arguing and finger-pointing ensued. “I did not take that snack!” cited one student. “That’s not true – you were totally there!” a peer responded. Our counselor stepped in and helped them process through this situation and then write an apology note to the teacher.

Misbehaviors in school are certainly beyond a “boy” problem. Around the same time, two girls became very argumentative with the art teacher and were removed from class. Poor choices are not exclusive to one gender.

But after looking at our school behavioral data over the past three years, the results are clear: 4 out of every 5 behavior referrals are attributed to boys. The most common incidences involve physical aggression, disruption, and defiance. Why are they misbehaving? I’ve heard from educators in the past that “boys will be boys”. Is this a fair assessment? The fact that girls are now faring better than boys in school achievement leads one to believe that this is not just a boy problem, but rather an issue with the educational system as a whole.

When you combine this information with the unfortunate reality that higher academic expectations has led to more ADHD diagnoses, and that boys are more likely than girls to receive this diagnosis, a sense of frustration can set in. How do educators respond while still holding all students responsible for their actions? In addition, changing how school looks and feels for males can be a significant adjustment for teachers. It might involve giving up some control and allowing students to determine their own learning destiny more often.

My son, listening to an audiobook on our iPad

Designing school with boys in mind is also a departure from the historic role of school: To disseminate information and build basic understandings. If a school were to alter their approach for teaching boys, a priority would have to be placed on hands-on experiences, constructing knowledge at their pace, and not placing such a premium on assignment deadlines or the printed and written word.

The last part of the previous statement might rub literacy experts the wrong way. My position is in no way a condemnation of current literacy practices found most effective for learners. Rather, I am questioning the limitations teachers and school leaders set on students when reading text and producing writing. For example, how are digital tools being leveraged for this kind of work? A multimedia presentation, such as an interactive video, doesn’t have to replace the traditional report. In fact, the report could be a prerequisite for the digital-based task which could complement the original writing project. This could lead to a more robust performance task for a unit of study.

Another idea is to allow students to dictate their writing using voice recognition software. This circumvents the oft-cited complaint of boys that they hate the physical act of putting words on paper. This deficit is supported by research that shows boys develop more slowly than girls in fine motor skills, a critical skill for writing. Conveying that writing is more than just a piece of paper and a pencil might alleviate some of these frustrations.

I don’t believe educators have to think too hard or do any significant extra work by designing school with boys in mind. The most challenging aspect may be in rethinking our belief that many boys are not built for schools. Rather, we need to rebuild schools and make them more accommodating for how boys learn. The best part of this approach? That both genders would benefit from changes that would be made if educators more closely considered the needs and interests of males in the learning process. Offering appropriate challenges, lots of choice, reasonable accommodations, and opportunities to be active are strategies that allow for all learners to be more successful and less frustrated with school.

Five-Tool Literacy Apps for the iPad

If you are a baseball fan, you know what a five-tool player is. They can run, throw, play defense, hit, and hit for power. All-Stars such as Mike Trout, Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez would be considered five-tool players.

So what are five-tool apps for the classroom iPad? They address the following five areas of literacy:

~ Reading ~ Writing ~ Conventions ~ Speaking ~ Listening ~

Here are five of my favorite five-tool literacy apps for the iPad in the elementary classroom, in order of complexity.

Toontastic by Launchpad Toys

This is an excellent primary-level app for learning about narrative elements. Students can set up scenes and act out the story. They control the character’s movements with their fingers and add dialogue by recording their voice. Their final products can be uploaded online so anyone can view their learning.

Drawing and Storytelling HD by Duck Duck Moose

In this three app bundle, you get Draw and Tell, Superhero Comic Book Maker, and Princess Fairy Tale Maker. Students can create scenes with a wide variety of characters, settings, and even onomatopoeias. These are words that suggest the sounds they make, such as “Whizz!” and “Ka-pow!”, which are commonplace in many comics. Even better, when you click on them, they make the sound. Learners can record their voice with each scene.


This simple-to-use whiteboard and screencast app is perfect for introducing students to the concept of the flipped classroom. Their motto is “Teach anything to anyone from anywhere.” Using the drawing, audio recording and image capturing tools, learner can summarize a math lesson or create a book trailer. While the website boasts its use at the secondary level, I have seen it integrated in classrooms as young as 1st grade.

Book Creator by Red Jumper Studios

Students become authors with this app. After inserting images, text, drawings, and audio recordings, they can print their final products out as PDFs. Also, students can save their eBooks in the iBooks app. They stand alongside any other professionally published text. Classrooms can create digital libraries on their iPads for literacy centers. As well, teachers can upload students’ work to YouTube so anyone can see and listen to what they created. Check out my son’s eBook on how he deals with asthma.

Explain Everything by MorrisCooke

The best way to describe this app is a more complex version of Educreations. You can embed video, images, files from Dropbox or Google Drive, and put everything together into one coherent presentation. A student can also use a laser pointer to call attention to a specific slide during their instruction. The final product is then exported to a variety of locations, from the aforementioned servers as well as Evernote and iBooks. Definitely for the older crowd. Here is a screencast I created with Explain Everything for my book Digital Student Portfolios:

Scholastic Principal Challenge: On the Hunt for a Good Book

On Monday, I participated in the Principal Challenge. My goal: Read from the morning bell to dismissal time. This initiative is promoted by the Scholastic Book It Program. The theme for my second year was “Hunting for a Good Book”.

I haven't deer hunted in four years (both of my kids were born around opening day). I had to dust off my hat and coat for this event.
I haven’t deer hunted in four years (both of my kids were born around opening day). I had to dust off my hat and coat for this event.

My library aide and her family hooked me up with a fake fire and the cozy reading chair. She also set out several nonfiction titles related to the theme.

Yes, these are all catalogued in our school library. Welcome to Wisconsin!
Yes, these are all catalogued in our school library. Welcome to Wisconsin!

I had brought several books and journals to my “hunting shack” in the library. However, I had very little time to read. The previous week, students were encouraged to recommend a favorite book to me while visiting the library. This resulted in 85 students suggesting titles to me throughout the day!

IMAGE_84My day was spent taking pictures of students with a favorite book, asking them why they were recommending it, and documenting the title and author on a Google Doc. This Doc was shared with staff so they could see what students were currently reading and share these recommendations with other students. The pictures are on display in the front lobby. The students didn’t get to see me read. Instead, they observed how interested I was in what they were reading for enjoyment. They also had the opportunity to practice giving a book talk for an authentic audience.

The Principal Challenge is still going on through Friday, November 14. If you are a building principal, at whatever level, I cannot imagine a more important activity you could do than letting your students see you as a person who values literature and literacy.

Below is a listing of all the books recommended to me by our students, organized by grade level. “NF” denotes nonfiction.


From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee
A Place for Zero by Angelie Sparagna LoPresti (NF)
Exploring Space by David Conrad (NF)
On Beyond Bugs! All About Insects by Tish Rabe (NF)
Stars by Thomas K. Adamson (NF)
Biscuit (series) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Yikes!!! by Robert Florczak
The Great White Shark by Lisa Owings (NF)
Dolphins by Martha E. H. Rustad (NF)
Warthogs Paint: A Messy Color Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Buffalo Sunrise: The Story of a North American Giant by Diane Swanson (NF)
The Two of Them by Aliki
A to Z: Do You Ever Feel Like Me? by Bonnie Hausman
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
A Knight’s Book by Ali Mitgutsch
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
The Thanksgiving Beast Feast by Karen Gray Ruelle
Hotshots! by Chris Demarest (NF)
Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen

1st Grade

Pinkalicious by Victoria Kahn
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dawalt
Junie B. Jones, First Grader by Barbara Park
Biscuit (series) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

2nd Grade

Babymouse by Jennifer Holm
Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel
Mr. Putty and Tabby Pour the Tea by Cynthia Rylant
Silverlicious by Victoria Kahn
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town by Steven Kellogg
Dusk by Uri Shulevitz
Stink and the World’s Worst Super Stinky Sneakers by Judy McDonald
Rescue Helicopters by Becky Olien (NF)
The Truth About Unicorns by Molly Blaisdell (NF)
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
Should I Share My Ice Cream? An Elephant and Piggie book by Mo Willems
Heidi Hecklebeck by Wanda Coven
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
After Happily Ever After by Tony Bradman
1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker
The Never Girls by Kiki Thorpe
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun? by Brian P. Cleary (NF)

3rd Grade

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Spider Man vs. The Green Goblin by Susan Hill
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
The U.S. Air Force by Matt Doeden (NF)
Junie B. Jones: Dumb Bunny by Barbara Park
Jake Maddox: BMX Bully
National Geographic Little Kids Magazine (NF)
The Life Cycle of a Sea Horse by Colleen Sexton (NF)
Chamelia and the New Kid in Class by Ethan Long
Look Out, Suzy Goose by Petr Horacek
Goosebumps: Horrorland by R.L. Stine
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
Geronimo Stilton: Watch Your Whiskers, Stilton!
The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes by Laurence Yep
The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Deer Hunting by Thomas K. Adamson (NF)
Vampires by Jennifer M. Besel (NF)
Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go by Annie Barrows
Let’s Play Soccer by Heather Adamson (NF)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward
Freshwater Fishing by Carol K. Lindeen (NF)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
All About German Shepherds by Erika L. Shores (NF)

4th Grade

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Loser by Jerry Spinelli
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

5th Grade

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Park
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: The New Girl by Meg Cabot
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
The Bar Code Rebellion by Suzanne Weyn
Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors
The Odd Squad by Michael Fry
A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Agent Amelia: Zombie Cows by Michael Broad
Warriors (series) by Erin Hunter
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Beast Quest (series) by Adam Blade
Swindle (series) by Gordan Korman
The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

What Technology Have You Found To Really Boost Sight Word Recognition and Motivation?

This question was posted on the home page of my blog recently. I finally found time to answer it:

The only technology that I believe boosts both sight word recognition and motivation are narrated eBooks – Nook books, Kindle books, Oceanhouse Media apps, iBooks. Narrated eBooks allow a nonreader to bypass the decoding, for now, and just focus on comprehension and engagement. The examples I mentioned have minimal/no animation and professional narration. In addition, the words are often highlighted as they are read. There are other apps that consider themselves eBooks. However, the amount of animation and options that come with them can distract the reader from the purpose of reading in the first place (for learning and for enjoyment). My thinking is not based on any evidence or research that I am aware of, just observation and common sense.

When reading aloud eBooks to older students without narration, consider using mirroring technology. A teacher can project the Kindle or Nook book onto the whiteboard from their tablet. Kids can see the words, as well as watch you annotate and highlight important text. These interactions with digital text can then be shared out on social media, such as a classroom Twitter account. It’s a great way to model summarization, teach conventions, and encourage digital citizenship.

Of course, technology doesn’t beat a teacher or parent reading aloud to a child every day!

I am interested in others’ thoughts on this topic. Can technology help with reading achievement and engagement? What have you found to be effective?

No More Silos

Here is the master schedule I shared with my staff before everyone left for break:


This is driven mostly by Response to Intervention. Starting December of this year, all schools have to ensure that interventions that may lead to a special education referral for reading or math take place outside of that respective subject area. Where you see “I/E” stands for Intervention and Enrichment. Kids that are either below the line or above the line should receive additional support in their specific area of need. This is based on a template by Dr. Michael Rettig.

I had a number of teachers come down and speak with me after I sent this out. “So, reading and content should be taught separately?” was one of the more common questions. I explained that, no, this is just a schedule that your grade level should do their best to adhere to over the course of the year. Integrating the subject areas is highly encouraged. We only want to ensure that students’ needs are being met through Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. Scheduling in an intervention block is the best way we know how to make sure this happens. There has been good discourse about this, and we will continue to talk.

Yet I bring this up here because I have concerns. Not about Response to Intervention (RtI). Besides soon becoming law, John Hattie, researcher and author of Visible Learning, has found that RtI has one of the largest effect sizes on student learning. I take comfort knowing that “grey area” kids, those that don’t qualify for special education services because their cognitive abilities are too low, may now get the necessary support. In addition, RtI has been called “the last, best hope” for literacy education by Richard Allington.

No, I am more concerned that all of these initiatives coming at us – Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessment, and new teacher evaluations based on students’ test scores (on top of RtI, but without the research base) – will further fracture our already chopped up days at the elementary level. Many secondary schools already suffer from this. “They are everybody’s kids”, and therefore nobody’s kids. Leaders thinking in black-and-white terms might start to believe that continuing to departmentalize the core areas will lead to better gains in student achievement. Specific interventions can be used to zero in on targeted literacy and numeracy skills. Words such as “hard” and “rigorous” are often used to describe these interventions.

But this is not what kids, or most adults, comes to school for. They want to be engaged. They want to see the connections between their lives and what they are learning. Making connections throughout the day will only enhance instruction. The thinking required for this type of work comes before the instruction actually happens, as well during the teaching-learning process using ongoing assessments. It doesn’t happen when we are inputting progress monitoring results into a spreadsheet. It doesn’t happen when we are solely aligning our instruction with standards instead of with our students’ needs. It doesn’t happen when we are forced to think about our own livelihoods instead of our students’ futures.

Giving students the best opportunity for success starts with engaging and evidence-based classroom instruction. Separating subjects and skill areas into silos is not natural. The further we pull away for learning as an authentic experience, the more we risk disengaging our students because it doesn’t represent what is real and what is meaningful.

Teaching Content with Read Alouds

In my last post Why I Hate Abridged Audiobooks, I expressed my frustration in listening to an abridged version of The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley. The author, a New Orleans native, astutely described the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Although a few of the details are for adults’ eyes and ears only due to their graphic nature, this event in our history should be a topic for discussion in our classrooms, especially with what just occurred on the East Coast.

With such a big focus on literacy and mathematics today, how do teachers keep science and social studies a part of the instructional day? I hear stories about content being taken out of the classroom because there just isn’t enough time anymore. While I can understand and appreciate all that is being asked of us as public educators, I don’t think these different subject areas should be mutually exclusive. In fact, I have long felt that they all can be taught in an integrated framework in order for each to be more relevant and to help students see the connections.


I have tried to apply this concept when I visited classrooms in the past to read aloud. Spurred by Brinkley’s writing, I found some age appropriate books that would help me convey the concepts of weather and change (I have shared or plan to share the following texts with second graders).

Hurricanes by Seymour Simon

With topics such as this weather event, I feel it is important to front load students’ knowledge base. This book, like many of Seymour Simon’s other nonfiction titles, combines easy-to-read text with real photos of hurricanes. There are many other books about the same subject, but few have this level of authenticity in their visuals. I may not read aloud the whole book, but I will share many of the sections in order to prepare the students for the next story.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Upon first reading this book, I thought it was only a story about a person’s love for reading. However, if you read the back flap of this book, you will discover that the author was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. He spent his time after the hurricane distributing books to kids while they waited for their schools to reopen. With this knowledge plus the information from the previous book, students developed a better understanding of the story. When viewing the illustrations of Morris being blown around by a storm, plus the despair he felt afterward, we discussed why the author wrote this book and how it came to be through Mr. Joyce’s experiences. As a bonus, I showed the class the eBook version of this story on the iPad (I point out that this was a movie first, then an eBook before it finally took paper form). I also like the eBook because of the great audio and video affects that depict what the storm might have been like.

A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg

This is a realistic fiction everybody book. It is about one family that did not evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hit and then follows their journey out of the devastation. When I compare this fictional story to the real accounts described in The Great Deluge, it appeared the author did his homework before writing this book for kids. What is also nice is the list of resources he referenced on the last page. It is a great example for kids to see how fiction and nonfiction can support each other.

Throughout all the titles I shared, I targeted key points to stop and reflect on. Sometimes I would share my own thinking out loud. Other times I would ask an open-ended question and have students turn and talk about it. If a student had a question, we spent time responding to it and asking follow up questions. Were we reading directly from a social studies textbook, I don’t believe that our conversations would have been nearly as engaging and thought-provoking.

I don’t believe kids should be only hearing great language from the books I share. A lot more of their instructional time should be spent reading and writing about topics of their own interest. This type of thematic study could occur within a Daily Five literacy framework. The mini lessons could be the opportunity to share these read alouds as mentor texts, with the intent of pointing out both content information and important literary elements from the text. Students could take that knowledge to their Read to Self, Read with a Partner, Work on Writing, Listen to Reading and Word Work areas, where they would find leveled fiction and nonfiction reading materials related to hurricanes and other weather events. The teacher could take things even further and turn the Work Work station into a science activity, such as making Tornados In a Bottle while labeling the parts of this weather event on a separate sheet.

To wrap things up, I plan to do a shared expository writing activity summarizing what we learned about hurricanes, within the overarching concept of weather and change. The hardest about this is, as a principal, I am not able to stay in the classroom and see these activities connect with everything else during the school day. How do you connect reading aloud and content instruction within your literacy block? Please share in the comments.