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Making Learning Stick: Learning Progressions and Student-Created Exemplars

Tammy Mulligan explains the process of having students analyze and create models of good writing and analysis for assessing themselves and peers.

February 28, 2020 Strengths Focused

This week we look at integrating test prep into literacy workshops.

Can a High-Stakes Assessment Create Readers?

Stephanie Affinito encounters an unexpected byproduct of testing for her son—the uninterrupted reading time waiting for others to finish builds a good habit. She shares how teachers might reclaim ten minutes a day for independent reading.

Teaching Constructed Response Before Exams

Teaching the genre of tests can seem far removed from writing workshop. Matt Renwick explores how to teach constructed response in a way that is integrated with the tenets of good workshop instruction.

February 21, 2020 A Place for Writing

This week we look at how to create cozy and safe learning spaces.

Minilesson: Revising Writing

Dana Murphy leads a minilesson in fifth grade on revising narrative writing.

Don’t Force Vulnerability

Ruth Ayres eavesdrops on some moms complaining about homework assignments, and finds the experience leads to reflection on the dangers of forcing students to make themselves vulnerable in classrooms.

Creating a Safe Space in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine ponders what it means to create a safe space for all of her middle school students, and then makes some changes.

First Graded Guided Group: Chunking Words

Melissa Atwood leads a first-grade guided reading group.  The focus at the start of the lesson is on chunking words. This is the first video in a two-part series.

February 14, 2020 The Poem in Your Heart

This week we look at how to foster a love of poetry in literacy workshops.

Poetry and Pastiche

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills introduce their middle school students to pastiche, a technique of mimicking the craft of favorite poems and poets.

Kindergarten and Middle School Poetry Partnership

Middle schoolers and kindergartners forge friendships at Katherine Sokolowski’s school through a sweet poetry writing and sharing project.

February 7, 2020 Grammar’s Flexibility

This week we look at word learning in literacy workshops.

Quick and Easy Word Study Groups in First Grade

Bitsy Parks shares some of her favorite strategies for quick and meaningful word work groups in her first-grade classroom.

Fifth-Grade Vocabulary Group

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to work on strategies for understanding unknown words.

Teaching Transition Words

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills work with a second-grade team to think through how best to teach transition words during a fairy tale unit, especially to students who are English learners.

January 31, 2020 Creativity and Community

This week we look at partnerships in literacy workshops.

Writing Partners

Partner work is an essential component of many literacy workshops. Dana Murphy explains how she is intentional in building thoughtful routines and expectations for partner work in her fifth-grade classroom.

January 24, 2020 Kindness in the Storm

This week we look at how to help traumatized children in classrooms.

Exploring Author’s Craft in Graphic Novels

Christy Rush-Levine finds her middle school students need more support and scaffolds to understand authors’ craft in graphic novels.

January 17, 2020 I See You

This week we look at visual learning and graphic novels in classrooms.

Writing Partner Feedback in Fifth Grade

Fifth-grade writers in Franki Sibberson’s classroom encourage each other and suggest revisions to their opinion-writing drafts in partner teams.

Trauma and Literacy

Jen Schwanke remembers her own experiences with trauma as a scared young girl, and how one kind teacher made all the difference in putting her on the path to healing. This makes her ponder the power of literacy in reaching wounded students in our midst.

Pairing Video Clips with Text: The Great Depression

Mark Levine has his middle school students “closely read” paired videos as well as texts to ponder the value and accuracy of different historical sources.

Characters, Choices, and Graphic Novels: Eighth-Grade Reading Conference

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Nia over the graphic novel she is reading. They discuss the choices characters make.

Self-Esteem and Literacy: Understanding Jeff

Jeff is apathetic and unengaged. To help this middle school learner, Mark Levine needs to understand his history. Mark shows the power of interviews for connecting with struggling teen learners.

30-Second Pair Share

Sean Moore leads his second graders in a quick pair-share to help everyone reflect on what they learned during independent reading.

Collaborating for Understanding in Writing

Mark Levine realizes explaining expectations for an essay assignment over and over again isn’t working. But when he has students write in pairs for a portion of his workshop, magic happens.

Reading Mats Build Confidence

Tammy Mulligan explains how the use of the popular “reading mats” can help build reader confidence.

Appointment Clocks

Gretchen Schroeder uses “appointment clocks” to ensure her students meet with a variety of peers for partner work.

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