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June 5, 2020 My Son

We help teachers move from teaching retelling to theme in this week’s newsletter.

Literary Analysis in Eighth Grade: Conferring

Christy Rush-Levine helps Alyssa draft her literary analysis essay.

Navigating the Interpretation Process

Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.

Student Ownership of Literary Analysis

Christy Rush-Levine shares the strategies she uses to help her middle school students take ownership of their literary analysis essays.

May 29, 2020 Missing Hallways

We consider ways to boost summer learning in this week’s newsletter.

Fifth-Grade Reading Conference: Previewing

Dana Murphy confers with Krisha over her reading, talking about the value of using a book’s back cover for previewing.

Getting Students in the Learning Zone

The zone of proximal development (or ZPD) is the sweet spot for learning—just enough challenge with just enough support to take on the challenge. Melanie Meehan shares how teachers can create scaffolds in their classrooms that help students find their own ZPDs.

Pausing for Renewal Throughout the Day

Stella Villalba shares three strategies teachers and literacy coaches can use to pause, re-center, and renew themselves throughout busy stressful days in schools.

May 22, 2020 Write Now

We look at writer’s craft in this week’s newsletter.

First-Grade Writing Share: Highlighting Craft

Bitsy Parks leads a writing share early in the year, presenting three student examples of writing and highlighting different aspects of writer’s craft linked to minilessons.

Dealing with Lists in Style

Polysyndeton, asyndeton—if you are a writer and a word nerd, you will love Gretchen Schroeder’s suggestions for helping your students create lists with style in their writing.

Studying Craft and Punctuation in Sentences from Read Alouds

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share the power of teaching writer’s craft in bite-sized chunks, through careful study of mentor sentences in read alouds.

May 15, 2020 Seeking Community

We celebrate families in this week’s newsletter.

Reading Conference: Connections to Home

In this conference in Christy Rush-Levine’s eighth-grade classroom, Jaden is reading a book that mixes math with basketball, an activity he enjoys at home.

Keeping Parent Communication Open in Middle School

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that they have to change the way they think about connecting with families once students reach middle school.

Everyday Celebrations and Traditions

Bitsy Parks shares how she builds a learning community with displays and traditions that celebrate families.

May 8, 2020 Eagle’s Nest

We reflect on how to close out the year with read alouds and interviews in this week’s newsletter.

May 1, 2020 Virtual Third Things

Creative response from teachers and students is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

April 24, 2020 Truth and Judgment

Getting better feedback from teachers and students is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

Second-Grade Conference: Illustrations and Frames

Ruth Ayres confers with second grader Reagan about writing she is revising for publication about a class trip to the zoo that included her grandmother. Ruth introduces her to the concept of frames in illustrations, using an example from a picture book.

Making Our Writing Public

Jennifer Allen shares a project student writers complete with support from a local college to make writing public and widen the net for feedback.

Observing Skilled Readers

Mark Levine wonders why his most some of his most skilled readers take the most time to get through texts. So he asks them, and gets some fascinating answers he uses to assist struggling students.

April 17, 2020 An Amazing Time

This week we look at the gamut of emotions remote learning brings to teachers and students.

Reassuring Worried Children with Picture Books

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and at the same time discovers a treasure trove of children’s books to help students overcome worries.

Making Paper Packets for Distance Learning

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills write about the challenge of creating meaningful print-based packages of materials for students who don’t have internet access for remote learning.

April 10, 2020 Savoring a Book Just Because

We consider journals and notebooks in this week’s newsletter.

Owl Design Strategy Group Meeting

Andrea Smith meets with a group of fourth-grade girls who are completing designs as part of the owl habitat project.

The Power of Teaching Journals

Bitsy Parks finds inspiration for her teaching journal in the work of Debbie Miller. She explains how she uses her journal daily, and how it has evolved over time.

Journals or Writers’ Notebooks?

Journals? Writers’ Notebooks? Shari Frost shares tips and strategies for explaining the difference between the two for teachers, as well as professional development resources.

April 3, 2020 Good Enough

We look at remote instruction and virtual lessons in this week’s newsletter.

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