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January 24, 2020 Kindness in the Storm

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

Minilesson: Revising Writing

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

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.

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.

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.

January 10, 2020 Nothing Buried Here

This week we look at tools for literacy instruction.

Building Conversation Skills in Book Clubs

Fifth graders use a visual tool to help them build on each other’s ideas in book clubs. They are applying a strategy demonstrated in an earlier minilesson.

January 3, 2020 Letting Go

This week we look at teacher modeling in literacy workshops.

It’s All in the Details

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find their middle school students need some scaffolding to tease out essential details in literature.

Minilesson: Building Conversations in Book Clubs

Dana Murphy leads a minilesson on book club conversations, using a fishbowl strategy and building blocks to support more sophisticated conversations.

Writers Make Plans

Tammy Mulligan considers the rituals she has for preparing to write, and then uses what she learns in classroom writing workshops.

December 13, 2019 Norwich

This week we look at easy and fun classroom literacy events and celebrations.

December 6, 2019 Just Say Yes

This week we look at creative literacy instruction before holiday breaks.

Community Timeline Project

Katherine Sokolowski uses the Community Timeline Project to bring together students and older community members around history and writing.

Reading and Writing for the 100th Day of School

The 100th day of school has become an opportunity for classroom and schoolwide celebrations. Shari Frost provides many resources to ensure reading and writing are front and center on this special day.

November 22, 2019 Cue the Habit

This week we look at author studies in classrooms.

Teaching Theme Before the Holidays

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills take advantage of students’ knowledge of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to teach the concept of theme before the holiday break.

A Quick How-to Writing Unit in First Grade

Bitsy Parks uses the short stretch before the holidays for a quick and fun how-to writing unit with her first graders.

Comparing Authors Minilesson

Jen Court uses text sets from three authors to help second graders ferret out different elements of the authors’ styles.

Scaffolding Instruction in an Author’s Study

Christy Rush-Levine scaffolds her middle-school students’ understanding of craft moves by moving from short stories to novels when studying specific authors.

Magic Connections: Young Adult Literature in a Social Studies Class

Mark Levine shows how young adult literature is a potent tool to drive learning in his middle school social studies classroom.

November 15, 2019 In Praise of Clutter

This week we look at how to use anchor texts in classrooms.

When Learning Gets Tricky, Go Back to the Pigs

Whenever a tricky literary concept comes up, Tammy Mulligan finds herself returning to a favorite mentor text to guide students. She explains the value of shared simple stories for understanding complicated literary elements.

Writing Endings Minilesson in Fifth Grade

A classic anchor text for many teachers is Charlotte’s Web. In this week’s video, Dana Murphy seamlessly integrates a brief excerpt from it into a writing minilesson on endings in her fifth-grade classroom.

Mentor Text Craft Guides

Melanie Meehan helps students see the craft moves in mentor texts by tucking brief guides into many of her favorite children’s books in the classroom library.

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