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October 23, 2020 Thank You, Mrs. Schroeder

The place of humor in literacy workshops is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

First-Grade Reading Conference: Coaxing and Supporting

Bitsy Parks helps first grader Sophia tackle the tough job of making meaning and decoding words early in the year with lots of encouragement and good humor.

Using Humor to Teach Language Standards

Teaching parts of speech is viewed as dreary work for most teachers. Melanie Meehan shares how you can infuse some fun into it with a little bit of humor.

Supporting Students as They Exit Intervention with Series Books

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills write about the power of series books in helping young readers build skills and independence as they exit intervention programs.

Engaging Students with Humor

Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.

October 16, 2020 Slightly Alive

Interactive read aloud is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

Interactive Read Aloud in Second Grade

Jen Court completes an interactive read aloud in a second-grade classroom.

Read Alouds in Content Classes

Mark Levine explains the many ways read alouds can enhance and deepen learning for middle school students in content areas like social studies and science.

October 9, 2020 Coffee Shop Contemplation

Building better book clubs is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

Digital Interactive Read Alouds

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share everything from useful prompts to the best tech tools for moving interactive read alouds to digital platforms during remote instruction.

October 2, 2020 The Kind of Teacher Who Cares

Strategic small groups is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

Issues Overload

Shari Frost finds that the issues students may be dealing with in some children’s books can be overwhelming. She shares some of her favorite books for grappling with one troubling topic at a time.

Changing How I Teach Small Groups

Tammy Mulligan listens to students and adapts her small-group instruction as they share how they learn.

Guided Reading Part 1: Previewing and Skills

This is the first guided reading group in September for Cheryl Miller. She begins the lesson by previewing the book and reminding students of the skills they are working on. This is the first video in a three-part series.

September 25, 2020 Pygmalion Syndrome

Rethinking standards is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

Matching Evidence and Claims in Writing

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Brendan about his literary analysis and how to match evidence and claims. She has him talk through his understanding of the text, using the oral rehearsal to plan his writing.

Learning Standards: No Best Way

Jen Schwanke provides some critical questions for teachers to ask when they are interpreting a standard and bringing it to life with students.

Data That We Can Trust

Matt Renwick finds the data closest to the students we serve is more helpful to teachers than many benchmarks or screener scores.

Preparing for Book Club Discussions

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that book clubs succeed when students are given thoughtful tools to prepare for them.

September 18, 2020 Going Rogue

Picture books is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

See Your Students

Shari Frost explains why the simple act of “seeing” students can have such a potent effect in building a community of learners.

Using Picture Books for Rhetorical Analysis

Gretchen Schroeder finds that picture books are the perfect tool for rhetorical analysis with her high school students.

Picture Books for Mental Wellness

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and discovers a treasure trove of picture books to promote mental wellness and help students cope with difficult emotions.

Using Pictures to Decode in First Grade

Bitsy Parks helps first grader Zac work on his decoding skills by using a fun picture book.

September 11, 2020 Florence Genevieve Saperstein

Choice is the theme of this week’s newsletter.

Fifth-Grade Reading Conference: Harry Potter

Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Tucker about his Harry Potter book. This brief conference includes connections to the movies, recommendations for a classmate, and suggestions for using an audiobook on a trip so that the whole family can enjoy it.

Choice in Literacy Workshops

What makes choice authentic in literacy workshops? Christy Rush-Levine grapples with this tough question that leads to changes in her instruction.

Nurturing Independent Reading Lives in Middle School

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their favorite strategies for building a classroom community of readers where everyone has several options for choosing their next book.

September 4, 2020 A Specific No

Thoughtful reading response is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

Socratic Discussion in Third Grade

Lora Bieghler facilitates a Socratic-style discussion among third graders.

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