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Conferring: Establishing a Setting in a Novel

In this week's video, Aimee Buckner has a quick conference with a fourth grader about ways to solve a dilemma — how to figure out the setting in a historical fiction novel when there are no pictures.

Beginning a Novel with Close Reading

Aimee Buckner helps a fourth-grade boy tease out emerging themes in the first pages of the novel Morning Girl.

Notebook Sketching: Conferring with Sarah

Aimee Buckner confers with Sarah about sketching in her notebook.

Fluency and Comprehension Conference

Aimee Buckner confers with fourth grader Amanda about her reading comprehension and fluency, encouraging her to use a post-it note to track thinking around a focus question.

Fourth-Grade Reading Conference: Focusing While Reading

Aimee Buckner helps fourth grader Isaiah focus his reading early in the year in this quick conference.

Conferring About Lemony Snicket and Vocabulary

Aimee Buckner confers with fourth grader Samantha about reading a series and tackling challenging vocabulary at the same time in this brief video.

Tracking Characters: A Conferring Tip

Aimee Buckner teaches a fourth grader a strategy for using a sticky note to keep track of characters when there are multiple narrators in a novel.

Independent Reading By the Numbers Is NOT Text Complexity

How do you guide students to select books for independent summer reading? Aimee Buckner challenges teachers who are requiring middle students to pick books based solely on Lexile scores.

Just Write More

Aimee Buckner has tips for ways to focus lessons that will help students produce more writing.

Teaching the Rule of Three to Writers

Aimee Buckner finds that teaching the rule of three to young writers adds variety to student texts.

Conferring, Rereading, and Comprehension

Aimee Buckner confers with Brendan, who is rereading Hoot and needs some strategies for holding his thinking.

From Reading to Writing Informational Texts

Aimee Buckner makes some surprising discoveries about what types of texts support writers working in nonfiction genres.

The Blank Page and Better Teaching

Aimee Buckner learns some important lessons about how images and words work together for student writers when she moves between second- and fifth-grade classrooms.

When Are Students Ready for Writers’ Notebooks?

Second grade? Third grade? Aimee Buckner breaks down what behaviors to look for if you’re trying to determine when students are ready to move from draft pages or booklets to writers’ notebooks.

Conferring for Engagement: First Steps

Aimee Buckner confers with a fourth grader who is learning how to choose books for independent reading. In this video, she gives advice in the first conference and then returns 10 minutes later for a follow-up meeting.

Conferring About Tracking Characters

In this video from a 4th grade classroom, Aimee Buckner confers with a student who is reading The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson.

The Five-Minute Solution: Mini-Groups after Minilessons to Maximize Conferring Time

Aimee’ Buckner’s mini-groups are an easy and simple way to differentiate instruction in workshops, and save time when conferring.

Narrative Nonfiction in 5th Grade Part 2

In this lesson from a 5th grade classroom, Aimee Buckner guides students in a note-taking process to help understand the qualities of nonfiction narrative writing. In this second part of the lesson, students share their notes and Aimee makes connections to additional mentor texts.

Stop and Track: Conferring with a Fifth-Grade Reader

In this conference with a 5th grader, Aimee Buckner shares two strategies — one to use when putting a book away between readings, and another to help keep track of characters in a complex narrative where the point of view is constantly shifting.

Scaring Up Better Narratives Part I

Just before Halloween, Aimee Buckner leads a lesson on brainstorming topics in writer's notebooks using the mentor text Some Things Are Scary. In this first installment of a three-part series, Aimee reads the book and models her own thinking process and use of a writer's notebook.

Scaring Up Better Narratives Part 2

Just in time for Halloween, Aimee Buckner leads a lesson on brainstorming topics in writer's notebooks using the mentor text Some Things Are Scary. In this second installment of a three-part series, Aimee continues to confer with students and helps everyone refine potential writing topics in their notebooks.

Scaring Up Better Narratives Part 3

Aimee Buckner leads a lesson on brainstorming topics in writer's notebooks using the mentor text Some Things Are Scary. In this final installment of a three-part series, Aimee continues to confer with students and shares a great tip for nonfiction research.

Main Ideas, Summaries, and Notes in a Reading Conference

In this conference with a 4th grader, Aimee Buckner tackles text choice, notes, and main ideas all in less than five minutes. You’ll notice teachers observing in the background – the conference is part of a demonstration lesson sequence.

Conferring About Rereading Strategies

In this conference with a fourth grader, Aimee Buckner guides a child to think more deeply and critically about a book being read to the whole class, Goblins in the Castle.

Setting the Stage for Historical Fiction

In this demonstration lesson from a 5th grade classroom, Aimee Buckner works with students to construct an anchor chart for understanding the genre of historical fiction.

A Drive Through Assessment of My Writing

While considering some driving habits she's developed, Aimee Buckner shares what she's learned from the experts about writing and what it means to her practice.

Writing Better First Drafts

Aimee Buckner uses her love of baking to make the point that creating better first drafts is key to stronger writing and more enjoyment in the revising phase.

Making the Reading-Writing Connection with Genre Studies: The “Must Have” Lesson

No stranger to genre studies, Aimee Buckner has both advice and book basket ideas to get must-haves in your hands.

Mentor Texts for Organizing Writing

We think of mentor texts for teaching literary elements, but what about for organizing? Aimee Buckner describes how she selects books to demonstrate a range of ways to organize writing and help students make choices independently.

Writers, Choice and Independence (Part I)

What does true independence look like among young readers and writers?  A chance comment from a visitor to Aimee Buckner's classroom gets her pondering the amount of choice children have during units of study.

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