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September 13, 2019 Lingering a Little

We conclude our three-week series on read-alouds in this week’s newsletter.

September 6, 2019 Evoking Book Memories

We continue our three-week series on read-alouds in this week’s newsletter.

August 30, 2019 Farm Share

We begin a three-week series on read-alouds in this week’s newsletter.

August 23, 2019 Blank Canvas

We explore the use of anchor charts in this week’s newsletter.

August 16, 2019 We Know How

We consider our youngest learners in this week’s newsletter.

August 9, 2019 Reading the Signs

We look at a favorite tool for teachers in literacy workshops, status of the class, in this week’s newsletter.

August 2, 2019 Diving into New Roles

We look at how to build classroom communities early in the year in this week’s newsletter.

July 26, 2019 Death by Banana

We look at reading at home in this week’s newsletter.

July 19, 2019 Data Without Judgment

We look at classroom, coaching, and literacy norms in this week’s newsletter.

July 12, 2019 The Most Important Person

We look at the pros and cons of assigning literacy homework in this week’s newsletter.

June 21, 2019 Invitations to Move

We look at how to improve small-group instruction in this week’s newsletter.

June 14, 2019 Fly-Fishing on a Basketball Court

We look at talk scaffolds for learners of all ages in this week’s newsletter.

June 7, 2019 Maps and Journeys

We look at student note-taking in this week’s newsletter.

May 31, 2019 Smart Enough to Know How Dumb I Am

We look at student note-taking in this week’s newsletter.

May 24, 2019 Yets

We consider ways to be more inclusive in this week’s newsletter.

May 17, 2019 Better To-Do Lists

We look at cleaning up and closing out the year in literacy in this week’s newsletter.

May 10, 2019 Moments That Matter

Telling stories is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

May 3, 2019 Buried Writing

We look at better ways to use notebooks in this week’s newsletter.

April 26, 2019 Neighborhood Grocery

We look at releasing responsibility for learning to students in this week’s newsletter.

April 19, 2019 Step Back and Begin Again

We ponder how to keep assesssment in its place in this week’s newsletter.

April 12, 2019 The Recipe Formula

We ponder how to keep assesssment in its place in this week’s newsletter.

April 5, 2019 Black Diamond

We explore grouping in grades 3-5 in this week’s newsletter.

March 29, 2019 Salad Dressing and Soft Spots

We look at literacy homework in this week’s newsletter.

March 22, 2019 Spring Break

We’re celebrating spring with our Annual Spring Break edition of the newsletter, featuring the 10 most popular articles published over the past year.

March 15, 2019 Impossible Negotiations

Argument and persuasion is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

March 8, 2019 With Students in Mind

We consider student identity and ownership in this week’s newsletter.

March 1, 2019 Joy and Ambition

This week we dive in to understanding scaffolds.

February 22, 2019 What’s Your Catchphrase?

This week we consider the ways mentor texts can be thoughtful “detours” for learning.

February 15, 2019 Abandoned Canoes

This week we focus on revision minilessons in the intermediate grades.

February 8, 2019 The Community Potato

We share some creative takes on reading response in this week’s Big Fresh.

February 1, 2019 Pick a Lane

We explore literacy cures for the winter doldrums in this week’s Big Fresh.

January 25, 2019 Peach Pit

We look at teaching grammar in creative ways in this week’s Big Fresh.

January 18, 2019 Wins and Losses

We look at collaboration and teamwork in this week’s Big Fresh.

January 11, 2019 Stand Next to Me

We look at how to change struggles to strengths in this week’s Big Fresh.

January 4, 2019 Reset

We consider ways teachers can reset routines and expectations early in the new year in this week’s Big Fresh.

December 28, 2018 Celebrations

We consider how literacy celebrations might be woven in the fabric of classroom and school life.

November 17, 2018 Heat Maps

Writing poetry is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 10, 2018 Just Keep Pedaling

Reading poetry is the focus of this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 3, 2018 The Second Choice

We look at how teachers can use their writing to influence student writing in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 27, 2018 Stretching

We look at what constitutes evidence of learning in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 20, 2018 Crayons

We look at ways to make classrooms more comforting to students in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 13, 2018 Raccoon

We look at creative takes on learning words in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 6, 2018 Get Under the Ball

We look at struggling, striving, and stuck learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 29, 2018 The “One Thing” Mindset

We look at how to confer for reflection and action in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 22, 2018 Sometimes We Should Just Clap

We look at student-led minilessons in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 15, 2018 Inviting the Stranger In

We have some fresh takes on teaching history and biography in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 8, 2018 Mothers of the Brides

We consider the connections between personal history and literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 1, 2018 Listening to Children

We consider literacy foundations in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 25, 2018 Gym Workshop

We explore reading response in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 18, 2018 Lily Pads

We consider levels and limits in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 11, 2018 Stubborn Gladness

We look at first lessons and introductions to students in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 4, 2018 Surprise

We look at creative ways to teach required units in this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 28, 2018 Passion for Work

We look at launching classroom libraries in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 21, 2018 Hitting Save

We reflect on routines in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 14, 2018 Work and Play

We consider the difference between engagement and compliance in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 23, 2018 Time to Write

We look at strategies for self care in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 16, 2018 Old Boat

We look at how to teach theme to teens and tweens in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 9, 2018 Free Range

We consider the importance of background knowledge in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 2, 2018 Memory

We explore how to take better notes in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 26, 2018 Everyday Subversions

We consider the importance of background knowledge in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 19, 2018 Style

We look at middle school reading and writing workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 12, 2018 Appearances

We look at the power of classroom talk in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 5, 2018 The Space Between

We consider the boundaries between home and school in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 28, 2018 Doing Enough

We consider how to close out the year strong in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 21, 2018 Big Dog

We consider what makes literacy instruction authentic in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 14, 2018 Radio Hatteras

Old books, new books, and budgeting for book purchases are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 7, 2018 Reading the World

We look at helping students understand other cultures through literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 31, 2018 What Cannot Be Unseen

We look at struggling and striving in writing workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 24, 2018 Just Read

We look at ways to celebrate poetry in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 17, 2018 Finally Spring

We offer our annual top ten spring break of favorite articles in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 10, 2018 Enough

We consider creative ways to teach grammar and editing in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 3, 2018 Irish Sushi

We look at read alouds in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 24, 2018 Failure and Feedback

We look at assessment and grading in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 17, 2018 Memory Box

We look at how to foster student independence in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 10, 2018 Again and Again

We consider how to improve lessons in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 3, 2018 When Your Car Is Your Teacher

We look at slowing down and paying close attention in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 27, 2018 Rosie’s Bucket List

We look at rereading and retelling in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 20, 2018 Thriving Artists

We look at podcasts and audiobooks in classrooms in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 13, 2018 Teaching and Belonging

We consider revision in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 6, 2018 How’s Your Stamina?

We look at goal setting and fresh starts in the new year in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 16, 2017 Making Time for Joy

We consider how to return strong after holiday breaks in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 10, 2017 The Kid Teaches You

We explore how to connect with families in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 3, 2017 The Perfect Space

We look at classroom preparations for winter break in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 18, 2017 Grounded

We look at the power of teachers writing in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 11, 2017 What’s Your Hashtag?

We consider how to teach summaries and conclusions in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 4, 2017 Neighborhood Library

We look at mentor texts from many angles in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 28, 2017 Blind Spots

We rethink rubrics in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 21, 2017 Cheese Emergency

We consider struggling learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 14, 2017 More Heart, Less Head

We look at improving read alouds in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 7, 2017 Tell Me Everything

We look at self-assessment and reflection in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 30, 2017 This Class

We look at learning from failure in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 23, 2017 Plain Vanilla

We explore visual literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 16, 2017 What Rules?

We look at ways to improve student groups in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 9, 2017 The Penny Project

We look at learning words in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 2, 2017 Reading the Room

We look at whole-class discussions in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 26, 2017 The Relationship Business

We look at lunchtime, afterschool, and before school literacy activities in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 19, 2017 The Way Through

We look at whole-class texts and building community in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 12, 2017 Bingo

We look at the role of levels in reading programs in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 5, 2017 Resolutions for a New School Year

We consider how to launch and sustain writers’ notebooks in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 29, 2017 Tickle Tickle

We look at playful planning of units of study in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 22, 2017 Magic Wand

We look at what’s essential in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 15, 2017 Growth Rings

We look at ways to infuse more joy into your work in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 24, 2017 Meeting the Challenge

We look at book-a-day and other fun challenges in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 17, 2017 Flimflam Man

We look at digital literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 10, 2017 Surf Lesson

We consider goals in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 3, 2017 Bearing Walls

We conclude our series on creative takes on formative assessment in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 27, 2017 Tyranny of the Score

We look at creative takes on formative assessment in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 20, 2017 Lollipop Moments

We conclude our series on home/school connections in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 13, 2017 Illiterate?

We look at classroom talk in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 6, 2017 Mentors Who Matter

We look at classroom talk in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 29, 2017 Teacher Voice

We look at classroom talk in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 22, 2017 The Final Push

We look at literacy special events in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 15, 2017 Teachers Writing

We look at the value of teachers writing in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 8, 2017 Form, Distance, and Speed

We look at teaching with picture books in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 1, 2017 Joy, Angst, and Poetry

We consider what should come first in the school day and workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 25, 2017 Amplified

We consider what should come first in the school day and workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 18, 2017 Small Victories

We consider what should come first in the school day and workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 11, 2017 First Things First

We consider what should come first in the school day and workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 4, 2017 LATTE Them

We take a closer look at notetaking in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 25, 2017 Celebrating Read Alouds

We celebrate read-alouds in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 18, 2017 Totally

We look at word study in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 11, 2017 Say Yes to Something Else

We consider facts and fiction in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 4, 2017 Branding

Is it time for a routines refresh in your classroom? We share some possibilities in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 28, 2017 Kickball

Is it time for a routines refresh in your classroom? We share some possibilities in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 21, 2017 What Motivates You?

We consider stamina and independence in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 14, 2017 Whispers

We continue to look at student self-assessment in this week’s Big Fresh. This is the second installment of a two-part newsletter series.

The Big Fresh January 7, 2017 Lemonade Stand

Student self-assessment is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh. This is the first installment of a two-part newsletter series.

The Big Fresh December 17, 2016 Changing Our Focus

Audio and visual tools are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 10, 2016 Golf Course

Courage is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 3, 2016 Tics

Revising writing is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 26, 2016 Secret Handshake

Book love is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 19, 2016 Move It

Reaching boy and girl learners is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 12, 2016 A Hand to Hold

We look at parents and families in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 5, 2016 What’s for Sale

We look at student blogging in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 29, 2016 Kindness

We look at conferring in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 22, 2016 Talking Is Not Teaching

We look at options for poetry throughout the year in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 15, 2016 Family Run

We look at stamina in young learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 8, 2016 Riding the Waves

We look at classroom management in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 1, 2016 It’s Personnel

We look at conventions in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 24, 2016 Soaked

We look at touchy topics in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 17, 2016 Treasures or Trash

We look at formative assessment tools in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 10, 2016 Goals

We look at how to create smart anchor charts in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 3, 2016 Batch Work

We look at expectations and routines in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 27, 2016 Lindsay, Charlotte, and the Case for Sweaty Palms

We look at books children love that teachers don’t adore in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 20, 2016 Armchair Experts

We look at mentors and mentor texts in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 13, 2016 Hosting Martha

We look at launching classroom libraries and meeting areas in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 6, 2016 Teach Like You’re Scared to Death

Transitions for teens and tweens are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 30, 2016 Cheetos and Tofu

We highlight student-centered classroom design in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 23, 2016 Time Savers

We consider the youngest learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 16, 2016 A Better Mousetrap

Baseline assessments are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 9, 2016 A Fork in the Road

Teaching procedural writing is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 25, 2016 Repurposed

Repurposing materials for literacy instruction is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 18, 2016 What We Brew

Writing routines are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 11, 2016 New Tires

Creative possibilities for nonfiction is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 4, 2016 The Loudest Voices

Audiobooks are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 28, 2016 Grin and Bear It

How to teach with Twitter is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 21, 2016 Taking Play Seriously

Celebrations, reflections, and closing out the year are featured in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 14, 2016 Taking a Break

Book sampling with teens and tweens is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 7, 2016 Gradual Release of the Library

Navigating classroom libraries is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 30, 2016 Dog Days and Watermelon

Peers helping peers is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 23, 2016 Standardized Test Unpreparation

Daily assessments are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 16, 2016 Thought Partners

Conventions and punctuation are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 9, 2016 Slow Swimmer

We look at modeling and mirroring in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 2, 2016 Editing with a Writer’s Eyes

Editing is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 26, 2016 The Mighty Minute

We present the most popular articles from the past year in this spring break edition of the Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 19, 2016 Long Day

Poetry is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 12, 2016 Don’t Settle

We continue to look at word study and vocabulary in this week’s Big Fresh. This is the second installment in a two-part series.

The Big Fresh March 5, 2016 A Tower of Giraffes

We look at word study and vocabulary in this week’s Big Fresh. This is the first in a two-part series.

The Big Fresh February 27, 2016 The Game of Life

We consider how to keep tests in perspective in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 20, 2016 Act the Way You Want to Feel

Writing conference notes are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 13, 2016 An Ear for Your Craft

Habits and routines are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 6, 2016 Lessons from the Electrician

This week we look at different ways to press the pause button and think about what’s working and what isn’t.

The Big Fresh January 30, 2016 What’s New and Good?

We consider student independence in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 23, 2016 No Balance

Time for what matters is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 16, 2016 Must Be Present to Win

We look at the writing process (and processes) in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 9, 2016 Secret Messages

Content literacy is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 19, 2015 Unexpected

English language learners are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 12, 2015 Easy

We explore mentor texts in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 5, 2015 Just-Right Tech

We consider useful tech resources for literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 28, 2015 Giving and Receiving

We look at home/school connections in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 21, 2015 Moo

We look at stamina and student engagement in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 14, 2015 Baseball and Background Knowledge

Visual literacy is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 7, 2015 Little Notebooks

We consider ways to energize writing workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 31, 2015 Details

We look at refreshing and reconsidering routines in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 24, 2015 New Glasses

Close reading with tweens and teens is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 17, 2015 Mockingbird

We look at using videos and movies within literacy workshops in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 10, 2015 Passion or Craft

We look at uses for social media in classrooms in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 3, 2015 The Tyranny of Levels

Levels and labels are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 26, 2015 Reading for Football

Nonfiction is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 19, 2015 Learning from Bees

Guiding groups is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 12, 2015 They Just Write ‘Em

We consider struggling students in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 5, 2015 Playing School

We look at reflection and goal setting in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 29, 2015 Norms

Organizing assessments is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 22, 2015 Whining and Learning

We look at ways to foster independence among middle school learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 15, 2015 The View from the Back of the Pack

We celebrate diversity at the start of the school year in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 8, 2015 Cold Pool

We look at bulletin boards and wall displays in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 1, 2015 What’s Worth Keeping

Routines and schedules are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 25, 2015 The Power of a Read Aloud

Read alouds early in the year are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 18, 2015 Close Reading a Community

We look at building community in the early days of school in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 11, 2015 Catching Your Breath

Classroom libraries are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 27, 2015 Giving Thanks

Oral language is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 20, 2015 Turning Children into Scholars

We look at launching book clubs and early reading discussions in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 13, 2015 Abandoning Big Things

Writer’s craft is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 6, 2015 The Wow! Scaffold

We look at celebrations and community building in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 30, 2015 Borders

We consider anchor charts and wall displays in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 23, 2015 Starting with “Secondly”

We look at student research in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 16, 2015 From Obligation to Appreciation

Conventions are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 9, 2015 A Pile of Stories

Closing out the year is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 2, 2015 Navigating Boston

Teaching the concept of theme is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 25, 2015 What We Crave

Just-right books are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 18, 2015 Messy Inventions

Prewriting and drafting are the focus of  this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 11, 2015 Perspective

Student share sessions are the focus of  this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 4, 2015 True Horizontal

We look at student goal setting in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 28, 2015 The Devotion of Reading Teachers

We consider the value of reading aloud to students in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 21, 2015 Taking Detours

We look at the spring slump in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 14, 2015 Eating an Orange

Notebooks are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 7, 2015 The Power of Play

We look at play in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 28, 2015 The Ketchup Incident

We look at welcoming school guests (even unhappy ones) in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 21, 2015 What Comes First

There is never enough in schools to do all we need to do, so that is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 14, 2015 Joy’s Path

We look at conferring with students in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 7, 2015 Rereading the Classics

Student research is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 31, 2015 Portmanteaus and Eggcorns

Content word work is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 24, 2015 DEARO

We consider small groups in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 17, 2015 The Power of Nonfiction Picture Books

We consider fuzzy boundaries between nonfiction and fiction in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 10, 2015 What I’ve Read

Adolescent literacy is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 3, 2015 Cookies and Coaching

We consider young readers in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 27, 2014 Happiness of Pursuit

Goals are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 13, 2014 What Makes a Writer?

Using Twitter and other online resources in classrooms is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 6, 2014 Watchers

We look at how to integrate more visuals into minilessons in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 29, 2014 Cheerfully Indifferent

We look at how to integrate more visuals into minilessons in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 22, 2014 Not Very Entertaining

Formative assessment is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

Letter to Franki Sibberson’s Students

Here is a letter Brenda Power wrote to Franki Sibberson's students about why adults observe children, if you're looking for ways to explain the presence of adult visitors in classrooms.

The Big Fresh November 15, 2014 Thinking Is Good for the Soul

We explore favorite characters from children’s books in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 8, 2014 Take a Different Route

We consider quiet learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 1, 2014 Short and Smart

We explore how to teaching using short nonfiction texts in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 25, 2014 Learning Spaces

Peer support is explored in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 18, 2014 Grief Bacon

Conventions and spelling are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 11, 2014 What We Take Away

We consider homework and home/school connections in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 4, 2014 Duct Tape Magic

Word work in the early grades is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 27, 2014 Walk and Talk

We consider close reading with teens and tweens in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 20, 2014 Chinese Food

What’s appropriate for students to read is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 13, 2014 Extra or Unexpected?

We look at how to find writing topics in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 6, 2014 Clark Walking

Reading logs are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 30, 2014 The Other Space

Classroom libraries are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 23, 2014 Pure Enjoyment PD

We look at reader response in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 16, 2014 Hot

We consider a variety of transitions in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 9, 2014 Home

Classroom design is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 2, 2014 Night Magic

We look at building relationships early in the year in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 26, 2014 Beautiful Questions

We consider student writing of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 19, 2014 Please Don’t Ruin Our Good Work

First activities for the school year are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 12, 2014 Loving the Process

Memoir is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 5, 2014 Cucumber in a Tomato Cage

We feature books for launching reading workshop in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 21, 2014 Spider Web

Building community early in the school year is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 14, 2014 Mind and Body

Habits are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 7, 2014 Sorry

We look at kindergarten literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 31, 2014 Stories and Problems

Closure is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 24, 2014 Walled Readers

We consider wall displays in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 17, 2014 Who We Are

Nonfiction in the spring is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 10, 2014 Benny

We consider student work ethic in the spring in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 3, 2014 Piled Up

Helping struggling learners is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 26, 2014 Are We Still Serving Hamburgers?

Preparing for summer reading is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 19, 2014 Spammer for a Day

We look at how to finish the year strong in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 12, 2014 An Average Overachiever

We consider English language learners in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 5, 2014 Smart Board

Digital literacy is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 29, 2014 Favorites

We present our annual list of your favorite features in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 22, 2014 Something Strong, Smart, and Beautiful

Bravery in many forms is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 15, 2014 Reframing Despair

We look at vocabulary instruction in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 8, 2014 Reading Dogs

We consider minilesson design in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 1, 2014 Sensing Spring

A fun take on March Madness with book brackets is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 22, 2014 Making Opinions Matter

Opinion and argumentative writing are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 15, 2014 Fancy Foods

We explore instruction with series and chapter books in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 8, 2014 Keeping It Short

Short texts are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 1, 2014 Strength and Weakness

We consider middle school literacy in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 25, 2014 The Unconference

We look at formative assessments in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 18, 2014 Reading a Community

Anchor charts are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 11, 2014 Pull Over

Online student research is explored in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 4, 2014 Honor the Time

Goals are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 21, 2013 Learning to Love Nonfiction

Student engagement is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 14, 2013 If the Shoe Fits

Holiday reading is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 7, 2013 Come On, Man

Teaching conventions is the topic of  this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 30, 2013 5-2-1-0

We look at nonfiction in classroom libraries in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 23, 2013 Abandoning Books

Conferring is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 16, 2013 First Fruits

Connecting classrooms with tech tools is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 9, 2013 The Ultimate Desk Challenge

How to teach theme is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 2, 2013 Running and Reading

Student partnerships are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 26, 2013 PD Overload

We consider gender issues in reading and writing in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 19, 2013 Tending the Garden

Flexible grouping is the focus of this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 12, 2013 Winning Deal

Communicating with families is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 5, 2013 No Boundaries

We consider “just-right” books in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 28, 2013 Teaching the Genes

Logs and notebooks are the focus of this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 21, 2013 Say Yes

Student research in the age of the Common Core is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 14, 2013 The Spotlight

Mentors near and far are the focus of this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 7, 2013 Perfect Pie Crusts

We consider close reading in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 31, 2013 Chasing Joy

Setting goals for students and adults is the topic of this week's Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 24, 2013 Texting About Reading

Using tech resources to build a classroom reading and writing community is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 17, 2013 Pausing Time

We consider book and wall displays in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 10, 2013 Awkward Is Good

Planning and prioritizing assessments early in the year is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh August 3, 2013 What We Teach

Routines for independence is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 27, 2013 Growth and Choice

We have many takes on selecting first read alouds in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 20, 2013 A Reader and Her Books

Reading series books is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh July 13, 2013 One and Dones

Renewal and reflection is explored in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 22, 2013 Cues, Rewards, and Habits

What makes habits stick? That’s the subject of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 15, 2013 Plans and Reality

Summer planning is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 8, 2013 A Sense of Place

Classroom design is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh June 1, 2013 Trade Secrets

Student research is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 25, 2013 Kick It In

We explore summer reading resources in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 18, 2013 When a Phone Is Not a Phone

We explore small group instruction in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 11, 2013 Correcting Too Soon

Writing nonfiction is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh May 4, 2013 Grandmother Clause

We provide multiple perspectives on comprehension instruction in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 27, 2013 Stories

Shared reading is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 20, 2013 Data Trouble

We explore the balance of choice, independence, and structure in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 13, 2013 Rename It

Innovative use of audio books is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh April 6, 2013 Thanks

This week’s Big Fresh is focused on family literacy outreach.

The Big Fresh March 30, 2013 Appreciation

This week’s Big Fresh features resources for the start of National Poetry Month.

The Big Fresh March 23, 2013 Reteaching

Teaching students how to do research is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 16, 2013 Temptation and Willpower

This week’s Big Fresh tackles better transitions of all kinds.

The Big Fresh March 9, 2013 Without Cheating

Strengthening classroom communities is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh March 2, 2013 Notes

Student notetaking is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 23, 2013 What’s Your Password?

We focus on word learning at all ages in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 16, 2013 Small Things

Connecting movement, music, and literacy is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh February 9, 2013 Add Ons

This week’s Big Fresh is all about conferring.

The Big Fresh February 2, 2013 Big Lists

We explore graphic novels and comics in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 26, 2013 The Stick Game

Peer response is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 19, 2013 Shoulds

We explore digital reading and writing resources in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh January 12, 2013 Control

This week’s Big Fresh focuses on book previewing resources and sample lessons.

The Big Fresh January 5, 2013 Both Sides

We provide resource links to books on bullying in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh December 29, 2012 Goals

Goals are the subject of this week’s Big Fresh, on the cusp of the new year.

The Big Fresh December 15, 2012 Visitor Ball

In this week’s Big Fresh, we consider the value of rituals and traditions.

The Big Fresh December 8, 2012 Go Go Gadgets

This week’s Big Fresh focuses on authentic writing and summaries.

The Big Fresh December 1, 2012 Acceptable Alternatives

Peers helping peers is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 17, 2012 Purse Pass

We feature some excellent resources for web-based video to support the Common Core in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 10, 2012 Whimsy

Fostering a more literate show and tell session is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh November 3, 2012 Giving Too Much

Resources for teaching opinion and argumentative writing are the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 27, 2012 Consider It Done

This week’s Big Fresh has a wealth of practical suggestions for working with reluctant writers.

The Big Fresh October 20, 2012 Not Proficient

Big lists and minilessons are explored in this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 13, 2012 More More More

Parent communication is the focus of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh October 6, 2012 Future Literacy

This week we tackle grammar and conventions in the Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 29, 2012 Shining a Light

The web is a treasure trove of resources for the Common Core.

The Big Fresh September 22, 2012 Going Through the Motions

This week’s Big Fresh includes lots of resources for integrating reading and writing into your science curriculum.

The Big Fresh September 15, 2012 Delegation Gone Bad

Launching and sustaining writing workshops is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

The Big Fresh September 8, 2012 Something Better

Improving read alouds is the topic of this week’s Big Fresh.

11/11/11: We Are One Celebration with Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Hundreds of people gathered at Millennium Park in Chicago for a joyful and silly celebration of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s “We Are One” flash mob.

Literacy Coach Confidential: My Colleague Talks Too Much!

Yakity yak won't bring 'em back to study groups when someone talks far too much. Here is advice from Choice Literacy contributors on how to deal with those "overtalkers" with tact and grace.

Music for Literacy Leaders

Reflective? Rollicking? If you’re trying to set a tone for anything from an assessment team meeting to a one-minute transition in a second-grade classroom, our Music for Literacy Leaders playlist has just the right song for you.

How Study Groups Are Like Self-Cleaning Ovens

With a few key elements in place, Brenda Power and Jennifer Allen explain how study groups can almost run themselves and get everyone involved.

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure: A Teacher Workshop Activity

"Two or Three Things I Know for Sure" is a terrific short workshop activity for study groups or faculty meetings, and it also can be used in partnership discussions with mentors, literacy coaches, and colleagues. The activity gets everyone to explore their bedrock beliefs about teaching – as well as what it takes to change them.

Notetaking Strategies Part I: “In the Midst” and “After the Fact” Notes

There is a difference between “in the midst” and “after the fact” notes, and different methods might work better in different observation contexts once you know your options.

Notetaking Series Part III: “Raw” and “Cooked” Notes

In "Raw and Cooked Notes," the value of uncensored notes is presented, as well as a simple strategy for beginning to code and analyze the observations you are jotting down.

Notetaking Series, Part IV: What Counts and Writing the Unwritable

Here are some strategies for getting out of notetaking ruts.

Notetaking Series Part V: Getting Out of Notetaking Ruts

It's a quick journey from notetaking routines to notetaking ruts. This installment of the notetaking series focuses on ways to get out of the ruts that emerge naturally whenever any notetaking routine is established.

“Hard” Reading Workshop: Understanding How Proficient Readers Comprehend Difficult Text

The Hard Reading Workshop is a terrific professional development activity for launching conversations about text difficulty and strategy instruction.

Establishing a Routine for Notetaking

We close out the notetaking series with advice on setting notetaking goals.

Memorable Moments: Two Quick-Write Closure Activities for End-of-the-Year Study Groups and Staff Meetings (TEMPLATES)

Here are two quick and reflective activities for closure at the end of the year.

Last Words and Next Steps: Closure Activities for Study Groups and Mentoring Programs

Here are some quick closure activities to help you finish out the last study groups and meetings with colleagues on a high note.

Memorable Students, Memorable Teachers: A Quick-Write Icebreaker for Teacher Workshops

This is a quick-write workshop activity that is especially suited to the more relaxed pace of summer professional development workshops, or first meetings with colleagues in the fall when everyone is refreshed and reflective.

Mentor Interviews — A Protocol of Questions

This series of  over 30 questions for mentors or novice teachers can be used to plan a mentoring program, match mentors and novice teachers, or launch partnerships early in the fall.

The Books We Can’t Live Without in Our Teaching: Resource Round-Up

Literacy experts share their well-loved and well-worn children's and professional books.

Three Little Phrases No Literacy Coach Can Live Without

Brenda Power shares trade secret phrases for communicating with colleagues.

Writing Conference Principles

Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury describe the principles they live by when conferring with students.

The Dark Side of Girl Talk: How Female Conversation Patterns Can Inhibit School Change

Brenda Power explores the differences between “rapport talk” and “report talk” and what to do when communication breaks down with female colleagues.

Under, Over and Beyond Words: Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms

This article offers possibilities for observing classrooms focused on talk as an alternative to traditional observation notes.

Boosting Attendance at Study Groups

Brenda Power shares advice from teachers that are building and maintaining inquiry study groups with adults.

Creative Literacy Events for Families

Brenda Power suggests formats for events that build stronger home-school connections.

Puzzle Kids: Observing and Analyzing Challenging Students (E-GUIDE)

This E-Guide provides teachers with a tool to analyze children who need additional observation and analysis to create successful learning opportunities.

Writing to Reflect: Quotes for Quick Writing, Reflection, and Discussion (E-GUIDE)

This e-guide includes ten different quotes from a range of educators, activists, authors, and innovators for reflection at all times of the year.

Letters from Home: Letting Families and Friends Teach Us

Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury use letters from home to learn about students and build community.

Tips from the Pros on Starting Your Own Writer’s Notebook or Teaching Journal

If you asked yourself, “What in this world do I never want to forget?” what might go in your notebook? Brenda Power offers routines and rhythms to write like the pros.

Over, Under, and Beyond Words: Alternative Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms (E-GUIDE)

Words matter. Tried-and-true templates and strategies in this E-Guide focus attention on classroom talk in ways that help grow professional conversations.

Conferring with Yourself: A Tool for Anticipating Response (TEMPLATE)

Take time for this quick write and Brenda Power will have you conferring with yourself, considering new viewpoints and thoughtfully preparing for your "yeah but" colleagues.

What Are the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies?

Terms like thinking or comprehension strategies get thrown around a lot, but what do we really mean? Brenda Power helps define seven strategies to build common language and understanding.

Above the Fold: Creating Individual Professional Development Plans (E-GUIDE)

Determine importance for yourself using a six-step process that individualizes a plan to help you set limits, study deeply and lead the scholarly life you deserve.

Up Gross and Personal: Dealing with Dicey Topics in Writing Workshops

Even teachers with a high tolerance for the disgusting can get a little squeamish at the topics students choose for writing workshops.  What are the boundaries of good taste?

Starting Points: Easy Beginnings for Writing Better Narrative Assessments and Report Card Comments

 If you struggle as a writer at report card time, these tips might give you ideas for streamlining your work.

Family Survey: Report Cards and Evaluations (SURVEY)

Here’s a quick and easy family survey to send home with students.

Enlisting Students as Observers

Students are keen observers – put those talents to work in your classroom.

What’s Valued? Exploring Different Values in Evaluation (E-GUIDE)

Brenda Power shares a workshop series designed to help educators bring their values into closer alignment for a more cohesive experience for students.

Adjectives to Anecdotes: Writing Better Report Card Comments

Brenda Power helps report card comment writers pack a punch in a few lines with positivity, honesty and some time-saving tips.

Two-Column Notes (E-GUIDE)

The Two-Column Notes eGuide has 18 different options for notes in professional development settings.  These templates are helpful to use in staff meetings and study groups while watching videos, or to focus observations during classroom visits

We Are All Shamu: What Literacy Leaders Can Learn from Exotic Animal Trainers

If you've ever compared your classroom to a zoo, this article by Brenda Power is for you. You'll take animal trainer advice like "We change behavior in others by breaking routines in delightful ways" and follow it into the classroom.

Collaborative Teaching: Finding Common Ground First (CHECKLIST)

These are important questions for teachers entering into a co-teaching situation to consider in advance.

Designing Comprehension Constructors: Helping Adolescent Learners Develop Reading Strategies (E-GUIDE)

Comprehension constructors are a terrific tool for helping teens record their understanding.

Opinion Exchange (E-GUIDE)

How can quotes lead educators to awareness and acceptance of the diversity of opinions in a group? Discover what this format for discussion has to offer your study group or staff.

In Praise of Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes have timeless appeal, and great value for teachers and literacy leaders.

Notetaking Series Part II: Honing Your Notetaking Skills, One Strategy at a Time

One skill at a time — here are some suggestions for a step-by-step approach to learning how to take good observational notes in the classroom.

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