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Reading The Crossover: Fourth-Grade Reading Group

Gigi McAllister leads a group of boys who are just starting the novel in verse The Crossover in her fourth-grade classroom.

Reading Partners: Process Discussion

Gigi McAllister helps fourth-grade reading partners evaluate their success and areas to work on in their partnership.

Fourth-Grade Minilesson: Character Traits

Gigi McAllister helps her fourth graders develop the characters in their writing with a minilesson. She uses three mentor texts, one of which is her own writing.

Talk Guide

Gigi McAllister presents a guide to her fourth-grade students to improve talk in reading trios.

Self-Assessment and Goal Setting

Gigi McAllister is disappointed by the shallow and unexpected responses by her fourth graders to literacy rubrics at the end of the year. The experience sends her on a quest to do a better job of helping her students learn to set goals and understand what measurable progress looks like over time.

Talk Expectations in Reading Groups

Gigi McAllister assists a group of students who are trying out bookmarks of discussion prompts for literature groups.

Better Student-Led Literature Discussions

Gigi McAllister tries student-led discussion groups in her fourth-grade classroom, with disastrous results. She regroups the following year with multiple lessons, anchor charts, and preparation to ensure success.

Lunchtime Author Discussion Groups

Gigl McAllister explains why she hosts optional lunchtime author studies, with practical tips on getting started.

Fourth-Grade Lunch Fan Club

Gigi facilitates one of her lunch author fan clubs, where everyone gets organized and brainstorms what they might explore in the group during this first meeting.

Digital Revision: Conferring with Aidan

In this week’s video, Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Aidan revise his writing on the computer to flesh out character development.

Hosting Reading and Writing Events

Gigi McAllister explains why you have to be a bit choosy about reading and writing events since there are so many possibilities. Here are some she values in her fourth-grade classroom.

Minilesson: Writing a Mentor Text

In this week’s video, Gigi McAllister models writing in front of her fourth-grade class. She takes advice from students as she develops the characters in her story.

Exploring Goals in Fiction

Gigi McAllister meets briefly with a group of fourth graders who are all exploring theme in picture books.

Good Questions for Group Discussions

Gigi McAllister helps a group of fourth graders evaluate questions for fostering good group discussions.

Minilesson: Tips for Book Talks

Gigi McAllister gives a minilesson on engaging book talks to her fourth graders.

Quick Take: Evolving Beliefs About Goals

Gigi McAllister gives a brief explanation of how her thinking on goal setting has changed, as well as the ways she uses student goals to connect with parents.

Minilesson: Measurable Reading Goals in Fourth Grade

Gigi McAlliister has her fourth graders consider what makes a reading goal measurable.

Celebrating Completed Books and Presenting New Ones

Gigi McAllister shares a quick daily routine of asking students to celebrate books they have finished reading, before she introduces a new book to the class.

Getting Started with Voice Recorded Responses

Gigi MicAllister gives step-by-step advice on how she set up voice-recorded response as an option in her fourth-grade classroom.

Partner Conference: Audiobooks to Support Comprehension

In this week's video, Gigi McAllister meets with two fourth graders who are reading the book Paper Things, talking about how using an audiobook can support comprehension.

Trying on Books for Reading Groups

Gigi McAllister finds taking time to have students browse texts before forming book clubs makes all the difference in the quality of the discussions.

Weaving in Poetry

Gigi McAllister shares suggestions for infusing poetry throughout classrooms and the literacy curriculum all year long.

Alternatives to Home/School Reading Logs

There may be few literacy homework assignments more despised by families than the dreaded reading log. Gigi McAllister proposes some alternatives, and explains how she keeps families in the loop on reading progress.

Reorganizing the Classroom Library

Gigi McAllister reorganizes her classroom library checkout system, and finds that a little upfront investment in time pays big dividends all year long.

Staying True to Best Practices with Required Resources

Are you required to use a reading or writing program that goes against your beliefs about teaching and learning? Gigi McAllister has suggestions for holding onto your beliefs and sanity.

Using Picture Books to Foster Resilience

Gigi McAllister uses picture books to strengthen her fourth grade classroom community.

Finding Pockets of Time

Gigi McAllister gives suggestions for finding pockets of time in overstuffed schedules.

Character Traits and Vocabulary Development

Gigi McAllister shares how she combines vocabulary instruction with analysis of character traits in her fourth-grade classroom.

Slow Thinkers

Gigi McAllister realizes she is a slow thinker, and this makes her reconsider some of her classroom practices to support children who need more time to respond.

Spreading Out the Fun

Why save all the most enjoyable literacy activities for May or June? Gigi McAllister spreads out the fun all year long with literacy events and activities to break up routines.

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