Heather has a fascination with what makes teaching and learning work. Her motto is “Stay Curious” and she embraces that in her personal and professional life. She currently teaches fourth grade.
Heather Rader shares a process for teaching peer editing and revision skills that helps students learn how to assist each other kindly during writing workshop. This is the first video in a three-part series.
Partners confer over revision in fifth grade in this second installment of a three-part video series.
Heather Rader demonstrates the importance of a varied reading diet to a second-grade group, sharing her own stack of books.
Heather Rader concludes her series on sentence combining with a four-step process to help teachers explore the sentence combining craft on their own.
Heather Rader has strategies for using sentence combining in literacy workshops.
Heather Rader begins a new series on sentence combining, an alternative to traditional drill and kill grammar instruction.
What words are worthy of study? Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explore that question with colleagues.
Heather Rader discovers subheadings are a neglected but useful tool for teaching students about key topics in their writing.
Ruth Ayres and Heather Rader draw on their work as literacy coaches and teachers to explore the complex connections between choice and structure in writing workshops.
Heather Rader blurs the line between research and presentation in the final installment of the primary research series.
Heather Rader looks at the importance of frontloading information for young learners in the third installment of the primary research series.
Heather Rader shares the second installment in our primary research series.
Heather Rader launches a new four-part series on teaching research skills in the primary grades. This first installment highlights search techniques for children.
If you tell students transitions are like underwear, they sit up and pay attention. Heather Rader uses the analogy to help students analyze and improve the transitions in their writing.
This is the final installment in Heather Rader's series on argument and opinion writing in the intermediate grades.
When students take a stand in writing, they will almost inevitably bring up touchy topics. Heather Rader considers the challenge in part 3 of her opinion/argumentative writing series.
In the second installment of our teaching argument/opinion writing series, Heather Rader uses a continuum dialogue and modeled writing with intermediate students.
As Heather Rader works with teachers and teams on opinion/argumentative writing, she’s considering the anatomy of an argument and engaging ways to teach it.
Heather Rader finds web video is a powerful tool for scaffolding young writers as they produce informational texts.
Heather Rader gives examples of convention conferences in this final installment of the conventions series.
Heather Rader works with a team of intermediate teachers as they connect their plans for conventions instruction and the Common Core.
Heather Rader works with a team of intermediate teachers as they pore over student work together and analyze which conventions should be taught.
Heather Rader works with a team of intermediate teachers to ferret out what does and doesn't work, based on research and experience.
Heather Rader and Jennifer Taft share strategies for positive communication with parents.
Heather Rader shares the language she uses to describe literacy coaching to others.
Heather Rader works with a teaching team as they integrate conventions instruction into their writing workshop.
What can music add to the classroom? Plenty! Sean Moore and Heather Rader provide many examples and favorite tunes.
Heather Rader shares more guidelines for a professional development day on the Common Core with a writing focus.
Heather Rader sorts through goals, audience, and interest in planning a day of professional development linked to the writing standards in the Common Core.
Heather Rader shares the essential elements of successful literacy coaching in this first installment of a month-long series.
The line between copying and plagiarizing can be a difficult one for young students to understand. In this video, Heather Rader and Linda Karamatic share a humane strategy for helping two second graders craft nonfiction writing.
Heather Rader considers how assessments and observations might be used to create flexible groups.
“About the Author” blurbs are a great way to bring closure to writing in workshops. In this “Listen In,” Myia begins to construct her “About the Author” page.
Heather Rader uses Kincaid’s intricate system for analyzing books to build a writing agenda in this writing conference.
Heather Rader finds short text and shared modeling of revision strategies are just the scaffolds students need to see the power of revision for improving writing.
Some young writers take a lot of time and encouragement on the journey to uninhibited prose, while others zip to prolific. Maya is such a writer. Heather Rader assists this proficient 2nd grade writer as her teacher observes.
Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader find ways into understanding text complexity with students and teachers.
In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this fifth video, Heather and students shift from “I do” to “we do” as students try test their summary writing skills with partners
In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this final video, Heather and students debrief and capture their learning in writing.
A first-year teacher struggles to manage a class with boys who are cut-ups. From the lemons to lemonade department, Heather Rader helps him build on student strengths by developing a popular writing unit on joke writing.
Heather Rader confers with 2nd grader Maya about her math writing as Linda Karamatic listens in.
When is writing finished? Heather Rader confers with a second grader over that age-old question for writers as Linda Karamatic listens in.
Sometimes using a prop can help young students understand a revision strategy. Heather Rader helps second-grader Sammi understand how to “magnify” a moment when revising her writing.
In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a fourth-grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this first video excerpt, Heather reviews the work the class has already done on understanding the attributes of good summaries.
In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a fourth-grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this second video, Heather presents the powerful analogy of a sponge for summarizing.
In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this third video, Heather and students cull down a text into the important points needed for a summary.
In this sequence of videos, Heather Rader teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this fourth video, Heather and students discuss their summaries in progress
Heather Rader wades through the research to find the best practices in spelling instruction.
Many commercial aids are available to assist young writers. The challenge is choosing carefully, and integrating them into workshops in a way that doesn’t inhibit student fluency and risk-taking. In this video, Heather Rader confers with a second grader, demonstrating how to use a spelling log for high-frequency words.
Heather Rader considers the cultural divide between teachers and students who are “screenagers” when it comes to texting. If u r getting LOLed out in ur classroom u might want 2 read this.
Video is a terrific tool for building connections between home and school. Heather Rader explains how Kelli Demonte uses video to guide children and communicate with families.
Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explain how the standard for finding evidence in texts might change instruction.
Writers in the real world abandon drafts all the time, yet it’s a strategy which isn’t often encouraged in classrooms. Heather Rader considers the thorny issue of how teachers can promote this strategy, yet still deal well with those students who never finish any drafts.
Heather Rader explores different ways into persuasive writing with teachers and students, highlighting the importance of helping students learn to cite and quote expert resources
In this first installment of a series on grouping, Heather Rader considers size, composition, and frequency.
Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explore connections between the Common Core and vocabulary instruction.
Heather Rader synthesizes recommendations and provides examples of how grouping structures work in classrooms.
Beth Lawson and Heather Rader meet to plan and share mentor texts for nonfiction writing in Beth’s fourth-grade classroom.
Heather Rader considers how to assess the effectiveness of groups.
The word voila in French literally means “see there.” Linda Karamatic puts time and reflection into creating a binder, or “voila book,” that will ease the bulging writing workshop folders and preserve the best of her second-grade students’ writing.
Are you more of a Pollyanna or Eeyore reflector? Heather Rader takes you inside the questions that help us reflect even more deeply on our instructional practices.
Heather Rader shares her experiences working with a teacher team led by an outspoken leader. With listening and support, the team examines evidence in a new way.
Once students are producing quality writing, there is a new challenge: what to do with it all? Heather Rader works with a teacher to design a system to meet her needs.
Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader look at reading across the disciplines within the Common Core.
Heather Rader finds herself coaching a male teacher who is part of a male teaching team, and gets a lesson herself in gender communication patterns.
Current and Cocoa is a fun routine for integrating social studies, literacy, and conversation in classrooms. Heather Rader describes how the weekly activity builds community and fosters awareness of news events.
Heather Rader introduces a new spelling series and maps out the topics she’ll be tackling.
It seems like every spelling rule has an exception — so which ones must be taught? Heather Rader shares the three spelling rules worth any teacher’s time.
If you're a literacy coach, those teachers who don't want to work with you can make you feel like the wallflower at the prom or the last kid picked for the basketball team. Heather Rader has positive, proactive suggestions for making the best of an awkward situation.
Heather Rader gets a couple nasty emails, and thinks through how to hold onto an attitude of gratitude when dealing with colleagues who are short-tempered or demanding.
Heather Rader writes about "agency" – the challenge of letting students and teachers take charge of their learning. In concrete examples from a third-grade classroom and a professional development scoring session with teachers, Heather shares the subtleties of learning to trust, wait, and celebrate when learners of any age are responsible and independent.
Heather Rader describes how to use "wows and wonders" to reach students who say they hate to write.
Sometimes the most important work for writers takes place before any actual drafting. Heather Rader shows how a simple metaphor can help students understand the importance of planning and organizing drafts.
Two teachers are disappointed in student assessment results, but they have very different approaches to tackling the problem. Heather Rader shares her role as a mentor in assisting her colleagues.
Heather Rader has advice for literacy coaches looking for honest appraisals of their work from colleagues.
Teacher writing groups are a wonderful informal way for teachers to get together over the summer voluntarily. Heather Rader has format suggestions, as well as tips for helping your group run smoothly.
Stamina is a term we use often in literacy instruction, but it can be tricky for students and teachers to define in classroom contexts. Heather Rader looks at the specific attributes of writing stamina, as well as how to model it for students.
Heather Rader examines the use of Venn diagrams as a catalyst for thinking about how to coach for more depth in classrooms.
Is there a dialogue doctor in the house? If your students’ writing is filled with dull exchanges, you’ll enjoy these lesson suggestions from Heather Rader.
By the intermediate grades, many students are fluent writers, but they still need a tremendous amount of help with conventions. Heather Rader writes about how teachers' insecurities about their own skills can get in the way of instruction. She also provides some practical tips for assessing and teaching grammar based on emerging student needs.
Heather Rader wants to transition to more of a guide-on-the-side role as she coaches colleagues. Here are some simple strategies she uses to move offstage during collaborative scoring workshops.
Heather Rader coaches a teacher who considers her boy/girl ratio and how it may be affecting students' understanding of directions and time on task.
With summaries as an example, Heather Rader uses trends from learners to help make smart instructional decisions about what is presented during whole group, small group and individual time.
Stepping back to think about the design of quality instruction is essential for any teacher. Heather Rader looks to brain research and tried-and-true practices to lay out lesson components.
Colleagues and coaches, Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader, explore the upcoming shifts in English Language Arts and anticipate what it will mean for leaders, teachers and most importantly, students.
Coaching cycles look different depending on teachers' needs. Via email and phone, Heather Rader has professional conversations with a teacher as he plans and designs a lesson for observation.
Heather Rader works with a 5th grade teacher to infuse more writing into her math curriculum.
Heather Rader explains how mentor texts for math instruction need some specific attributes.
No time for science? Don’t like messes? Heather Rader works with a teacher and helps her find a way to fit science neatly into her full teaching day.
Heather Rader finds reading is at the heart of the work of scientists.
Heather Rader gets the inside word from novice literacy coaches about the support they need to thrive.
"DOT DOT DOT" – a phrase made famous in Mama Mia, it's also the spark for some writing instruction linked to read alouds from Heather Rader.
The care and use of the lowly pencil in classrooms says a lot about what we value and our relationships with students.
What happens between kindergarten and upper elementary grades to make students more hesitant about making predictions? Heather Rader has books and teaching suggestions for building prediction skills.
Cover-up stories involve removing illustrations to heighten awareness of other story elements. Heather Rader explains how the instructional technique works.
The #1 issue for many new teachers is management. Heather Rader shares how she tactfully assisted a novice teacher who needed help.
Heather Rader works with a young teacher to establish a better management system.
The joy and challenge of literacy coaching is creating a good structure for the day. Heather Rader has suggestions for short- and long-term planning on the coaching calendar.
Are you a minimalist when it comes to email, or do you tend to send rambling and reflective posts? No matter your email style, it likely is a match for some of your colleagues, and a barrier to communication for others.
Heather Rader helps a 3rd grade teacher break through the resistance of some student writers. The magic tool? A dirty onion from the garden.
Whose job is it to teach notetaking skills? Heather Rader finds teachers often expect colleagues in previous or subsequent grades to teach these skills, as well as a lot of hesitancy about how best to instruct students. She presents a simple notetaking template and describes how she uses it to help students learn how to list important details with words and images.
If you are familiar with Wordle, you already know it is a great free tool on the web for creating “word clouds” – visual representations of language. Heather Rader uses Wordle in her literacy coaching to give new and veteran teachers a succinct and powerful visual representation of their teaching language.
A code of conduct is created to outline the standards and rules of behavior that guide an organization. Effective codes spell out “unspoken rules” as well, so that everyone can be successful. Heather Rader thinks through what a useful code for coaches might look like.
ERP. The sound can't help but make you grin. It's Heather Rader's acronym for Explicit Revision for Peers, a series of one-minute kinesthetic writing routines to help students learn how to help each other kindly during writer's workshop.
Heather Rader explores the fine art of asking specific questions during coaching debrief sessions.
Inventors understand that early prototypes inform them best about what doesn't work rather than what does. But what about when prototypes are people? Heather Rader reflects on risk-taking, failure, and learning as a literacy coach.
When is sarcasm appropriate in classrooms? Never, yet more is popping up all the time in schools, even from teachers. Here is some advice for dealing with sarcasm.
How does sarcasm hurt students? Heather Rader counts the ways.
We're teachers and we have a tendency to talk too much. Heather Rader explains how she coaches a teacher through the problem.
How can we help students be more reflective in our classrooms, giving us the feedback we need to make them better places for learning? Heather Rader has suggestions.
Teachers, are you getting the most out of your relationships with the literacy coaches and other mentors in your midst? Heather Rader has some thoughtful back-to-school advice for building more powerful teacher-coach relationships
"Peppers make cats cry." If you want to understand the wise advice for literacy coaches within this mnemonic device, you'll have to read this article.
Heather Rader has advice for literacy coaches dealing with teachers who rely too much on writing prompts.
Heather Rader shares strategies teachers at any grade level can use to become more thoughtful and flexible in their use of prompts.
Heather Rader shares a concrete analogy that students (and teachers) love for understanding how summaries work.
Heather Rader coaches a 6th grade teacher as she helps her students write better summaries.
Moving a child from simple to complex sentences is the goal in this second-grade writing conference.
In this video from Linda Karamatic’s second-grade classroom, boys discuss the book Fudge using the protocol provided by Linda.
Teachers continue to puzzle over and sort through the terminology in the Common Core related to opinion and persuasive writing. Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader consider terms and teaching strategies.
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