Mandy Robek has been teaching for over 20 years. She has taught kindergarten, first, and third grade, and currently teaches second grade where she finds guiding readers and writers fascinating. Mandy has degrees from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and The Ohio State University. You can follow Mandy at her blog Enjoy and Embrace Learning, on Twitter @mandyrobek and on Instagram @mandyrobek_edu.
Mandy Robek reminds us of the power of a Status of the Class to build a reading community.
Mandy Robek shares keys to knowing when to launch writer’s notebooks with primary writers.
Mandy Robek takes a step back to relaunch a fairy tale study so students can engage in inquiry work in order to discover key characteristics of the genre.
Mandy Robek adjusts her mindset of preparing her classroom according to COVID guidelines and discovers an open heart and mind as she prepares a “minimalist classroom.”
Mandy Robek shares the tools she uses to transition students to more conventional spelling.
Mandy Robek reflects on her identity as a digital and print reader and offers strategies to support students reading digital texts.
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.
Mandy Robek is a little nervous about setting her students loose to organize informational texts, but she couldn’t be more pleased by what they learned in the process.
Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and at the same time discovers a treasure trove of children’s books to help students overcome worries.
Mandy Robek commits to two weeks of focused daily writing, and then translates what she learns about what writers need to classroom practice.
Mandy Robek finds quick poetry read-alouds are a great way to transition between activities in her second-grade classroom and build a love of poems.
Mandy Robek realizes her classroom library isn’t working for her second graders, in part because many of the books are still too difficult for students early in the year. She explains her process of sorting and stowing books for later use.
Mandy Robek finds that kindergartner Mikey is lost in knowing how to use his time well during reading workshop. Her conference moves him from deflated to inspired.
Mandy Robek demonstrates the strategies of teach, prompt, and reinforce when conferring with kindergartner Jeri.
Mandy Robek begins an anchor chart with her kindergartners and explains the value of shared writing for creating charts about reading strategies and behaviors.
Mandy Robek helps her kindergarten students complete science observations.
Mandy Robek compiles a list of her favorite books for brain breaks with young learners.
Mandy Robek gives a tour of her kindergarten classroom, highlighting literacy spaces that build relationships and independence for her young learners.
Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts for building understanding early in the year of writing workshop with young writers. These books are ideal for launching discussions about how writers find ideas.
Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts to use early in the year with young students to introduce them to everything from places to read to how to handle books.
Mandy Robek has a book choice conference with Drew. This is the first installment in her kindergarten conferring series.
Mandy Robek introduces a new word to her kindergartners for their word wall.
In kindergarten, table groups are a natural and informal way to help groups of students learn new skills through eavesdropping. In this short video from Mandy Robek's kindergarten class, Mandy targets the same skill of defining syllables during individual conferences at the table so that the learning is reinforced for all.
It’s never too early to help students learn to make wise choices for independent reading. Mandy Robek reviews the I-Pick strategy for choosing appropriate books with her kindergarten students.
Mandy Robek “warms up” her kindergartners brains for literacy work with a simple one-minute alphabet activity.
Mandy Robek leads her kindergartners in a shared reading and performance of the classic tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.
Not content to use assessments designed for older students, Mandy Robek combines interactive writing and formative assessments in her kindergarten classroom.
Mandy Robek shares five tips that can help teachers at any grade level develop strategies for tackling the Common Core.
Mandy Robek shares how she has revised the records she keeps during writing conferences.
Mandy Robek finds she needs fewer reading groups and more conferring with the emergent readers in her kindergarten class. She shares how she structures her brief time with students and a conferring form.
Mandy Robek gives us the how-to as she revises a community-building project to make it a better fit for Kindergarten students.
Mandy Robek has a delightful list of books that help students reflect upon and monitor their behavior in the classroom.
Kindergartners may be too young for reading interviews early in the fall, but Mandy Robek finds spring reading interviews are an excellent bridge to families and summer reading suggestions.
If you’re considering guided reading groups in your kindergarten classroom, you’ll want to read Mandy Robek’s advice for getting started and keeping track with a simple planning and assessment form.
Teachers of young learners face special challenges in honoring Martin Luther King and dealing with the violent nature of his death at the same time. Mandy Robek offers some insights into how to celebrate King's life with even the youngest students.
Mandy Robek finds herself overwhelmed when moving from a 3rd grade to kindergarten classroom. Her therapy? Rolling up her sleeves and designing a kindergarten classroom library.
Mandy Robek faces the challenge of creating a warm and inviting classroom environment that still includes some cold, hard computers for student use.
Mandy Robek finds a punctuation unit study with her third graders is a fun alternative to yet another genre study. Her essay includes booklists of children's literature and professional texts.
Mandy Robek shares some of her favorite children’s books for teaching economics.
What’s the value of reading at home? Mandy Robek ponders the home/school connection. Download a copy of a rubric to assess the home reading log.
Readers enjoyed Mandy Robek’s explanation of her move to home reading logs in a calendar format, and some wrote in with additional questions about the program. Mandy provides a follow-up article in a question and answer format, addressing issues raised by readers.
"School is not summer camp" – this quote reminds Mandy Robek that there are many challenges to building a strong classroom community in the midst of demands for achievement and accountability early in the year. Her "literacy jackdaw" project is a terrific vehicle for classmates to learn about each other, and hone their listening, speaking, and writing skills in the process.
Mandy Robek continues her series on picture books for understanding emotional turmoil in students. In this installment, she shares a list of books that can help children name emotions.
Mandy Robek explains with a video example how “interruptions” from students can deepen the shared reading experience. In this case, her kindergarten class is exploring punctuation.
The words prompting and support appear often in the kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Mandy Robek analyzes what prompting and support looks and sounds like in her kindergarten classroom by using a video example.
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