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Comics and Graphic Novels for Tweens

Comic books and graphic novels are genres tweens adore, but teachers sometimes struggle to embrace. Ruth Shagoury creates a booklist with engaging books in the genre any teacher would enjoy.

Reading Interviews: Part 3

We conclude our video series of end-of-year reading interviews with Ruth Shagoury. In this installment, she asks students about how they have changed as readers throughout the year.

Writing Interviews: Part 3

Ruth Shagoury’s end-of-year writing interviews finish with questions about change and the teacher’s influence on writing.

Reading Interviews: Part 2

Ruth Shagoury asks sixth-grade students about reading at home and how they have changed as readers this year.

Writing Interviews: Part 2

Ruth Shagoury’s end of year writing interviews with sixth graders continue with questions about writing strengths and weaknesses.

Reading Interviews: Part 1

Interviews at the end of the school year can help students consider their growth as readers and writers. In this week’s video, Ruth Shagoury interviews sixth graders about their reading. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Writing Interviews: Part 1

Ruth Shagoury interviews sixth graders about their writing at the end of the year. This is the first video in a three-part series.

End-of-Year Literacy Interviews

Ruth Shagoury explains why year-end interviews are so valuable, and includes questions to use in your interviews.

The Power of Mystery Series for Teens and Tweens

Ruth Shagoury shares her top picks of mystery series for teens and tweens.

Recommendations for Summer Reading Fun: Early Reader Chapter Books for Boys

Meghan Rose and Ruth Shagoury finish their summer fun for early readers series with a booklist for boys interested in chapter books.

Recommendations for Summer Reading Fun: Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

Early readers love comic books and graphic novels. Meghan Rose and Ruth Shagoury give their top picks in their latest summer fun for early readers booklist.

Recommendations for Summer Reading Fun: Classic Books for Early Readers

Meghan Rose and Ruth Shagoury have written a series of booklists for early readers, perfect for sharing with parents looking for suggestions. The first installment tackles the classic books many of us cherish from our own childhood days.

Understanding the Middle East Through Children’s Literature (BOOKLIST)

Sheiks, harems, and terrorists — the stereotypes of the middle east from popular culture may not be realistic, but they sure are pervasive. Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham find authentic alternative views to present to children in their new booklist.

Notes from the Mad Teachers Liberation Front: Create Your Manifesto

Start your school year off right (or get it back on track) with a manifesto about who you are and what you value. Ruth Shagoury provides a mentor poem, guidelines and samples.

Every. Single. Day.

Ruth Shagoury listens in as Katie Doherty's students give advice to a new classmate, and in the process reveal the norms and expectations for reading and writing workshops.

Telling Our Stories

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham beautifully weave together poetry and storytelling in a potent professional development activity for teachers.

Language in the Classroom: Using a Recorder as a Teaching Resource

Ruth Shagoury provides tips and strategies for analyzing language in the classroom.

Quick Take: Awkward Beginnings with English Language Learners

In this short video, Ruth Shagoury gives two pieces of advice to teachers who feel awkward as they are trying to communicate with young English language learners.

Quick Take: Conferring with Young English Language Learners

In this short video, Ruth Shagoury gives advice to teachers conferring with young English language learners, explaining how other English language learners can be surprisingly helpful in conferences.

Drawing to Learn: Conferring with Kyle

In this conference with six-year-old Kyle, Ruth Shagoury listens to him explain the stories and meaning behind his drawings during writer's workshop. Kyle's first language is Vietnamese, though English is also spoken in the home.

Uncovering Reading Behaviors

Teachers value the assessment of student skills and needs that come from close observation in classrooms, but may not know how to focus those observations.  Ruth Shagoury documents some of those behaviors that put students on the path of becoming accomplished independent readers in a middle school classroom.

Social Justice Picture Books

If you’re looking for a read aloud to spark some discussions about making a difference in the world, you might enjoy Ruth Shagoury’s new booklist of children’s literature with a  social justice theme.

Engaged by the World: Maps, Globes, Reading, and Writing with Young Children

Kelly Petrin and Ruth Shagoury connect globes and children's literature with a map theme to inspire young children to write more and include visual representations in their drafts.  While the examples are from a Head Start classroom, the booklist and activities are appropriate for any K-2 students.

Choosing New Books for Comprehension Strategy Studies with Young Children

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share a wealth of books appropriate for comprehension study with young children. The booklist is especially useful for work with English language learners.

The Book Lovers Quilt Project

Katie Doherty and Ruth Shagoury present  a fun way to launch (or close) the year with middle schoolers and discover the best-loved books of students from previous years.  This project can be adapted for any age level.

More Teaching Metaphors

Ruth Shagoury considers her struggles with "beginner's mind" in yoga and mountain biking, and what they can both teach her about students who are struggling with any new learning.

What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About . . .?

Ruth Shagoury and Melanie Quinn asked their colleagues to share the “most beautiful thing” about the puzzling student each of them is looking at closely in their study group. This is a great activity you’re looking for a quick and easy icebreaker to spark some positive energy in your next study group or staff meeting, and remind everyone of the joys of our profession.

Looking for Evidence: Seven Questions

With all the things teachers could focus on in their observations of students, what are the key behaviors to look for in assessing literacy growth and development? Ruth Shagoury notes the questions she uses to focus her observations and assessment of student comprehension of texts.

“I Used to . . . Now I”

Looking for a thoughtful and feel-good icebreaker for a staff meeting or study group? Ruth Shagoury uses the “I Used to…Now I” prompt to get colleagues thinking and talking about changes in their literacy instruction over the years, as well as where they might go next in their teaching.

Learning with Intensity: A Study Group Discussion Prompt

"Learning with Intensity" is a study group activity which takes participants back to a time when they became passionately involved with learning. Ruth Shagoury shares the structure of the activity and insights from one group who gave it a test drive.

Recipe for a Literary Tea

Ruth Shagoury has a recipe for you – a soothing “literary tea” with connections to favorite authors. You can start from her recipe to concoct your own author-themed tea, and we also include links to resources on the web for purchasing the loose tea ingredients.

Team Sharing of Writing Curriculum Innovations (TEMPLATE)

Ruth Shagoury finds some of the best learning in her study groups comes when participants share the new things they are trying in their classrooms. She develops a nifty one-page notetaking form to help everyone keep track of ideas they want to test out with students.

Root Metaphors for Teaching: Learning from Our Passions

Ruth Shagoury finds her passion for bread-baking leads to rethinking how she differentiates instruction for students. Her colleagues then come up with their own metaphors in the study group activity.

New Teacher Conversations: Management Stories from the Classroom

Ruth Shagoury provides a workshop model for teacher leaders looking to encourage respectful conversation with new teachers on the topics that are near and dear to them.

Collecting Stories: Opening Activity and Icebreaker (PRINT DOWNLOAD)

Ruth Shagoury’s collecting stories icebreaker is a fun yet thoughtful activity for opening a meeting or all-day professional development event with energy and reflection.  It gets everyone moving around the room, talking with colleagues, and best of all, focused on students and curriculum.

Multicultural Picture Books for Young Children

These books do double duty – building community and understanding of the sounds of language.

New Teacher Conversations: Breaking Through Roadblocks and Sustaining Support

The roadblocks activity can easily be adapted for study groups looking at almost any topic.

Conferring with Emily: Moving from Questions to Content

In this conference with six-year-old Emily, Ruth Shagoury looks for a way into a conversation by using Emily’s drawings, previous writing, and interests. Emily’s first language is Hmong, and she is experimenting with Chinese characters in her writing.

Conferring with Leonela: A Two-Day Progression

Leonela is a six-year-old student whose first language is Spanish. In these videos of conferences with Ruth Shagoury filmed over two days, she makes connections between her drawing, writing, and experiences at home and in Mexico.

Conferring with Eddie

Eddie is a six-year-old student who speaks Cantonese as his first language. In this conference with Ruth Shagoury, there is little English spoken, and yet there is much communication through gestures and shared history.

Writing Conference Principles

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

Understanding the “Silent Period” with English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham explain how to support an English Language Learner who is not speaking with verbal and nonverbal communication strategies.

The Art of Listening in Writing Conferences with English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share tips for mastering the art of listening in conferences with English language learners.

Mix It Up: Helping Young Writers Learn to Confer with Peers and Teachers

Ruth Shagoury models her own writing as a way to introduce the concept of conferring to young learners.

Webbing to Learn: A Writing Strategy to Chart Thinking with Young Learners

Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury explain how webs can be a powerful organizing tool for kindergarten writers.

The Lines are to Write My Words: Phonics in Context

Ruth Shagoury considers the role of phonics in context as she observes a classroom built on a foundation of children's expert knowledge as writers.

Family Dichos: Bringing the Language of Home into the Classroom

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.

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.

Conferring in the Zone: Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Writing Conferences

The zone of proximal development continues to be an important frame for noting where writers are at and what's next. Ruth Shagoury lists questions at different phases of writing to help nudge writers forward.

Opinion Exchange: A Workshop Activity for Study Groups

New teachers need so much their first year and having the ability to be heard and have their opinions valued is right up there. Ruth Shagoury offers a respectful exchange to meet that need.

Helping Young Readers Understand the Middle East: A Booklist of the Best Fiction Picture Books

Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.

Alphabet Books for English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury lists a variety of books with languages and scripts far beyond the ABCs to connect school and home languages.

Conferring with a Child in the “Silent Period”

Larisa is a six-year-old who speaks Russian at home, and is in the “silent period” in school. In this conference, Ruth Shagoury demonstrates different strategies for eliciting responses from Larisa.

Writing About a War-Torn Home: Zerina Talks About Finding Her Writer’s Voice

In this interview with Ruth Shagoury, English language learner Zerina talks about her growing confidence as a writer as she shares her writing with high school classmates. She also talks about how her father encouraged her to write down her most poignant memory of war in their homeland, Bosnia.

Conferring with Anna

Anna is a five-year-old student in an Oregon kindergarten classroom who speaks Vietnamese at home. In this conference with Ruth Shagoury, she shares writing about her classmates and a snake, testing out her growing knowledge of the alphabet, sounds, and the purposes of writing.

Tracking Young Children’s Writing and Development

Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury share the assessment tools they use to track Andie’s kindergarten writers.

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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