Latest Content
No Pictures Stinks!

Shari Frost remembers how she inadvertently stifled the creativity of one of her most enthusiastic first-grade writers. Her story has important lessons for all of us about the importance of voice and choice for learners of all ages.

Guided Reading for Proficient Readers?

Shari Frost is surprised to see guided reading used for proficient fifth-grade readers. She considers some strategic alternatives.

Word Walls in Preschool? Yes, You Can!

A word wall in preschool?! Shari Frost helps a teacher meet this impossible edict, and has a lot of fun in the process thinking about how our youngest learners acquire word knowledge.

Expanding Black History Month Reading

A heavy sigh from a student is a cue to Shari Frost that he has heard the same Martin Luther King picture book biography one too many times in February. She shares her top picture book picks for expanding children’s awareness of black history all year long.

Guided Reading Run Amok

Shari Frost helps a teacher who has guided reading groups that have run amok, and discovers the real culprit is a lack of time for reading and writing in the literacy block.

Writing on Someone Else’s Topic

Shari Frost finds she has to do required, on-demand writing for a new job, and in the process develops a new appreciation for how teachers struggle with rigid reading and writing programs.

Books on a Budget

There are scores of new children’s books that continually tempt teachers. But how do you stock your classroom library with a limited budget? Shari Frost shares proven strategies.

Bin of the Week

Shari Frost and a teacher she is assisting notice some bins collecting dust in the classroom library. When the teacher resists removing the books, they work together to find creative ways to help students develop enthusiasm for neglected series and authors.

Children’s Books: Mirrors and Windows

Is your mentor text a mirror for students? Shari Frost explains the term and provides criteria for selecting mirror books.

Great Books for African American Boys

Shari Frost deals with the failure of a classic read-aloud text to reach young African American boys by finding more engaging books for them.

Stuck at Level E

Shari Frost assists a teacher who is instructing a child stuck at level E, and in the process reveals some of the issues in treating all levels equally.

Literacy Routines for Applying See-Think-Wonder

Shari Frost finds that the See-Think-Wonder activity is great to use as a “bell-ringer,” as well as throughout the day to promote deeper thinking and engagement.

Building Better Book Baggies

What happens when you establish a routine early in the year, only to discover students aren't using it a few months later? Shari Frost mentors a teacher who is helping his young students improve their book selection skills.

Using Paired Texts with Beginning Readers

Shari Frost explains how teachers can use paired texts to help young readers build their skills, starting with books they already know and love.

No More Strong Girls?

Are there ways for girls in literature to be heroic without fighting? Shari Frost asks herself this question in compiling her latest booklist.

Playful Texts for Beginning Readers

Shari Frost uses playful texts to increase interest and stamina in emergent readers. She shares many of her favorites in this booklist.

Toward More Meaningful Extension Activities

Shari Frost challenges assignments in reading workshop that kill a love of wordplay and vocabulary development.

Life Without the Big Teacher’s Desk

Are you contemplating the removal of your teacher desk this year? Shari Frost has suggestions for how to manage and house teaching materials you will need without a teacher desk.

Helping Young Readers Focus on Print

Shari Frost observes a teacher conferring with a first grader who is mystified at the advice to "get your mouth ready," and it leads her to consider what works best in helping young readers.

Laying the Foundation for Genre Writing

Shari Frost helps a teacher dealing with dreadful how-to drafts from her students by sharing quality mentor texts.

Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers

If you are looking to increase the quantity and quality of graphic novels for your learners in your classroom library Shari Frost has a new booklist to get you started.

Alternatives to Daily Editing as a “Bell-Ringer” Activity

The “daily edit” is a common routine in many classrooms. Shari Frost explains why this may not be an effective way to teach conventions, and offers some alternatives.

Shared Reading in the Digital Age

Shari Frost finds that shared reading routines are easier to implement now because of tech tools.

The Morning Story

Shari Frost encourages teachers to reconsider “the morning story” routine, a rote copying activity still prevalent in many primary classrooms. Shari offers some fun and practical alternatives.

Grouping Strategies for Guided Reading

How can you support the “outliers” in classrooms — students with unique needs or profiles who don’t neatly fit into any instructional group? Shari Frost offers some strategies.

Beyond Cute: Print Rich with Purpose

Shari Frost cautions against overly stylized text in wall displays.

Surviving “That Class”

Sometimes you get a class of students that pushes every one of your buttons. Shari Frost provides a case study of one teacher’s survival strategies.

One Tool, Many Uses: Poetry Notebooks

Shari Frost explains how teachers get creative with poetry notebooks.

Raising the Quality of Word Work

Shari Frost has some practical suggestions for more thoughtful word work.

Picture Books or Beginning Readers?

Many beloved characters from picture books are showing up in beginning readers, and in the process can lose a lot of their appeal. Shari Frost provides teachers with criteria for choosing between picture books or beginning readers.

Multicultural Series Books

Shari Frost is alarmed when she realizes how rarely children of color are represented as main characters in book series. She decides to compile a list of multicultural series books.

Can Books Harm Children? Support and Censorship

Shari Frost asks a provocative question: Can books harm children? She explores practical ways for teachers to walk the fine line between support and censorship in matching books to students.

Before and After Pictures: Documenting Progress

Shari Frost finds before and after “snapshots” are a wonderful way to celebrate learning and get closure at the end of the school year.

The Data Wall Debacle

Shari Frost has a suggestion for what shouldn’t be on classroom walls: student assessment scores. She explains why this practice can be harmful to students.

She Wants to Be Katniss for Halloween: Courageous Girls in Books

Shari Frost celebrates a tomboy who finally finds a female character she wants to emulate with a booklist highlighting courageous girls.

Grouping Struggling Students for Word Study: A Case Study

Shari Frost considers the “go-to” instructional strategy for struggling readers, word study, and explores how to make it work well in a case study of a third-grade group.

Using Shared Writing to Build Argument Skills

Shari Frost explains the power of shared writing in intermediate classrooms, especially for struggling learners.

Shared Reading in the Intermediate Grades

Shari Frost explains why shared reading is valuable for older students, with examples of the practice in the intermediate grades.

Just-Right Poetry and Individualizing Instruction

Shari Frost describes how a sixth-grade teacher provides a range of poetry options to meet the needs of all students.

Interactive Read Alouds to Support Struggling Readers

Shari Frost explains how interactive read alouds are the “kickboards” of reading instruction, especially for struggling readers. She explains how one teacher used them to support a struggling reader in 3rd grade.

What’s Up with Those Word Walls?

Shari Frost visits classrooms early in the year and finds many have completely full word walls. In this essay, she shares research as well as practical reasons why it’s best to build the walls over time with students.

Books that Make Kids Squeal

Shari Frost shares books with “squeal appeal” — here is a booklist of texts that energize and delight kindergarten learners.

Rethinking Mentor Texts

Shari Frost writes about the ways our perfectly organized bins may limit the teaching possibilities for many books.  She takes readers step by step through her process of determining ways to use a sample mentor text to teach a multitude of lessons and strategies.

Poetry Possibilities

Shari Frost shares literacy activity suggestions and a booklist of her favorite poetry anthologies.

Ready for Guided Reading? A Second Look

Shari Frost updates her original essay on guided reading with her latest thinking and criteria for placing students in guided reading groups.

Virtual Book Clubs for Teachers

It’s virtually possible to get together around a book without getting together at all. Shari Frost shows us how.

Putting the “Mini” Back in Minilessons

We know that the shorter our minilesson, the more time students will have to read and write, but it's not easy for many of us. Shari Frost has tips to shape up minilessons that have become maxilessons.

A Closer Look at Anchor Charts

Shari Frost has a gift for helping us think about purpose and this article is no exception as she turns her attention to the benefits of intentional anchor charts.

Great Little Books for Professional Book Clubs

What books are most likely to succeed in teacher study groups? Shari Frost shares her criteria for books teachers will embrace. . .and actually read with enthusiasm.

Save the Picture Books!

Are picture books endangered species? Sales are plummeting, in part because parents and teachers are pushing students into chapter books at ever-younger ages.  Shari Frost turns a critical eye on her own practice, and brainstorms practical ways to promote the value of picture books in classrooms.

Undercover Coach: Making Time to Work with Children

If you're a literacy coach, the most important question to ask yourself may be this: How much time am I spending in classrooms?  Shari Frost writes about how coaches can move beyond a quest for perfect demo lessons to a stance of co-learners with teachers.

Ready-to-Go Readers’ Theater Books

If you want to do more with readers’ theater to promote fluency, but can’t afford one of those expensive kits, you’ll enjoy this booklist.  Shari Frost has compiled her favorite  readers’ theater books with texts and illustrations students love.

Giving Up the Whole-Class Novel

When teachers shift to a reading workshop model, sometimes they struggle most with the move from whole-class novels to more individualized reading. Shari Frost has advice for helping teachers work through the transition, as well as ways to ensure students still have some shared reading experiences with their classmates.

Towards Thoughtful Strategy Instruction

Sometimes the pendulum swings so hard in education that it’s hard not to feel whiplash. Shari Frost considers critiques of strategy instruction, analyzing what’s valid and what’s not in attacks on the flurry of post-its in classrooms.

Making the Case for Literacy Coaches

If your district is considering cuts to its literacy coaching program, you’ll appreciate Shari Frost’s advice.

Mentor Texts for Urban Students

What texts work best for students with urban backgrounds? Shari Frost has suggestions for teachers.

Creating a Culture of Literacy

How do we create schools and communities where everyone is passionate about reading and writing? Shari Frost has practical advice for teachers and school leaders.

From Page to Screen: My Top Ten Film Adaptations of Children’s Books

Shari Frost is inspired to create a list of her favorite children’s book to film adaptations.

Out of the Closet and into the Classroom: Bookroom Management Tips for Literacy Coaches

Is your system for sharing books from a school bookroom or literacy closet working well? Shari Frost provides 10 practical tips for getting the best use out of shared literacy resources.

Multicultural Books for Beginning Readers

"Why isn't there an African-American Henry and Mudge?" asks a teacher. This question leads Shari Frost on a quest to find the best early readers for multicultural students. In this booklist, she highlights her top picks.

Troubleshooting Coaching Cycles

Shari Frost finds "coaching cycles" are a valuable way for literacy coaches to work with teachers over time, but the first year of implementation was bumpy for her coaches. She shares some of the struggles her colleagues encountered in implementing cycles, as well as advice for overcoming these hurdles.

Back to the Classroom

Shari Frost reflects on what went wrong (or right) when a literacy coach decides to return to the classroom, and in doing so considers the kind of support literacy coaches need to thrive.

Books for Phonics Instruction – Accomplishing More Than Just Sounding Out Words

Shari Frost finds herself appalled at some of the "books" children are reading in the name of phonics instruction, so she sets out to create a booklist of high quality children's literature that does more than just help children sound out words.

Ready for Guided Reading?

Shari Frost writes about the “Level A Purgatory” many kindergartners and young students endure when teachers assign reading groups too early. Her feature includes other instructional options beyond small groups for early in the year that may be more appropriate for our youngest learners.

Building a Professional Library from Scratch

There are so many new professional books available for literacy leaders to purchase…and so little funding to buy them. Shari Frost gives the details of how one coach surveyed colleagues, assessed needs, and rooted out bargains before spending the precious $500 allocated for stocking the professional book library.

Eight Tips for Building Relationships: A Tale of Two Literacy Coaches

Shari Frost presents a tale of two literacy coaches – one who has had success building close relationships with colleagues, and one who has struggled. In analyzing their experiences, she presents eight practical strategies for building relationships over time.

Making Time for Play

Can we make time for play with our youngest learners, and still insure they are getting the literacy skills they need? Absolutely! says Shari Frost, as she shares many strategies the coaches and teachers she works with use to make letter, sound, and word learning fun.

Whatever Happened to Mrs. Wishy Washy?

Shari Frost notices a neglected tub of big books, and goes on the hunt for shared reading practices among teachers and literacy coaches.

Rethinking Writing Centers – Winter Follow-Up

Shari Frost questioned the amount of writing going on in many elementary writing centers. She decided to work with a team of literacy coaches and teachers to explore ways to increase writing in classrooms – through better use of centers, or alternative programs. In this follow-up article, Shari presents two different solutions that are working well – one involves introducing writing tools in a more systematic way in centers, and the other is an implementation of a different program entirely for independent work.

Books That Touch the Heart

Is it ever alright for a teacher to cry when reading aloud?  Shari Frost and her colleagues select their favorite tearjerker read alouds, and what they’ve learned from sharing them with students.

Open Book Clubs

Shari Frost shares the nuts and bolts of setting up open book clubs in your school. These clubs are a great way to expand the reading community, as well as connect school libraries and classrooms.

Worth a Thousand Words: Teaching with Wordless Picture Books

Shari Frost and her literacy coaching colleagues explore together how wordless picture books can change the landscape of literacy teaching in K-6 classrooms throughout a school.

More Than Listening Centers: Using Audio Books in Literacy Instruction

Shari Frost sorts through the changing world of audio books, and their resurgence in popularity with smaller, cheaper, and trendier MP3 players. She shares some of the innovative ways literacy coaches and teachers in her network are using audio books.

Rethinking Writing Centers

Shari Frost finds writing centers are beloved by many teachers and students. There’s only one problem – very little writing appears to be going on in the centers.

Chapter Book Read Alouds in the Primary Classroom

Shari Frost considers selection, preparation, and pacing in choosing books that work well as read alouds in the primary classroom.

Time for Reading

Shari Frost describes how literacy coaches shadowed children to get a sense of how much reading students were doing.

Just Because They Can Doesn’t Mean They Should: Choosing Age-Appropriate Books for Literature Circles

Kids might be missing out on great books that are a better fit if they are reading books just because they can. Shari Frost delivers a smart reminder about challenging advanced readers.

The Other Buddy: How Partnership Programs Help Older Readers

In many buddy reading programs we often tout the benefits for the younger, less experienced reader, but Shari Frost tells the story of a “big kid” reader with a legitimate reason to read books that were closer to his independent level. Read on.

Choice Literacy Membership


Articles

Get full access to all Choice Literacy article content

Videos

Get full access to all Choice Literacy video content

Product Discounts

Receive member-only discounts on books, DVDs and more


Membership Options

Loading...