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Tips for Interactive Word Study

Lisa Mazinas offers tips for building fluency in elementary readers.

Eight Tips to Make Virtual Learning Equitable and Accessible for All Students

Lisa Mazinas reminds us of ways to make virtual learning equitable and accessible.

Responding to Appeals for Help

Dana Murphy outlines three options to respond to a student who is stuck when reading and looking to the teacher for the answer. By being mindful when students appeal for help, we can make intentional, on-the-spot decisions to empower students to become better readers.

The Power of Story

Becca Burk reminds us of the power of story and community when she uses a social story to help a kindergartner overcome the fear and anxiety from being forgotten on the bus. Becca shows us how to use a social story to develop confidence to overcome difficulties.

Fostering a Love of Reading in All Students

Lisa Mazinas reminds us of the importance of fostering a love of reading in all students. She offers specific ways to reconnect students with the enjoyment of reading.

Let’s Do It Again, Together

Heather Fisher revisits a whole-school vocabulary routine that she set in motion. In this update, she shares the ways she adjusted to work together as a team rather than fly solo. This might be just the school-wide vocabulary routine you’ve been craving.

Morning Message 2: Routine and Community

Ruth Metcalfe reminds us of the power of routines and shows how over the course of time, morning message is an anchor in her first-grade classroom community.

Morning Message Series: When and How

It’s not always easy to hold on to effective instructional routines and find ways to embrace new initiatives and mandates. In the first installment of a morning message series, Ruth Metcalfe addresses the issue of time. 

Developing Reader Identities: It Is More Than Magic

Becca Burk reminds us of the importance of building a reading identity within all students so they can become stronger readers.

When They’re Hard to Teach

Cathy Mere reminds us of the complexities of teaching readers, especially those who are in intervention. She shares the “rules” she’s put in place for herself when a rough patch is hit and little growth is gained.

Reclaiming Our Time

Vivian Chen gives four steps to adjusting a lesson from the teacher’s guide to reclaim your time and make the lesson more meaningful and engaging to students.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Chicken Eggs and Research

Mandy Robek encourages young writers to collect information about a topic. She provides whole-class and individual structures for students to learn that their understanding can change, as well as to be able to access information when they are ready to draft. Don’t miss Mrs. Robek’s digital class book.

Poetry Friday Stretches Into Poetry Slam

Mandy Robek shares an update to her Poetry Friday routine inspired by the professional book Artfully Teaching the Science of Reading by Chase Young, David Page, and Timothy V. Rasinski. You, too, will want to incorporate this poetry routine into your week.

Using Self-Portraits as an Assessment Tool for Early Writers

Becca Burk guides us in using self-portraits as an assessment tool for early writers. Becca shares a rubric, self-portrait samples, and practical next steps for her kindergarten writers.

Fostering Math Identities with Picture Books

Mandy Robek uses picture books to help her students build their identities as mathematicians. Mandy shares the process and a book list.

Developing and Listening to Your Inner Voice During Minilessons

Katie Linder reminds us of the importance of listening to (or ignoring) our own inner voices when delivering whole-group instruction. Katie guides us in using our inner voices to make in-the-moment decisions that sharpen lessons.

Leveraging AI in Elementary Literacy

David Pittman offers practical and timesaving tips for using AI to help make instructional plans. Need a rubric or discussion questions? David shows how using AI offers a springboard in creating tools for elementary literacy instruction.

 Partnering Phonics and Poetry

Jen Court gets creative with using materials for more than one skill to layer in additional phonics instruction and practice. Jen provides a guide to think critically about reusing resources throughout the day and across content areas. Download the Planning Tool for Phonics Lessons.

My Teaching Toolbox (Part 2)

Dana Murphy reminds us that having a teaching toolbox makes planning efficient and effective. In this second installment of a two-part series, Dana offers two additional approaches to delivering strong reading instruction.

Small Shifts That Make a Big Difference

Dana Murphy names two practices that made a big difference in her work as a reading specialist. You may be surprised at the simplicity and smallness that led to powerful gains in her readers.

Holding Space for Counter-Narratives That Honor Communities

Stella Villalba guides us to expand the counter-narrative texts we use in our classrooms. Counter-narrative texts challenge the stereotypes often seen about a group of people, and they celebrate the joy and resilience of a community. Stella provides a list of critical questions that allow us to deeply explore texts, as well as suggestions of books to read.

Let’s Write Together: The Importance of Class Books

Jen Court considers whether creating class books is a valuable use of time for today’s young students. As she teases out this question, she realizes class books are a relevant and essential instructional strategy.

Everyone Wants to Write?

Becca Burk reflects on creating a classroom where everyone wants to write. She offers timely advice for creating a community of writers.

Creating Learning Progressions with Students

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills outline the steps to involve students in defining how to progress as readers and then set goals. They offer a practical plan for empowering students to take ownership of their learning.

Managing Your Students’ Independent Work During Guided Reading

Are you ready to ditch small-group instruction because it seems too difficult for students to work independently? Lisa Mazinas compiled a helpful chart to problem solve common classroom issues and support student independence.

Learning from Our Favorite Illustrators

Ruth Metcalfe tapped a plethora of resources to help her first-grade writers understand how to communicate meaning with illustrations.

What’s Your Point of View?

Molly James helps us develop an essential point of view for uplifting choice in decision making for young writers and readers.

Alert! Mistakes in Progress

Becca Burk gives the science behind mistakes and growth, and offers suggestions on ways to use mistakes as a means to help students become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Overcoming Challenges in Writing Workshop with Trauma-Informed Practices

Ruth Ayres shares three mindsets to help teachers prioritize connection over correction when teaching writers.

Young Author Celebrations

Jennifer Court shares the celebrations that propel students to engage in the Young Authors Program.

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