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Picture Books for Mental Wellness

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.

First-Grade Conference: Information Writing

Stella Villalba confers with Esmeralda about her information writing on blue jays.

Letting Students Organize Informational Books

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.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Accountability for Young Writers

Stella Villalba teaches young writers about writer’s craft. So how come evidence of learning from the minilessons isn’t showing up when she confers with her students? She decides to develop a plan to help students link craft lessons with their writing.

Navigating the Interpretation Process

Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.

Reassuring Worried Children with Picture Books

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.

Making Paper Packets for Distance Learning

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills write about the challenge of creating meaningful print-based packages of materials for students who don’t have internet access for remote learning.

First Grade ELL Conference: Writing and Pop Culture

Stella Villalba confers with first grade English language learner Eric about his writing on angry birds, with Esmeralda also sharing advice.

Remembering the Big Picture in Reading Assessments

Kate Mills notes her own miscues in reading a bedtime story to her young children, and thinks about what that means for analyzing the running records of readers in primary classrooms.

Teaching Transition Words

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills work with a second-grade team to think through how best to teach transition words during a fairy tale unit, especially to students who are English learners.

30-Second Pair Share

Sean Moore leads his second graders in a quick pair-share to help everyone reflect on what they learned during independent reading.

Reading Mats Build Confidence

Tammy Mulligan explains how the use of the popular “reading mats” can help build reader confidence.

Comparing Authors Minilesson

Jen Court uses text sets from three authors to help second graders ferret out different elements of the authors’ styles.

When Learning Gets Tricky, Go Back to the Pigs

Whenever a tricky literary concept comes up, Tammy Mulligan finds herself returning to a favorite mentor text to guide students. She explains the value of shared simple stories for understanding complicated literary elements.

Finding Time for Writing Shares

Finding time for writing share sessions may begin with trying out a few different options to see what works in your classroom. Melanie Meehan presents some of her favorites.

The Power of Video Replay

Heather Fisher explains how viewing excerpts from the same video multiple times can help students in book clubs hone their conversation and reflection skills.

Managing Take-Home Books

Sending books home with young readers is essential. Cathy Mere gives lots of practical tips for designing a take-home books program and communicating with families about what young readers need.

Growing Talk About Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that struggling readers in the early grades benefit from scaffolds and repeated practice in small groups. They share some of their favorite tools, including key ring prompts and anchor charts.

Revising Dialogue in Narrative Writing

Melanie Meehan finds that a “lift the flap” strategy works for showing students different revision options with dialogue.

A Community Reads “Wonder”

Katherine Sokolowski had a dream — her whole community reading and celebrating the same book. She explains how she helped coordinate, organize, and purchase hundreds of books for a community-wide reading of Wonder.

Object Poetry Lesson in Second Grade

Linda Karamatic explores poetry with her second graders. She displays poems students have written and teaches them about fresh language using a poem about a pencil sharpener.

Fostering More Rereading in Classrooms

Stella Villalba explains why rereading is especially useful for young English language learners, and shares some simple strategies for integrating more rereading strategies into reading and writing workshops

What Writers Need

Mandy Robek commits to two weeks of focused daily writing, and then translates what she learns about what writers need to classroom practice.

Using Read Alouds to Build Fluency

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find an ingenious way in the upper elementary grades to help their struggling readers develop fluency through read alouds.

Visual Expectations in the Classroom

Heather Fisher finds the key to independence for many first graders is lots of visual reminders in classrooms.

Poetry Read-Alouds During Transitions

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.

In Search of Just-Right Reading Spots

If children can choose just-right reading spots, they will have more stamina for reading. Heather Fisher explains how she works with first-grade teachers and students to build this skill.

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.

Finding Clues in Writing Folders

Katrina Edwards looks for clues in her first-grade students’ work and conferences to help them develop more writing stamina. She analyzes her notes to develop instructional plans.

Plans for Writing Circle

Stella Villalba starts writing workshop with her young English language learners by having everyone share their plans in a community circle.

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