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Identifying Story Elements

Dana Murphy shares a whole class conversation about identifying the climax of the plot. She reminds us that defining story elements is not always clear-cut.

Read Aloud Magic

Jen Court reminds us of the power of reading aloud to students and pushes us to remember the importance of planning to use books to engage students and hone teaching points.

Conferring Notebook Details

Bitsy Parks opens her conferring notebook and shares powerful ways to use conferring notes to differentiate instruction for students in reading and writing.

Still Thinking: An Opportunity to Pause and Think Deeply

Jodie Bailey provides a structure to give students more time to think through ideas and problems. By using this practice, students gain ownership for their learning.

The Power of an Anchor Chart in a Digital World

Dana Murphy reminds us of the power of an anchor chart in a digital world.

Getting to Know Digital Learners: How Playing with Technology Helps Facilitate Our Identities as Learners

As teachers we do many things to get to know our students as readers and writers and mathematicians. Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills lead us to consider how to get to know our students as digital learners.

Listening for Conjectures

Mallory Messenger shares a routine for hearing student conjectures (in math and other subjects) and a process for giving time for the class to prove or disprove the claims. Download a Conjecture—Prove or Disprove Recording Sheet to collect student conjectures in your classroom.

Student Voices First

David Pittman offers practical ways to place student voices first in classrooms in order for their passions, interests, and identities to influence our teaching.

Math Debates: A Powerful Sense-Making Routine

Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.

Engaging Kids in Reading Intervention

Dana Murphy shares ways to make reading intervention a high-interest time for students.

Building a Classroom Library with Students (and Navigating the Tricky Parts)

Tammy Mulligan leads us through the process of giving primary students the reins for building and organizing the classroom library . . . and offers tips for navigating the tricky parts.

Nourish a Sense of Belonging

Dana Murphy shares ways to nourish a sense of belonging in all students.

Knowing Genres

Mandy Robek reflects on the importance of knowing genres and empowering students to be part of the organization process of the classroom library.

Lifting the Quality of Hands-Down Conversations

Tammy Mulligan leads us through troubleshooting the difficult parts of launching hands-down conversations. This is the third installment of a three-part series about launching hands-down conversations.

Hands-Down Conversations in the Primary Grades

Tammy Mulligan shares the steps to encouraging hands-down conversations in the first days of the school year. This is the second installment of a three-part series about launching hands-down conversations.

Establishing Independent Reading Is Like Planting Seeds

Lisa Mazinas reminds us of the importance of independent reading and how to set it in motion.

Opportunities Offered in Book Shopping

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills remind us of the important opportunities offered during book shopping. Giving yourself permission to slow down and see the opportunities that the routines invite for collaboration and reflection will likely make it feel like you’re maximizing your minutes even more.

Holidays: Where Do They Fit in the Classroom?

Bitsy Parks shares the inspiration and practical ways she celebrates and honors holidays from many cultures in her classroom.

Reading Specialists Can Change the Narrative

Cathy Mere shares ways reading specialists can help teachers get excited about striving readers’ growth by intentionally sharing progress and celebrations.

Setting Up the Intervention Room

Dana Murphy guides reading specialists in setting up intervention rooms to welcome readers.

What Matters More

Dana Murphy shares that by asking “What matters most?” she can make decisions that allow her literacy instruction to be student-centered and authentic.

What I Am Reading the First Week of School

Jen Court plans to fill the first days of first grade with experiences around books. Selecting books carefully to create a sense of community in the classroom from the very beginning is the goal of this first-week booklist.

Creating a Classroom Emotional Intelligence Charter

Mandy Robek outlines the process for creating a class Emotional Intelligence Charter. She includes a booklist to help students expand their  vocabulary of different emotions.

Befriending Characters in Times of Grief (Booklist)

Melissa Quimby shares a booklist that offers comforting characters to befriend in times of grief. This is a staple for all classrooms.

Bring Me Something Funny (Booklist)

Cathy Mere offers a booklist in response to a teacher’s response to “Bring me something funny.” These books are sure to fill your classroom with lighthearted laughter.

Using The Proudest Blue in the Classroom

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share three ways using The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad empowers and strengthens readers in all grades.

Studying Character in Intermediate Grades

Dana Murphy leads us in a step-by-step process to take tried-and-true reading strategies to a more sophisticated level to support students as they grow in interpretation.

Creating Thematic Text Sets for Inquiry

Stephanie Affinito guides us to carefully curate text sets so that not only are they suited to students’ interests, but students are guided through the sequence of reading them. There’s no better way to launch students’ curiosity and reading motivation!

Transitional Chapter Books: A Deeper Look at Features and Formats (Booklist)

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills share a robust booklist for transitional chapter books. There is more incidental representation than ever, and a variety of formats welcome young readers to chapter books.

Intergenerational Booklist

Bitsy Parks shares the process of building a booklist to deepen the connections and synthesis of culture, family structure, and experiences. Use this booklist of 10 picture books to lead a powerful conversation in your classroom and empower young students to grow in their analysis.

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