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.
Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.
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.
Teaching comprehension skills can be a complex and overwhelming task. Tammy Mulligan shares a process for expanding and deepening student interpretations of text.
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.
Tammy Mulligan explains the process of having students analyze and create models of good writing and analysis for assessing themselves and peers.
Teaching the genre of tests can seem far removed from writing workshop. Matt Renwick explores how to teach constructed response in a way that is integrated with the tenets of good workshop instruction.
Tammy Mulligan explains how the use of the popular “reading mats” can help build reader confidence.
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.
Dana Murphy finds it is best to teach conventions in small, targeted groups in her fifth-grade classroom. She explains how she designs and leads these groups.
The start of the school year is often all about building reader identities in classrooms. And then October comes, and many of the activities that help students celebrate their reading histories and preferences are forgotten. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share ways teachers can continue to help students define, refine, and expand their reading identities all year long.
Franki Sibberson explains how carefully curated text sets can help students move beyond a “just the facts” exploration of nonfiction topics.
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.
Heather Fisher explains how viewing excerpts from the same video multiple times can help students in book clubs hone their conversation and reflection skills.
Tammy Mulligan shares the importance of giving students choice and agency with book club tools to improve engagement and quality of the conversations.
Tammy Mulligan shares how teachers can move seamlessly from thoughtful conversations during whole-class read alouds to lively book clubs.
Are your conversations during read aloud stilted or shallow? Tammy Mulligan recommends weekly “grand conversations” to spark more thoughtful talk. She provides the tools you need to get started in your classroom.
Tammy Mulligan enhances the quality of the class read aloud and student discussions with the use of a whole-class response notebook.
So many needs for groups, and so little time. Dana Murphy finds that a strategy notebook is invaluable as a teaching aid in her fifth-grade small groups.
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.
Melanie Meehan shares activities that help students talk about their characters before writing about them in a realistic fiction unit.
Dana Murphy is dismayed by the ways graphic organizers can sometimes limit student creativity. She uses writing notebooks and a few other strategies to begin to wean her fourth graders from depending too much on organizers.
Dana Murphy explains how her small-group planner is an essential tool for organizing groups in her fourth-grade classroom.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills describe how they help teachers move from guided reading to strategy groups in the upper elementary grades.
Melanie Meehan finds that a “lift the flap” strategy works for showing students different revision options with dialogue.
Melanie Meehan shares two of her favorite games for teaching grammar, including templates and web resources.
Franki Sibberson finds teaching students to annotate while reading is one of the best ways to promote ongoing reflective response in her fifth-grade classroom. She shares how she starts teaching annotation skills early in the year.
Franki Sibberson explains how she watches students closely and adjusts her library based on what she sees all year long.
It’s not an invitation if students are required to accept it. Franki Sibberson explains how engagement depends upon true choice and lots of options in her fifth-grade classroom.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills conclude their series on independent projects with advice on how to handle issues that often crop up as students design and work through writing their projects.
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