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Revising Dialogue in Narrative Writing

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

Grammar Games

Melanie Meehan shares two of her favorite games for teaching grammar, including templates and web resources.

Annotating While Reading

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.

Keeping the Classroom Library Current

Franki Sibberson explains how she watches students closely and adjusts her library based on what she sees all year long.

Invitations vs. Accountability

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.

Independent Project Hiccups

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.

Reimagining Reading Logs

Reading logs have fallen out of favor in many classrooms because they often become a rote activity for recording pages read. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find authenticity with the logs comes when they move from emphasizing recording to goals and reflection.

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.

One Text, Many Lessons

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how one book can serve as an anchor for lessons on everything from writer’s craft to test-taking skills.

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

Flexible Seating: Mid-Year Tweaks with Book Nooks

Have you revisited your classroom design since September? Andrea Smith and her fourth graders get over the midwinter blahs by refreshing classroom seating together.

Writing Empathy

Dana Murphy explains why teachers can have true empathy with student writers only if they write themselves, and chronicles the difference between a typical and an empathetic response in a writing conference.

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.

Color Symbol Image: A Thinking Routine for Read Alouds

Andrea Smith uses the Color-Symbol-Image thinking routine during read alouds to promote deeper reflection among students.

Gradual Release of Responsibility in Small Groups

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills develop a process of pre-assessment, careful planning, and systematic record keeping to up the value of their small groups.

Building a Reflective Community

Andrea Smith builds reflection into whole-class discussions in her fourth-grade classroom by beginning an anchor chart with four different illustrations from the covers of a read-aloud.

Sentence Phrase Word: Student Independence for Word Learning

Andrea Smith uses the sentence-phrase-word thinking routine with her fourth graders to show how potent one word can be in understanding complex themes.

Sharing and Celebrating Summer Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how they use the first days and weeks of school to celebrate summer reading and build a classroom community.

Planning for a Narrative Writing Unit of Study

Franki Sibberson believes planning a unit of study should be just as much fun as planning a trip to Disney World. She explains her planning process for one of her first units of study, on narrative writing.

Reconsidering Reading Workshop Routines

Andrea Smith realizes her normal reading routine will not work within the constraints of this year’s schedule. She makes some radical changes to ensure she and her students can have enough time to find the joy in reading and building a literate community.

Sketchnoting as a Response to Reading

Dana Murphy tries sketchnoting during professional development, and soon finds herself sharing the fun technique with students. They hone their skills during read alouds and while annotating texts.

The Benefits of #bookaday

Franki Sibberson finds the investment of five to seven minutes a day for #bookaday with her third graders is truly time well spent.

Supporting Student Agency with Questioning Strategies

Katrina Simkins-Moore explains why becoming more intentional in questioning during reading conferences can help build student independence, as well as consistency among the teaching community.

Free-Range Learning with Nonfiction Part 2: Infographics and Maps

Andrea Smith shares the final installment of her series on the value of free-range learning in helping students explore nonfiction.

Free Range Learning with Nonfiction (Part 1)

Andrea Smith's students explore nonfiction through free-range roaming. She explains how she sets up expectations and resources early in the year in this first installment of a two-part series.

The Craft of Blogging

Franki Sibberson uses a micro-progression of her own draft of a blog post to help her third graders improve their blogging skills.

Bad Days in Workshops

Franki Sibberson realizes there are some bad days in literacy workshops that hold no great life lessons for teachers and students, and that is okay.

Bridging the Gap Between Intervention and the Classroom

Kate Mills and Tara Barnett share strategies for building bridges between intervention and classroom instruction.

Embracing the Books My Students Love

Franki Sibberson explains why we need to move beyond our cherished definitions of quality when working with third graders in transition and embrace the books students love.

Mentors for Process and Habits

Ruth Ayres shares some of her favorite mentors and mentor texts for developing good writing processes and habits.

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