Balancing small groups and conferences is essential for transferring learning from lessons and units, and it’s one of the trickiest tasks for teachers. Dana Murphy explains how she works toward balance in her classroom, weighing everything from the timeline of the unit to the intensity of the minilesson.
Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.
Andrea Smith meets with a group of fourth-grade girls who are completing designs as part of the owl habitat project.
Teaching comprehension skills can be a complex and overwhelming task. Tammy Mulligan shares a process for expanding and deepening student interpretations of text.
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.
Partner work is an essential component of many literacy workshops. Dana Murphy explains how she is intentional in building thoughtful routines and expectations for partner work in her fifth-grade classroom.
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.
Sometimes those times when we “wing it” because we don’t have plans can lead to the most profound learning. Dana Murphy dreams up a quick circle share, and what follows is magic.
Andrea Smith checks in on a group of boys who are doing research into owl habitat, helping them organize their work and plans.
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.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share many of their favorite anchor charts for helping students connect writer’s craft to mentor texts.
Dana Murphy finds that adding numbers of pages to her status-of-the-class list for reading makes all the difference in assessing students’ growth and needs as readers.
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.
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.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills show how to break down mentor texts into brief excerpts for step-by-step scaffolding of writers in the intermediate grades.
Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Griffin re-engage with his writing by pointing out some of the unique qualities of voice and style his piece possesses.
Melanie Meehan shares two of her favorite games for teaching grammar, including templates and web resources.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain why short-term writing goals can help students reset expectations for their writing on a daily basis, and how they make these goals an integral part of their writing workshops.
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