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.
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.
Andrea Smith confers with fourth grader Ian, who is plowing through a book series. She helps him look at the bigger picture of characters, themes, and how the series might end.
Gigi McAllister leads a group of boys who are just starting the novel in verse The Crossover in her fourth-grade classroom.
David Pittman delights in a student’s enthusiasm for poetry, leading him to reflect on how teachers often need to overcome their own negative history with poems to spark student love of the genre.
Franki Sibberson initiates student-led minilessons, and finds the process takes her literacy workshops to a new level of independence and energy.
Gigi McAllister helps fourth-grade reading partners evaluate their success and areas to work on in their partnership.
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.
Gigi McAllister helps her fourth graders develop the characters in their writing with a minilesson. She uses three mentor texts, one of which is her own writing.
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