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The Classroom Library: Building Bridges

Cathy Mere presses to help children take the first steps in growing a sustainable reading life that carries beyond the classroom walls. She offers ways to build bridges to the school and public libraries as an essential step.

Conferring Over Whole-Class Reading

Deb Gaby confers with Riley about The Lemonade War. They talk about the writing about reading that students are doing for this whole-class read.

Finding Time for Read Aloud

Katherine Sokolowski makes a case for the importance of reading aloud to secondary students and offers suggestions to make it a reality. She includes a list of five surefire read aloud books for middle school students.

Ten Ways to Celebrate Writers

Jen Court gives 10 ways for students to share and celebrate their work as writers. Two downloads are included for you to use in your classroom.

Picture Books to Teach Conflict

Katherine Sokolowski shares a book list that inspires her to teach five different kinds of conflict.

Picture Books that Help Construct a Wider Definition of Home

Stella Villalba compiles a book list about the topic of home. She shares the way she allows students to co-construct their own understanding of home by using picture books that provide a variety of lenses through which to view the topic.

Quick Take: Share Your Reading Struggles

Instructional coach Staci Revere reminds us of the importance of modeling our own reading lives for students, especially the parts where we struggle as readers.

Four Keys to Making Workshop Work

Bitsy Parks reminds us of four key components of running a workshop and offers advice for making workshop work.

Bring In the School Year Like a Grandma

Julie Johnson reflects on how to help students know they belong and are valued in a classroom community.

One Instructional Strategy Changes a Reading Community

Mandy Robek reminds us of the power of a Status of the Class to build a reading community.

A Roving Student Conferrer

Tammy Mulligan encourages students to support their peers as writers by being a “roving student conferrer.” When we enable students to take on the role of the teacher, it helps solidify what they know, as well as take pride in their writing skills.

Combining Personal Narratives and Comics

Katherine Sokolowski combines personal narratives and comics to encourage students to go deeper in their storytelling.

Teaching Students How to Email

Katherine Sokolowski outlines the nitty-gritty on how to teach students to organize, manage, and compose email.

Sensible Reasons to Use Student Reading Records

Leigh Anne Eck outlines sensible reasons for students to keep reading records. She considers guidance for book selection, data for teachers, and entry points for reading conferences.

Words of Wisdom and Passing the Torch

Melanie Quinn shares a fun activity to help current students share advice for next year’s class.

Tracking Thinking: Fifth-Grade Small Group

Julianne Houser meets with a small group of fifth graders to help them build skills for tracking thinking.

What Do Readers Need?

Christy Rush-Levine offers a close look into the needs of readers by considering engagement, enrichment and nourishment. She offers three examples of reading conferences with students.

Online Routines to Create Energetic Reading Communities

Melissa Quimby shares online routines to strengthen the class reading community.

Troubleshooting Difficulties When Writing a Big Idea in Memoir

Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pinpoint common difficulties in sixth-grade memoir. They share teaching points and student writing samples before and after revision.

Assessing Students Online: Small and Powerful Moves

Tammy Mulligan shares small and mighty moves when assessing students online.

Writing Conference: Brainstorming Ideas

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Sidney brainstorm ideas for a story. She uses her own experiences with writing to instruct.

Honoring Student Identity

Christy Rush-Levine considers how to communicate to all students that their presence and their identities are valued and appreciated.

Writing Conference: Establishing Setting

Melanie Meehan uses A Day’s Work as a mentor text to help fifth grader Emily develop setting in her writing.

Building Writer Relationships with Author Studies

Matt Renwick shares creative ways teachers in his school celebrate authors.

Making Something Together: Shared Writing Online

Tammy Mulligan finds shared writing is her go-to strategy for teaching young learners online.

Changing How I Teach Small Groups

Tammy Mulligan listens to students and adapts her small-group instruction as they share how they learn.

Fifth-Grade Reading Conference: Harry Potter

Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Tucker about his Harry Potter book. This brief conference includes connections to the movies, recommendations for a classmate, and suggestions for using an audiobook on a trip so that the whole family can enjoy it.

Reading Minilesson: Theme

Dana Murphy leads a reading minilesson on theme in fifth grade, explaining how students might think more deeply about themes through characters’ problems.

Balancing Conferences and Small Groups

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.

Navigating the Interpretation Process

Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.

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