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It’s About Survival

Melissa Styger shares an end-of-year letter writing celebration that allows students to reflect on the year and provides an invitation to next year’s students to be excited about the future.

Student-Planned End-of-Year Celebration

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills know the end of the school year is full, yet they take the time to reflect and celebrate what learners have built throughout the year by asking students to create a plan for a final celebration.

A Collection of Treasured Life Lessons

Melissa Quimby leads her students in rich thinking about life lessons and encourages them to treasure the wisdom from books.

Deepening Discussion with a Circle Process

Jen Vincent strengthens the authenticity of a share session in writing workshop by building and tending to relationships that honor a circle process originated in indigenous communities.

Determining Importance in Fiction

Dana Murphy guides us in listening and responding to students during strategy-building lessons to grow readers. In this example, she shows the complexity and nuances of direct instruction to build comprehension strategies.

Student-Led Reading Seminars

Tammy Mulligan organizes her second graders to teach reading seminars to their peers. She outlines the steps to make this engaging practice a reality in any classroom.

A Perfect Opportunity for Choice: Showing Theme

Tara Barnett outlines ways to offer choices for students to show their understandings of a book’s theme. Download a choice board and rubric.

Status of the Class for Readers and Writers

Matt Renwick reflects on the importance of building students’ identities as readers and writers and the power of a daily status of the class. Download a template to put this routine in place in your own classroom.

Giving Feedback to Energize Writers

Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills ponder the importance of energizing writers with feedback. They offer tips to ensure feedback uplifts writers.

A Three-Part Conferring Kit

Bitsy Parks shares a simple three-part conferring kit that will position anecdotal notes to guide instruction.

Quick Take: Using Mailboxes for Private Feedback

Christy Rush-Levine shares her system for streamlining passing papers and offering a place for private feedback.

Using Images for Rehearsal in Persuasive Writing

Melanie Meehan makes a case for the power of pictures to provide a foothold and access point for students to enter the writing pathway. She shares an example of using images to engage in persuasive writing strategies.

Opinions! Everybody Has One

Leigh Anne Eck shares a tool to help students develop their persuasive voices, build community, and expand their perspectives. Included is a download to put opinion journals to work in your classroom.

What Criteria Should We Use When Selecting Whole-Class Texts?

Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that text selection affects students. By shaping a unit of study to contain texts of varying formats and representing a wide variety of characters, students are empowered to develop their own ideas even while reading a whole-class text. Download a diverse text list to deepen a discussion of how family shapes identity.

Tips for Selecting Inclusive Texts

Hannah Tills and Josie Stewart challenge themselves to select more inclusive texts so all students feel as though they belong. They offer six suggestions to help us examine our bookshelves, thinking, and curriculum.

Book Talk: Sheets and Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Christy Rush-Levine pairs Brenna Thummler’s books Sheets and Delicates in a book talk for her sixth-grade class.

What is Communication? A Mini-Inquiry Project and Booklist

Bitsy Parks leads her first grade class in a study about communication in order to strengthen their social distanced and muffled-by-masks community. Included is a booklist.

Quick Take: Simple Classroom Library Organization

Christy Rush-Levine shares her simple system for organizing her massive classroom library.

The Seasons of Classroom Libraries

Melissa Quimby shifts her classroom library throughout the year so that as her students grow as readers, her library will continue to nourish them.

Formative Assessment From Share Sessions

Ruth Ayres outlines different kinds of share sessions and different formats for the share, including some that take advantage of technology.

Write Like Nancy

Inspired by a stranger on a walk, Jen Court clarifies the importance of sharing our writing lives with others. She identifies three important qualities of a writing community.

Fifth-Grade Writing Conference: The Heart of the Story

Dana Murphy confers with fifth grader Rebecca about her writing draft, and they discuss the heart of her story.

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.

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