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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.

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.

Honoring Student Choice in a Teacher-Chosen Text

Tara Barnett offers practical and engaging choices to students when reading a teacher-selected whole-class text. Download the reading choices survey and a sample pacing calendar to offer your students more choice during a whole-class read.

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.

The Reluctant Marathoner: Reflecting on Student Engagement

Gretchen Schroeder uses her reluctance as a marathon runner to reflect on how to encourage more engagement in reading and writing.

Quick Take: Simple Classroom Library Organization

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

Leading Students Toward Underused Sections of the Classroom Library

Gretchen Schroeder intentionally leads students to “jilted genres” in her 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.

Expanding Book Choices for Secondary Readers

Ruth Ayres challenges us to be more open to the books that live in our secondary classroom libraries. She contends that committing to supporting choice in independent reading means rethinking some of the restrictions we put on adolescent readers.

Minilesson: Using a Web Search to Help Visualize

Staci Revere helps her middle school multilanguage students learn to visualize by using a web search to discover images and understand the text in a deeper way.

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.

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.

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.

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: Status of the Class

Mandy Robek reminds us of the power of a status of the class to build a reading community.

Combining Personal Narratives and Comics

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

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