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Nourish a Sense of Belonging

Dana Murphy shares ways to nourish a sense of belonging in all students.

Reading Threads

Christy Rush-Levine guides us to make reading recommendations based on what students enjoy most about a book they recently read. Christy used to make recommendations based on the genre or topic, but she has learned to listen to students to discover the reason they loved a recent read and use this information for recommendations.

Holidays: Where Do They Fit in the Classroom?

Bitsy Parks shares the inspiration and practical ways she celebrates and honors holidays from many cultures in her classroom.

What Matters More

Dana Murphy shares that by asking “What matters most?” she can make decisions that allow her literacy instruction to be student-centered and authentic.

Using Daily Attendance Questions to Build Community and Communication Skills

Gretchen Schroeder is surprised to find benefits of a stronger community and communication skills through a practical attendance practice in her high school classroom.

Poems to Start the Year

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share poems to start the year that touch a variety of needs, from building community to connecting with colleagues to hosting parents for back-to-school night.

Honoring Student Identity (Download a Survey)

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their authentic process for expanding their beginning-of-the-year student survey to make it more open for all students.

Creating a Classroom Emotional Intelligence Charter

Mandy Robek outlines the process for creating a class Emotional Intelligence Charter. She includes a booklist to help students expand their  vocabulary of different emotions.

Befriending Characters in Times of Grief (Booklist)

Melissa Quimby shares a booklist that offers comforting characters to befriend in times of grief. This is a staple for all classrooms.

Bring Me Something Funny (Booklist)

Cathy Mere offers a booklist in response to a teacher’s response to “Bring me something funny.” These books are sure to fill your classroom with lighthearted laughter.

Using The Proudest Blue in the Classroom

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share three ways using The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad empowers and strengthens readers in all grades.

Studying Character in Intermediate Grades

Dana Murphy leads us in a step-by-step process to take tried-and-true reading strategies to a more sophisticated level to support students as they grow in interpretation.

Creating Thematic Text Sets for Inquiry

Stephanie Affinito guides us to carefully curate text sets so that not only are they suited to students’ interests, but students are guided through the sequence of reading them. There’s no better way to launch students’ curiosity and reading motivation!

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.

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