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Assessing High School Readers

Secondary instructional coach Holly Wenning shares ways to assess high school readers.

Assessment in Classroom Book Clubs

In this third installment about classroom book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares options for robust assessment as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

One-Page Reading Response: A Simple Approach to Complex Assessment

Christy Rush-Levine uses one-page reading responses as a simple culminating activity to provide closure for book clubs. However, the data they offer about readers is far from simple.

Implementing Classroom Book Clubs (Part Two)

In this second installment about book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares procedures for book club meetings, as well as discusses the importance of standards and instruction. Download a discussion guide.

Teaching Readers Rather Than Teaching Books

Secondary instructional coach Holly Wenning shares her own paradigm shift of teaching readers rather than teaching books, and encourages all teachers to consider the importance of putting students before books when planning literacy instruction.

Getting Started with Classroom Book Clubs (Part 1)

In the first installment of a three-part series, Leigh Anne Eck clearly lays out how to get started with book clubs. Included is an editable planning bookmark to give students more ownership of their reading schedules.

Anthologies to Diversify Middle School Reading Instruction

Christy Rush-Levine offers a booklist of anthologies to diversify middle school reading instruction. In this robust list, everyone will find a new addition to use as a whole-class text.

The Importance of the Workshop Model in High School

Instructional coach Holly Wenning shares the importance of the workshop model, and especially work time, for high school students. See the transition from minilesson to work time in a 10th-grade English class.

Still Thinking: An Opportunity to Pause and Think Deeply

Jodie Bailey provides a structure to give students more time to think through ideas and problems. By using this practice, students gain ownership for their learning.

The Power of an Anchor Chart in a Digital World

Dana Murphy reminds us of the power of an anchor chart in a digital world.

Renewing Energy in the Classroom

Gretchen Schroeder finds ways to increase the energy students have for doing work in her classroom. Her practical tips are useful for all students.

Math Debates: A Powerful Sense-Making Routine

Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.

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.

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.

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.

Interpreting Figurative Language

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills step us through an intentional process to help students understand and interpret figurative language. Using Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds as a mentor text, Tara and Kate give students the skills and confidence to find deep meaning in texts. Download an Interpreting Figurative Language chart to support your students in learning to interpret figurative language.

Take a Chance

Julie Cox invites and encourages us to take risks in order to encourage students to try new things with their writing and reading. Julie concludes that when teachers are professional risk-takers, we are more available to students, and know how to help them when they fail.

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.

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.

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.

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