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Sensible Reasons to Use Student Reading Records

Leigh Anne Eck outlines sensible reasons for students to keep reading records.

Crafting Argumentative Essays

Gretchen Schroeder shares a summative assessment inspired by Song Exploder in which her high school students craft an argumentative essay defending a choice of a great song.

Writers’ Club

In her high school writing workshop, Julie Cox noticed that students wrote eagerly, but struggled to give and accept feedback. To increase student ownership and trust, she started Writers’ Club, and it affected transfer of learning in big ways!

Making Connections with Sociograms

Gretchen Schroeder taps into the connections between characters by creating sociograms with her high school students.

Reading Conference: Sports Connections

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Carson about his connections to sports in his reading.

From Seed to Blossom

Leigh Anne Eck provides a guide to developing an End-of-Year Reflection for students to consider their own growth, as well as offer advice regarding curriculum and instruction.

Online Writing Notebooks

Gretchen Schroeder makes the leap to digital notebooks and finds new life in a tried-and-true practice.

Conferring and Conversation

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Tim about his reading.

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.

Best Graphic Novel Adaptations for the Middle Grades

Shari Frost shares her favorite graphic novel adaptations for the middle grades.

Crafting a Literary Analysis

Christy Rush-Levine helps Ezekial draft his literary analysis.

Teaching Summary

Christy Rush-Levine faces the challenge of helping her students see summary writing not as drudgery, but as a way to build more sophisticated thinking around texts.

Online Routines to Create Energetic Reading Communities

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

Comparing Book and Television Adaptations in a Reading Conference

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Adriana over her response to Pretty Little Liars, considering differences between the television show and book.

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.

Honoring Student Identity

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

Engaging Students with Humor

Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.

Read Alouds in Content Classes

Mark Levine explains the many ways read alouds can enhance and deepen learning for middle school students in content areas like social studies and science.

Matching Evidence and Claims in Writing

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Brendan about his literary analysis and how to match evidence and claims. She has him talk through his understanding of the text, using the oral rehearsal to plan his writing.

Choice in Literacy Workshops

What makes choice authentic in literacy workshops? Christy Rush-Levine grapples with this tough question that leads to changes in her instruction.

Three Things Digital Tools Have Taught Me About Feedback

Christy Rush-Levine discovers that a move to digital feedback reveals many important truths about her middle school students, including insights about the effect of grades on how learners view response to their work.

Management and Middle School Workshops

Christy Rush-Levine lowers the tension level in her class over management issues by moving from irritation to curiosity, using her “inner chimpanzee” voice.

Lessons and Minilessons: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a lesson and a minilesson? Christy Rush-Levine finds that flexibility is just as important as length in making minilessons work well.

Sparking Ideas for Realistic Fiction

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain how they use examples from YA authors of how to mine everyday life for powerful ideas. They then help students move from ideas to blurbs as they start their realistic fiction drafts.

Conferring over Motivation and Genre

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Griffin over his reading responses. They consider the differences between dystopian literature and realistic fiction, as well as what motivates characters.

Building Interest Through Artifacts

Mark Levine has many students who haven’t traveled much more than 100 miles from home. He makes history come to life for them by bringing artifacts into his middle school classroom.

Literary Analysis in Eighth Grade: Conferring

Christy Rush-Levine helps Alyssa draft her literary analysis essay.

Navigating the Interpretation Process

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

Student Ownership of Literary Analysis

Christy Rush-Levine shares the strategies she uses to help her middle school students take ownership of their literary analysis essays.

Studying Craft and Punctuation in Sentences from Read Alouds

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share the power of teaching writer’s craft in bite-sized chunks, through careful study of mentor sentences in read alouds.

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