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Learning Joy

Bitsy Parks shares the story of a striving student, and pinpoints the elements of a rich workshop classroom that supports finding joy in becoming literate.

Student-Created Assessments

Ruth Metcalfe releases responsibility to her first-grade class to create formative assessments and take ownership in their learning.

Making Feedback Visible for Young Writers

Ruth Metcalfe is determined to make teaching points from writing conferences visible for her young multi-language learners. She offers a how-to guide for all teachers to do the same and make the teaching accessible to students even after the conference is over.

A Three-Part Conferring Kit

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

Cut-Apart Sentences in Small-Group Reading

Ruth Metcalfe candidly shares the way she tackles the transfer of reading skills with her small group by using cut-apart sentences.

What “Should” Kindergarten Writing Look Like at This Point in the Year?

Melanie Meehan shares insights to emphasize the importance of responding to emergent writers and understanding the progression of young writers.

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.

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.

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.

Helping Young Writers Make Plans

Tammy Mulligan promotes independence in her student writers by supporting them in creating writing plans. A download of a planning template is included so your students can create writing plans, too.

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.

Narrative Minilesson in Kindergarten

Hayley Whitaker leads a minilesson in kindergarten on story structure.

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.

A Roving Student Conferrer

Tammy Mulligan encourages students to support their peers as writers by being a “roving student conferrer.” When we enable students to take on the role of the teacher, it helps solidify what they know, as well as take pride in their writing skills.

Reasons to Launch Writer’s Notebooks with Primary Writers

Mandy Robek shares keys to knowing when to launch writer’s notebooks with primary writers.

Supports for Our Youngest Writers

Cathy Mere identifies ways to support our youngest writers.

Offering Playful Choice to Show Learning

Tammy Mulligan shares her quick thinking when students are bored with book clubs and reminds us all of the importance of offering playful choice for students to show their learning.

Mother Language Day and Tradition Presentations

Bitsy Parks shares special events that help students widen their scope of acceptance and appreciation for the differences among us.

Finding a Way to Make Heterogeneous Grouping a Reality

Tammy Mulligan shares the vulnerable process of forming heterogeneous groups for book discussions.

A Complete Circle: Identity, Growth, and Community

Bitsy Parks offers key end-of-the year activities that allow students to reflect and notice their identities, growth, and community as readers and writers.

Kindergarten: Sight Word Learning

Hayley Whitaker’s kindergartners spend their transition time learning sight words.

Conferring in Kindergarten: Talk/Draw/Write

Hayley Whitaker confers with a kindergartner and shows him the connections between talking, drawing, and text.

Writing Work Plans

Brian Sepe empowers students to make their own plans during writing workshop.

Picture Books for Mental Wellness

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and discovers a treasure trove of picture books to promote mental wellness and help students cope with difficult emotions.

Letting Students Organize Informational Books

Mandy Robek is a little nervous about setting her students loose to organize informational texts, but she couldn’t be more pleased by what they learn in the process.

Planning Writing in Kindergarten

Hayley Whitaker leads a minilesson in kindergarten on how to plan a narrative writing draft.

Reassuring Worried Children with Picture Books

Mandy Robek learns a lot about worry from her daughter, and at the same time discovers a treasure trove of children’s books to help students overcome worries.

Planting Rainbows

Bitsy Parks shares how she adapts her favorite first-grade spring literacy project for remote learning.

Book Selection for Early and Emergent Readers

Some emergent readers happily browse for books and explore them independently. For others, it’s a struggle. Cathy Mere shares her favorite strategies for helping all readers get comfortable with selecting books on their own.

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