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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 learned 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.

Picture Walk Group in Kindergarten

Hayley Whitaker meets with a group of kindergartners and takes them through a picture walk.

The Good Part of Tech

Bitsy Parks shares how she integrates technology into her workshops with first graders in a way that is simple, effective, and natural.

Kindergarten and Middle School Poetry Partnership

Middle schoolers and kindergartners forge friendships at Katherine Sokolowski’s school through a sweet poetry writing and sharing project.

Big Table Writing

Max Brand uses the “big table” in his kindergarten classroom as a communal spot for writing. You can see how he interrupts students naturally to make quick suggestions, and allows some interruptions of his own writing as he works with his students.

Drawing and Learning in Kindergarten

Max Brand demonstrates basic drawing strategies early in the year, and then has his kindergartners attempt similar pictures. He explains how the exercise builds basic skills both in literacy and hand/eye coordination.

Managing Take-Home Books

Sending books home with young readers is essential. Cathy Mere gives lots of practical tips for designing a take-home books program and communicating with families about what young readers need.

Growing Toward Stories

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use prompts and aids to help their youngest learners tell stories and find a writing voice.

Secret Reader

Suzy Kaback marvels at a very young learner who is a “secret reader,” and this leads her to reassess the value of constantly celebrating new skills in school communities.

Word Walls in Preschool? Yes, You Can!

A word wall in preschool?! Shari Frost helps a teacher meet this impossible edict, and has a lot of fun in the process thinking about how our youngest learners acquire word knowledge.

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