Becca Burk guides us in using self-portraits as an assessment tool for early writers. Becca shares a rubric, self-portrait samples, and practical next steps for her kindergarten writers.
Jen Court considers whether creating class books is a valuable use of time for today’s young students. As she teases out this question, she realizes class books are a relevant and essential instructional strategy.
Ruth Metcalfe tapped a plethora of resources to help her first-grade writers understand how to communicate meaning with illustrations.
Molly James helps us develop an essential point of view for uplifting choice in decision making for young writers and readers.
Becca Burk gives the science behind mistakes and growth, and offers suggestions on ways to use mistakes as a means to help students become critical thinkers and problem solvers.
Ruth Metcalfe shares a fun-loving and inspiring early reader booklist to help boost reading energy in her classroom library.
When an excited young reader interrupts the quiet hum of reading workshop, Becca Burk analyzes the important unseen choices students make as learners, and the powerful messages teachers’ responses send.
Heather Fisher considers the research behind gamified experiences and applies it to a lengthy first-grade phonics assessment. Heather challenges us to gamify assessments to maintain the integrity of the assessment while increasing student engagement.
What to do with writers who catch errors in isolation but not in their own writing? Cathy Mere suggests three ways to help students self-correct their writing.
Becca Burk reminds all of us that one of the important parts of being a teacher is helping students believe they are capable. Becca shares three practical ways to uplift student capability.
Becca Burk asserts that every child can become a writer when given materials, opportunity, and authentic glimpses into what it means to be a writer. Most importantly, though, children need adults who believe they are writers.
Bitsy Parks shares an initial read aloud to encourage primary students to develop the ability to see math everywhere.
Ruth Metcalfe releases responsibility to her first-grade class to create formative assessments and take ownership in their learning.
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.
Ruth Metcalfe candidly shares the way she tackles the transfer of reading skills with her small group by using cut-apart sentences.
Melanie Meehan shares insights to emphasize the importance of responding to emergent writers and understanding the progression of young writers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dana Murphy realizes the best way to introduce students to reading in kindergarten is to apply the principles that work at home with her own children.
Katherine Sokolowski had a dream — her whole community reading and celebrating the same book. She explains how she helped coordinate, organize, and purchase hundreds of books for a community-wide reading of Wonder.
Ruth Ayres shares some of her favorite mentors and mentor texts for developing good writing processes and habits.
Shari Frost observes a teacher conferring with a first grader who is mystified at the advice to "get your mouth ready," and it leads her to consider what works best in helping young readers.
Leslie Woodhouse discovers a dollar store find takes on a life of its own in her preschool classroom in this delightful essay.
Melissa Kolb explores what needs to be in place for our youngest students to learn how to converse kindly.
Melissa Kolb shares some of her favorite mentor texts for helping preschoolers understand friendship.
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