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An Individualized Conventions Checklist

Melanie Meehan finds that a flexible conventions checklist that students develop according to their own needs is the best way to ensure conventions are taught in the context of authentic student work.

Read Alouds and Standards

Maria Caplin explains how read alouds do double duty in her fifth-grade classroom, as they help build a love for story and help students master key literacy and content area standards.

Invitations for Narrative Writing

Kim Campbell suggests activities and prompts to energize narrative writing with teens.

Literary Analysis and Authenticity in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine finds the best way to help her middle school students learn to read closely for literary analysis is through student writing. They begin with analyzing student exemplars from the Common Core, and then move to shared texts as they hone their skills.

Close Reading for Comparison in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski uses a fascinating picture book to build close reading skills with her fifth graders. The key is selecting a text that holds up well through multiple readings.

Embracing Standards in Creative Ways

Christy Rush-Levine makes links between standards, video clips, and close reading.

Big Idea: First-Grade Lesson

Bitsy Parks introduces her first graders to the concept of theme.

Student Learning Targets

Christy Rush-Levine finds she has to rethink learning targets for her middle school students if she wants students to pursue complex and lifelong reading goals.

Infographics and the Common Core: Resources and Standards

Andrea Smith explains why infographics are more useful than ever in the age of the Common Core, and provides many links to free infographic resources on the web.

Frog and Toad and Tina and Maya: A Precocious Kindergarten Reading Group

Suzy Kaback ponders the precociousness of two kindergarten readers.

Using Lord of the Flies to Teach Argument

Gretchen Schroeder has suggestions for using short texts and close reading to help students comprehend The Lord of the Flies.

Explore: Time for Nonfiction

Andrea Smith uses Explore Time with her fourth graders to build interest in nonfiction.

Shorter Research Projects: Rethinking Note-Taking Strategies

Katherine Sokolowski is assigning shorter research projects in her fifth-grade classroom as a way to help students acquire notetaking skills and understand the boundaries of plagiarism.

Using Close Reading to Analyze Propaganda

Propaganda, word clouds, and close reading engage students in Holly Mueller’s sixth-grade class.

Kindergarten Moments Count: Morning Message

Keri Archer writes about the importance of morning message for kindergartners.

March Literacy Contracts: Nonfiction Curiosities

This month’s literacy contract for middle school students focuses on nonfiction texts and growing independence in the classroom.

Bracketology

Mary Lee Hahn uses bracketology to help her fifth-grade students explore determining importance in short texts and close reading.

Making the Most of Short Texts

Mary Lee Hahn melds short texts with the Common Core in this first article in a two-part series.

Explanatory Grammar Moves: Getting Verbal with It

Jeff Anderson concludes his series on explanatory grammar moves by exploring participles, included in the Common Core eighth-grade standard covering the use of verbals.

Rereading and Retelling to Inferring: Part 2

Linda Karamatic uses texts her second graders already know to build their inferring skills as they construct a chart together.

Liberty and Dystopia: February Literacy Contracts

Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller focus their February Literacy Contracts on dystopias.

Act III: Exploring Subtext with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare and the Common Core Series)

Gretchen Schroeder concludes her Shakespeare in the Age of the Common Core Series with activities to explore subtext in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Act II: Understanding Hamlet Through Close Reading (Shakespeare and the Common Core Series)

Gretchen Schroeder continues her Shakespeare and the Common Core series on teaching the classics in high school, explaining how she uses Hamlet in creative ways to teach close reading strategies.

Penguins Are Amazing!: Informational Writing Comes Alive in Kindergarten

Can kindergartners do informational writing? Keri Archer finds the answer is yes, as she applies Common Core standards to inquiry work in her classroom.

Common Core Research Shifts

Maria Caplin explains four changes she is making in her fifth-grade classroom with writing instruction because of the Common Core.

Streamlining Research Check-ins

Gretchen Taylor finds streamlining research check-ins in her middle school classroom is easy to do when she uses a simple online tool to eliminate a mountain of paper.

Act I: Delving into Deep Questions with Macbeth (Shakespeare and the Common Core Series)

Gretchen Schroeder launches a three-part series on Shakespeare in the Age of the Common Core. This week’s installment is a fresh take on teaching Macbeth to high school students.

Journeys and Quests: January Literacy Contracts

Middle school teachers Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller focus on journeys and quests as the theme of their January Literacy Contracts in the latest installment of their year-long series.

Explanatory Grammar Moves: Right-Branching Sentences

Jeff Anderson continues his Explanatory Grammar Series with a feature on the power of right-branching sentences.

Exploring Winter with Short Texts

Middle school teachers Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller focus on winter in short texts as the theme of their December Literacy Contracts in the latest installment of their year-long series.

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