It's one of the big paradoxes of literacy instruction - students best learn how to read and write independently when they have a strong community of support in classrooms. How teachers build those thoughtful, kind, and challenging classroom communities is explained in these resources.
Ruth Metcalfe reminds us of the power of routines and shows how over the course of time, morning message is an anchor in her first-grade classroom community.
Suzy Kaback explores the importance of the way teachers use language and invite kids to use theirs. It is the key to knowing ourselves, tuning in to others, and understanding the larger world.
Ruth Ayres shares a process for grading student writing that improves efficiency and accuracy.
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.
Julie Cox explores the differences in her experiences of teaching in the city of Louisville and teaching in a rural community. All teens have similar universal experiences, yet Julie outlines some considerations for rural students.
Jen Court reminds us of the power of reading aloud to students and pushes us to remember the importance of planning to use books to engage students and hone teaching points.
Molly James shares the compelling research about the happiness advantage by Shawn Achor and two practical practices to make it a reality in her kindergarten classroom.
David Pittman offers practical ways to place student voices first in classrooms in order for their passions, interests, and identities to influence our teaching.
Becca Burk reflects on the power of intentional language to build perseverance in students. She shares a booklist designed to give students scripts they need to become brave learners.
Melissa Quimby encourages informal conversations with students to get insight into their personalities and lives.
Tammy Mulligan leads us through the process of giving primary students the reins for building and organizing the classroom library . . . and offers tips for navigating the tricky parts.
Dana Murphy shares ways to nourish a sense of belonging in all students.
Tammy Mulligan leads us through troubleshooting the difficult parts of launching hands-down conversations. This is the third installment of a three-part series about launching hands-down conversations.
Bitsy Parks gives direction in beginning a community circle with primary learners.
Bitsy Parks shares the inspiration and practical ways she celebrates and honors holidays from many cultures in her classroom.
Tammy Mulligan shares a beginning-of-the-year routine where second graders create an identity frame. This becomes a place to highlight photographs of their learning each week throughout the school year.
Melissa Quimby advises leaving space for students to personalize the classroom when they arrive to start the new school year.
Stella Villalba encourages all educators to listen to students to understand how to create a culture of belonging.
Gretchen Schroeder is surprised to find benefits of a stronger community and communication skills through a practical attendance practice in her high school classroom.
Jen Court plans to fill the first days of first grade with experiences around books. Selecting books carefully to create a sense of community in the classroom from the very beginning is the goal of this first-week booklist.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share poems to start the year that touch a variety of needs, from building community to connecting with colleagues to hosting parents for back-to-school night.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share their authentic process for expanding their beginning-of-the-year student survey to make it more open for all students.
Mandy Robek outlines the process for creating a class Emotional Intelligence Charter. She includes a booklist to help students expand their vocabulary of different emotions.
Jen Vincent invites all educators to join a reading community by participating in the kidlit version of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share a wonderful school-wide and home read aloud experience: Bedtime Mystery Reader. They outline all of the details to bring Bedtime Mystery Reader to your school.
Julie Cox invites us to take risks in order to encourage students to try new things with their writing and reading. Julie concludes that when teachers are professional risk-takers, we are more available to students and know how to help them when they fail.
Josie Stewart and Hannah Tills know the end of the school year is full, yet they take the time to reflect and celebrate what learners have built throughout the year by asking students to create a plan for a final celebration.
Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that it requires presence to sit alongside young readers and writers. In two examples, we find resilience for meeting students at their points of need and then teaching them as readers and writers.
When students feel safe then they are positioned to learn. Julie Cox shares ways to create a learning environment that brings unity to her high school classroom.
Bitsy Parks leads her first-grade class in a study about communication to strengthen their socially distanced and muffled-by-masks community. Included is a booklist.
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