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Everyday Celebrations and Traditions

Bitsy Parks shares how she builds a learning community with displays and traditions that celebrate families.

Making Our Writing Public

Jennifer Allen shares a project student writers complete with support from a local college to make writing public and widen the net for feedback.

Letting Go in the Remote Learning World

Jen Schwanke, like many of us, is scrambling to deal with issues cropping up in the new world we all face of remote instruction. She shares some of the most common problems, and how teachers might deal with them.

Don’t Force Vulnerability

Ruth Ayres eavesdrops on some moms complaining about homework assignments, and finds the experience leads to reflection on the dangers of forcing students to make themselves vulnerable in classrooms.

Creating a Safe Space in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine ponders what it means to create a safe space for all of her middle school students, and then makes some changes.

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.

Trauma and Literacy

Jen Schwanke remembers her own experiences with trauma as a scared young girl, and how one kind teacher made all the difference in putting her on the path to healing. This makes her ponder the power of literacy in reaching wounded students in our midst.

Appointment Clocks

Gretchen Schroeder uses “appointment clocks” to ensure her students meet with a variety of peers for partner work.

Community Timeline Project

Katherine Sokolowski uses the Community Timeline Project to bring together students and older community members around history and writing.

Reading and Writing for the 100th Day of School

The 100th day of school has become an opportunity for classroom and schoolwide celebrations. Shari Frost provides many resources to ensure reading and writing are front and center on this special day.

Reinforcing Workshop Norms

In this quick video, Dana Murphy shows how she leads her fifth graders with a kinesthetic reminder of workshop norms before beginning independent work.

Circle Share

Sometimes those times when we “wing it” because we don’t have plans can lead to the most profound learning. Dana Murphy dreams up a quick circle share, and what follows is magic.

Minimizing Interruptions During Workshops

Dana Murphy explains why a system for minimizing interruptions is essential in her fifth-grade classroom, and how she keeps the process of creating and using it as simple as possible.

Raising Student Voices: Mentor Texts

Helping students find and raise their voices so that they can someday change the world is one of the most important things we do. Cathy Mere shares some of her favorite mentor texts for this essential work.

Moving from Interactive Read Alouds to Book Clubs

Tammy Mulligan shares how teachers can move seamlessly from thoughtful conversations during whole-class read alouds to lively book clubs.

Read Aloud in Middle School

Katherine Sokolowski values read aloud for her middle school students and struggles to find time for them. Her solution? A picture book a day, better known as the #bookaday activity.

Grand Conversations and Read Aloud

Are your conversations during read aloud stilted or shallow? Tammy Mulligan recommends weekly “grand conversations” to spark more thoughtful talk. She provides the tools you need to get started in your classroom.

Jane Goodall Inquiry: Introducing Expectations

Katherine Sokolowski introduces her students to routines and expectations early in the year with a unit on Jane Goodall, including many short read alouds.

Interactive Read Aloud and the Whole-Class Notebook

Tammy Mulligan enhances the quality of the class read aloud and student discussions with the use of a whole-class response notebook.

Student Greeting

Students in the first-grade classroom of Bitsy Parks lead a morning greeting at the start of the day. It’s a quick activity to check attendance, build reading skills, and help students learn the names of classmates in the community.

Linking Literacy and Community at the Start of the Year

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills start with the poem “Where I’m From” to build community through literacy at the start of the year.

Strategies for Sustaining Student Attention

Jen Schwanke shares some strategies for sustaining student attention, beyond just calling out a student’s name over and over and over again.

Forgetting and Remembering

In the end classroom management often comes down to students valuing the same things we do. Jen Schwanke has tips for how high school teachers can create a culture where there is better communication and more shared values.

Setting and Using Classroom Norms

Class promises, rules, and norms—most teachers set them at the start of the year. But how can we make sure students live them? Dana Murphy shares some tips from her fifth-grade classroom.

Homework: I Challenge You!

Heather Fisher helps a first-grade teacher create a homework challenge as a way to make the practice more meaningful and engaging for students and families.

Becoming More Inclusive

Every teacher wants to be more inclusive. But where do you begin? Melanie Meehan presents three practical starting points.

Whose Point of View Matters? Considering Multiple Perspectives

When it comes to including and understanding others, it may be hardest to empathize with those who disrupt or bully others. Tammy Mulligan shares her four favorite mentor texts for understanding students who are angry and lash out.

Fewer Books and More Options at the End of the Year

Cathy Mere considers the dilemma teachers face when the bookroom, library, and tech departments require books and devices to be returned late in the year . . .  but there are still a few weeks of school. She shares many suggestions for fostering literacy and community when there are far fewer books in the room.

Who Owns the Learning?

An enthusiastic student response to an author visit inspires Christy Rush Levine to revamp her upcoming unit on craft moves to foster more student ownership.

Slowing Down

Bitsy Parks comforts a crying child after lunch, and realizes how essential it is to continually slow down the fast pace of learning in her classroom.

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