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Word Nerds

What words are worthy of study? Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader explore that question with colleagues.

Just-Right Poetry and Individualizing Instruction

Shari Frost describes how a sixth-grade teacher provides a range of poetry options to meet the needs of all students.

Peer Conferring: The Release Phase

Amanda Adrian concludes her series on peer conferring, analyzing the value of students working on their own after instruction and practice.

Thank You For Arguing

In the second installment of our teaching argument/opinion writing series, Heather Rader uses a continuum dialogue and modeled writing with intermediate students.

Word Count

Ruth Ayres finds that keeping a word count is a potent way to increase writing quality over time.

I Love a Good Argument

As Heather Rader works with teachers and teams on opinion/argumentative writing, she’s considering the anatomy of an argument and engaging ways to teach it.

Peer Conferring: The “Try It On” Phase

Amanda Adrian continues her series on how teachers can scaffold and model peer conferring. In this installment, Amanda uses the fishbowl technique with students.

Staying Child-Centered When You Work with Adults

Andie Cunningham shares challenges and practical strategies for how literacy leaders can stay child-centered.

Peer Conferring: The Modeling Phase

Amanda Adrian provides a framework, sample model lesson, and peer conferring guide for students to use as they learn how to respond to their classmates.

Conferring for Conventions (Conventions Series Part 5)

Heather Rader gives examples of convention conferences in this final installment of the conventions series.

Aligning the Common Core and Conventions Instruction (Conventions Series Part 4)

Heather Rader works with a team of intermediate teachers as they connect their plans for conventions instruction and the Common Core.

Between Inquiry and Instruction (Conventions Series Part 3)

Heather Rader works with a team of intermediate teachers as they pore over student work together and analyze which conventions should be taught.

Concise, Conversational, and Consistent: Explaining the Work of Literacy Coaches

Heather Rader shares the language she uses to describe literacy coaching to others.

Finding a Fit (The Power of Conventions Series)

Heather Rader works with a teaching team as they integrate conventions instruction into their writing workshop.

Introducing the Writing Common Core Standards: Planning for Professional Development

Heather Rader sorts through goals, audience, and interest in planning a day of professional development linked to the writing standards in the Common Core.

Loops and Blended Classrooms: Practical Tips to Start the School Year

It can feel like “old home week” when you have students returning to your classroom for a second year. But blending and looping both present their own special challenges during the first days of school. Melanie Quinn has advice for getting the year off to a good start.

Energy, Stamina, and Training Wheels for Coaching Teachers

Gradual release, not-so-gradual release or catch and release? Heather Sisson ponders the challenges of providing the appropriate support in a coaching cycle.

Discussing Observations with New Teachers

Jennifer Allen’s new teacher group discusses what they learn from classroom observations in this video taped early in the fall.

The ABCs of Literacy Coaching (Part 1)

Heather Rader shares the essential elements of successful literacy coaching in this first installment of a month-long series.

Ask Me – I’m Not the Expert

Heather Sisson explores the complicated links between relationships and expertise for literacy coaches and teachers.

Listen In: Strategies for Using Nonfiction Texts in Writing

Two girls struggling to understand the difference between emulating and copying in this "Listen In" conference.

What is the Content for Small-Group Instruction? (Part 2 of the Grouping Series)

Heather Rader considers how assessments and observations might be used to create flexible groups.

Listen In: About the Author

"About the Author" blurbs are a great way to bring closure to writing in workshops. In this "Listen In," Myia begins to construct her "About the Author" page.

 

Listen In: Maya is a Chapter Writer

Some young writers take a lot of time and encouragement on the journey to uninhibited prose, while others zip to prolific. Maya is such a writer. Heather Rader assists this proficient 2nd grade writer as her teacher observes.

Tried and True Trumps Shiny and New

Amanda Adrian explains why running records are still an essential tool in any teacher’s assessment arsenal.  She also includes links to web resources for honing your running record skills if they are a bit rusty.

Literacy Coaching and Student Work with Diane Sweeney (PODCAST)

Diane Sweeney talks about the importance of focusing more on student work and less on teacher plans and lessons for literacy coaches.

I Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

Have you ever had a teacher enthusiastically embrace a new “magic bullet” instructional program that includes scripted or rote elements that concern you? Melanie Quinn considers this sticky situation instructional coaches sometimes find themselves in, and comes up with some starting points for conversations with colleagues.

Professional Development Openers and Icebreakers (ROUND-UP)

This round-up includes suggestions for opening activities and icebreakers to energize your colleagues from Amanda Adrian, Aimee Buckner, Shari Frost, and Jennifer Jones.

Listen In: Writing in Math

Heather Rader confers with 2nd grader Maya about her math writing as Linda Karamatic listens in.

Listen In: Knowing When You’re Done

When is writing finished? Heather Rader confers with a second grader over that age-old question for writers as Linda Karamatic listens in.

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