Are your students buried in post-its? Oversharing with those text-to-self connections? Parroting back comprehension tips but rarely applying them when they are actually reading? Our contributors sort through what works with strategy instruction, and have wise advice for avoiding superficial approaches to developing comprehension skills.
Dana Murphy comes to a lesson about asking questions in a curriculum resource and realizes it is not what her students need. She has designed a lesson to make asking questions more meaningful and useful for her students.
Inspired by toolkits with math manipulatives, Jen Court created literacy toolkits with the help of her first-grade students. These toolkits grow and change across the year and according to student needs, and they help students “touch their thinking” and become more independent readers and writers.
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.
Gretchen Schroeder confesses her fast-paced approach to sharing Macbeth with her high school students. Starting with the big picture of the story and then drilling down into specific scenes for skill practice not only accomplished the goals for the unit, but also freed up more time and space for other curriculum needs.
Ruth Metcalfe candidly shares the way she tackles the transfer of reading skills with her small group by using cut-apart sentences.
Gretchen Schroeder teaches her high school students how to notice and combat logical fallacies, a much needed skill due to the fact that most of her students use memes as their primary news source.
Bitsy Parks takes into account her recent consideration of implicit biases and examines her classroom library and read-aloud choices with urgency and excitement.
Mandy Robek reflects on her identity as a digital and print reader and offers strategies to support students reading digital texts.
What’s the difference between a lesson and a minilesson? Christy Rush-Levine finds that flexibility is just as important as length in making minilessons work well.
Mark Levine has his middle school students “closely read” paired videos as well as texts to ponder the value and accuracy of different historical sources.
Mark Levine finds his middle school students need more time to digest learning from brief articles. Freewriting provides the perfect pause for promoting more reflection and insight.
Mark Levine combines reading and thinking aloud in a minilesson to help his middle school students grapple with complex texts.
Gretchen Schroeder finds helping her students see the value in rereading poems is all about helping them pay close attention to imagery.
Fifth grader Orion uses sticky notes to make questions and predictions at the end of each chapter.
Reagan, a fifth grader in Franki Sibberson's class, explains how she uses sticky notes to flag examples of writer's craft she could use in her own writing.
We continue our video series from Franki Sibberson's class of fifth graders explaining how they take notes while reading. Sarah marks important elements early in the mystery she is reading, so she can easily refer to them later.
Christy Rush-Levine moves from emphasizing theme to teaching strategies for understanding text, and finds it’s a much better way to get her eighth graders to grapple with theme in natural, organic ways.
Tre uses lots of sticky notes to sort through and keep track of characters in a book with a whole classroom full of personalities.
What do student notes from independent reading look like when students have free choice? In this video series, fifth graders from Franki Sibberson's class explain their notetaking strategies. We start with Ally, who tries out two different strategies to figure out which one will help her the most.
In this week's video, Aimee Buckner has a quick conference with a fourth grader about ways to solve a dilemma — how to figure out the setting in a historical fiction novel when there are no pictures.
We’ve all had that student — the one who blurts out a misreading of a text, only to have classmates agree with the analysis. Christy Rush-Levine explains how she uses “first-, second-, and third-draft readings” to help her middle school students develop stronger comprehension skills.
Stella Villalba explains why rereading is especially useful for young English language learners, and shares some simple strategies for integrating more rereading strategies into reading and writing workshops
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find an ingenious way in the upper elementary grades to help their struggling readers develop fluency through read alouds.
Katie DiCesare uses conversations around picture books to build communication, community, and reading skills in her first-grade classroom. Late in the school year she reflects with students about why these conversations are so powerful.
Cathy Mere finds that with young learners, not all issues with fluency are created equally — different needs require different strategies.
If it’s not sudden release of responsibility or no release of responsibility, what does gradual look like? Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan bring this model to life.
Justin Stygles uses a daily nonfiction article activity as a way to build interest in nonfiction short texts, especially among reluctant readers in his classroom.
If you are looking to increase the quantity and quality of graphic novels for your learners in your classroom library Shari Frost has a new booklist to get you started.
Christy Rush-Levine shows the power of using picture books with young adolescents to model close reading and deepen comprehension of sophisticated texts.
Mandy Robek finds that kindergartner Mikey is lost in knowing how to use his time well during reading workshop. Her conference moves him from deflated to inspired.
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