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Responding to Appeals for Help

Dana Murphy outlines three options to respond to a student who is stuck when reading and looking to the teacher for the answer. By being mindful when students appeal for help, we can make intentional, on-the-spot decisions to empower students to become better readers.

Teaching Students to Self-Monitor

Dana Murphy explicitly teaches students how to self-monitor through modeling and using an anchor chart that clearly defines each step.

Fostering a Love of Reading in All Students

Lisa Mazinas reminds us of the importance of fostering a love of reading in all students. She offers specific ways to reconnect students with the enjoyment of reading.

Know/Wonder Chart

Dana Murphy shares the power of a Know/Wonder chart to peek inside the minds of intermediate readers and provide direction beyond assessment data.

Developing Reader Identities: It Is More Than Magic

Becca Burk reminds us of the importance of building a reading identity within all students so they can become stronger readers.

When They’re Hard to Teach

Cathy Mere reminds us of the complexities of teaching readers, especially those who are in intervention. She shares the “rules” she’s put in place for herself when a rough patch is hit and little growth is gained.

When Reading Practices Drift

When Leigh Anne Eck noticed her students’ reading practices weren’t as robust as she expected, she realized she was the one who had drifted away from key instructional practices. Leigh Anne offers several ways to support students in their independent reading lives.

Detours: A Reminder of the Humanity of Students

Gretchen Schroeder reminds us of the importance of checking in with students and gauging how they are feeling—and then responding with authenticity and joy.

Increasing Student Choice

We want students to be lifelong learners, eager to grow, and equipped to face challenges. For this to happen, we have to let the classroom be a place that reflects these qualities. Julie Cox offers three innovative ways to leave choice in the hands of students. In turn, they learn to trust themselves and their learning, and believe that they are capable of finding answers.

Practical Advice for Dealing with Messy Handwriting

Do struggles with handwriting matter? They do when a student can’t even decipher his own words. Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Sauvi to help him find solutions to the problem.

My Teaching Toolbox (Part 2)

Dana Murphy reminds us that having a teaching toolbox makes planning efficient and effective. In this second installment of a two-part series, Dana offers two additional approaches to delivering strong reading instruction.

Small Shifts That Make a Big Difference

Dana Murphy names two practices that made a big difference in her work as a reading specialist. You may be surprised at the simplicity and smallness that led to powerful gains in her readers.

Let’s Write Together: The Importance of Class Books

Jen Court considers whether creating class books is a valuable use of time for today’s young students. As she teases out this question, she realizes class books are a relevant and essential instructional strategy.

Creating Learning Progressions with Students

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills outline the steps to involve students in defining how to progress as readers and then set goals. They offer a practical plan for empowering students to take ownership of their learning.

Getting Ready to Read

Dana Murphy encourages us to go beyond teaching students to recognize different genres by helping them establish expectations of genres so they’ll be ready to read.

What’s Your Point of View?

Molly James helps us develop an essential point of view for uplifting choice in decision making for young writers and readers.

Alert! Mistakes in Progress

Becca Burk gives the science behind mistakes and growth, and offers suggestions on ways to use mistakes as a means to help students become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Overcoming Challenges in Writing Workshop with Trauma-Informed Practices

Ruth Ayres shares three mindsets to help teachers prioritize connection over correction when teaching writers.

Slow Down to Meet the Needs of All Learners

In this era of pressure to perform, Vivian Chen suggests slowing down as an act of intentionality, equity, and meeting the needs of all learners.

Helping Writers Self-Correct

What to do with writers who catch errors in isolation but not in their own writing? Cathy Mere suggests three ways to help students self-correct their writing.

Do the Hard Thing

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.

Still Thinking: An Opportunity to Pause and Think Deeply

Jodie Bailey provides a structure to give students more time to think through ideas and problems. By using this practice, students gain ownership for their learning.

Spoiler Alert: You Can Start Big to Go Small (Macbeth in One Class Period)

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.

Student Voices First

David Pittman offers practical ways to place student voices first in classrooms in order for their passions, interests, and identities to influence our teaching.

Routines That Normalize Mistakes

We all know that mistakes are part of learning and that safe environments for risk-taking allow students to grow, but how do you take the sting out of making mistakes? David Pittman offers advice on ways to normalize mistakes in math.

Renewing Energy in the Classroom

Gretchen Schroeder finds ways to increase the energy students have for doing work in her classroom. Her practical tips are useful for all students.

Engaging Kids in Reading Intervention

Dana Murphy shares ways to make reading intervention a high-interest time for students.

Questions to Ask When Reading the Morning Message

Tammy Mulligan guides teachers in a progression to help students identify tricky words, move deeper into word analysis, and develop inferential thinking. Included is a helpful progression chart to guide teachers in helping all students understand that readers encounter problems and can solve the tricky words.

Reading Specialists Can Change the Narrative

Cathy Mere shares ways reading specialists can help teachers get excited about striving readers’ growth by intentionally sharing progress and celebrations.

What Matters More

Dana Murphy shares that by asking “What matters most?” she can make decisions that allow her literacy instruction to be student-centered and authentic.

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