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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 mistakes are part of learning and 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.

Learning Joy

Bitsy Parks shares the story of a striving student, and pinpoints the elements of a rich workshop classroom that supports finding joy in becoming literate.

Planning for Virtual Literacy Intervention

Stephanie Affinito curated a wise and useful guide to plan virtual literacy intervention. Useful resources are included for those who are teaching remotely or in person.

The Reluctant Marathoner: Reflecting on Student Engagement

Gretchen Schroeder uses her reluctance as a marathon runner to reflect on how to encourage more engagement in reading and writing.

The Answer Is Always “Yes”

Julie Johnson shows how saying yes empowers students to do the work of writers: make decisions, experiment, build relationships, and be confident as a writer.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out (or, how to give students the resources, space, and time for self-directed literacy learning)

Matt Renwick challenges educators that if we believe that social and emotional learning is just as important as academics, then we ought to use resources, space, and time to support self-directed learning.

Tracking Thinking: Fifth-Grade Small Group

Julianne Houser meets with a small group of fifth graders to help them build skills for tracking thinking.

Book Selection for Early and Emergent Readers

Some emergent readers happily browse for books and explore them independently. For others, it’s a struggle. Cathy Mere shares her favorite strategies for helping all readers get comfortable with selecting books on their own.

Self-Esteem and Literacy: Understanding Jeff

Jeff is apathetic and unengaged. To help this middle school learner, Mark Levine needs to understand his history. Mark shows the power of interviews for connecting with struggling teen learners.

Growing Toward Stories

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use prompts and aids to help their youngest learners tell stories and find a writing voice.

5 Strategies for Engaging Boy Writers

Jennifer Allen has been fascinated with helping boys write for years, ever since her own son insisted on writing on the same topic over and over again. She shares her five favorite strategies for boosting interest in writing among boys.

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.

The Magic That Might Go Down

Christy Rush-Levine decides to slow down in her classroom and engage more fully with a student who is a wiseacre and resistant reader. What happens next can only be described as magic.

Pick a Poem

David Pittman delights in a student’s enthusiasm for poetry, leading him to reflect on how teachers often need to overcome their own negative history with poems to spark student love of the genre.

High Standards and Struggling Learners

Mark Levine explains why high standards can be helpful even for students who are struggling in his middle school classroom.

Confusing Children

Ruth Ayres explains why we can’t assume children who have experienced trauma understand the foundations and routines of how school works

Wounded Warriors: Trauma and Literacy Routines

Ruth Ayres explains which workshop routines are essential for children who come to school bearing trauma.

They Don’t Read at Home

Cathy Mere suggests strategies for working with struggling students who read very little at home.

Moves for Struggling Writers

Here are Matt Renwick's three favorite moves for helping struggling writers.

Tools for Striving Writers

Sometimes a student just. won’t. write. Melanie Meehan shares her favorite tools in her bag of tricks to get the pencil or pen moving across the page.

Using Student Checklists in Literacy Intervention

Stephanie Affinito explains how to use student checklists in literacy intervention.

Eighth-Grade Conference: Empathetic Reading

Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Julian about his strengths as an empathetic reader.

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