Listening and speaking—it's the art at the heart of literacy workshops. But there is also a science to how these skills are taught and learned. These resources will show you how to build communication skills in your classroom and school communities.
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.
Jen Vincent scaffolds conversations to help students discuss their independent reading books in small groups…even when everyone is reading a different book! Download and print a copy of the guide to support students in their small-group conversations.
Suzy Kaback explores the importance of the way teachers use language and invite kids to use theirs. It is the key to knowing ourselves, tuning in to others, and understanding the larger world.
Molly James helps us develop an essential point of view for uplifting choice in decision making for young writers and readers.
Stella Villalba questioned her choice for silent writing time when she began listening to students. In this thought-provoking article, Stella gives direction in how to meet the needs of all students—those who need time to talk and those who need a quiet writing space.
When an excited young reader interrupts the quiet hum of reading workshop, Becca Burk analyzes the important unseen choices students make as learners, and the powerful messages teachers’ responses send.
Mallory Messenger shares a process for students to engage and solve a type of intriguing question called Fermi Questions.
Vivian Chen offers useful tips for seasoned and new teachers when it comes to helping students engage in a turn-and-talk.
Ruth Ayres suggests three ways to help students intentionally listen during conversations such as a turn-and-talk.
Mallory Messenger shares the intentional moves needed to help students build independence in problem solving.
In this third installment about classroom book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares options for robust assessment as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.
In the first installment of a three-part series, Leigh Anne Eck clearly lays out how to get started with book clubs. Included is an editable planning bookmark to give students more ownership of their reading schedules.
Melissa Quimby suggests listening in on students’ conversations to find out their interests. These tidbits will help you in building connections, recommending books, and encouraging writing topics.
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.
Mallory Messenger shares a routine for hearing student conjectures (in math and other subjects) and a process for giving time for the class to prove or disprove the claims. Download a Conjecture—Prove or Disprove Recording Sheet to collect student conjectures in your classroom.
David Pittman offers practical ways to place student voices first in classrooms in order for their passions, interests, and identities to influence our teaching.
Becca Burk reflects on the power of intentional language to build perseverance in students. She shares a booklist designed to give students scripts they need to become brave learners.
Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.
Tammy Mulligan leads us through troubleshooting the difficult parts of launching hands-down conversations. This is the third installment of a three-part series about launching hands-down conversations.
Bitsy Parks gives direction in beginning a community circle with primary learners.
Tammy Mulligan shares the steps to encouraging hands-down conversations in the first days of the school year. This is the second installment of a three-part series about launching hands-down conversations.
Tammy Mulligan shares many video options to launch conversation skills in her primary classroom.
Jen Vincent strengthens the authenticity of a share session in writing workshop by building and tending to relationships that honor a circle process that originated in Indigenous communities.
Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that text selection affects students. By shaping a unit of study to contain texts of varying formats and representing a wide variety of characters, students are empowered to develop their own ideas even while reading a whole-class text. Download a diverse text list to deepen a discussion of how family shapes identity.
Hannah Tills and Josie Stewart challenge themselves to select more inclusive texts so all students feel as though they belong. They offer six suggestions to help us examine our bookshelves, thinking, and curriculum.
Stella Villalba uses photos in the classroom as a powerful tool for critical thinking and reflection. Photos allow students to process complex learning as it happens.
Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that it requires presence to sit alongside young readers and writers. In two examples, we find resilience for meeting students at their points of need and then teaching them as readers and writers.
Bitsy Parks leads her first grade class in a study about communication in order to strengthen their social distanced and muffled-by-masks community. Included is a booklist.
Stella Villalba creates space for students to deeply notice the way artist Aminah Robinson uses images to share stories and testimonies.
Ruth Ayres observes a writing workshop that is remote. She reflects on the ways students offer feedback and how their community of writers is established.
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