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Using The Proudest Blue in the Classroom

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share three ways using The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad empowers and strengthens readers in all grades.

Studying Character in Intermediate Grades

Dana Murphy leads us in a step-by-step process to take tried-and-true reading strategies to a more sophisticated level to support students as they grow in interpretation.

Interpreting Figurative Language

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills step us through an intentional process to help students understand and interpret figurative language. Using Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds as a mentor text, Tara and Kate give students the skills and confidence to find deep meaning in texts. Download an Interpreting Figurative Language chart to support your students in learning to interpret figurative language.

Creating Thematic Text Sets for Inquiry

Stephanie Affinito guides us to carefully curate text sets so that not only are they suited to students’ interests, but students are guided through the sequence of reading them. There’s no better way to launch students’ curiosity and reading motivation!

Understanding Literary Language

Tammy Mulligan leads us through a mini-unit of study designed to help young readers notice, explore, and understand literary language.

The Big Screen: Reimagining Read Aloud

Ruth Metcalfe leverages pandemic adjustments into making the read aloud experience bigger and better for her students. The simple act of projecting the read aloud book leads to significant adjustments to meet the needs of young readers.

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.

A Collection of Treasured Life Lessons

Melissa Quimby leads her students in rich thinking about life lessons and encourages them to treasure the wisdom from books.

Creating Progressions to Meet Learners Where They Are

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how to create and use learning progressions to support students in deepening their understanding of theme. Download a copy of a theme progression.

Determining Importance in Fiction

Dana Murphy guides us in listening and responding to students during strategy-building lessons to grow readers. In this example, she shows the complexity and nuances of direct instruction to build comprehension strategies.

Student-Led Reading Seminars

Tammy Mulligan organizes her second graders to teach reading seminars to their peers. She outlines the steps to make this engaging practice a reality in any classroom.

Create-Your-Own Reading Challenge

Leigh Anne Eck encourages students to create their own reading challenges to stretch their reading identities. Download the challenge to share with your students.

Invitations to Reading a Variety of Genres

Katherine Sokolowski shares the genre invitations she issues to students to help them grow as readers.

Picture of the Week

Bitsy Parks shares a Picture of the Week routine that builds real-life literacy skills, and documents and celebrates important moments throughout the school year.

A Perfect Opportunity for Choice: Showing Theme

Tara Barnett outlines ways to offer choices for students to show their understandings of a book’s theme. Download a choice board and rubric.

Status of the Class for Readers and Writers

Matt Renwick reflects on the importance of building students’ identities as readers and writers and the power of a daily status of the class. Download a template to put this routine in place in your own classroom.

Honoring Student Choice in a Teacher-Chosen Text

Tara Barnett offers practical and engaging choices to students when reading a teacher-selected whole-class text. Download the reading choices survey and a sample pacing calendar to offer your students more choice during a whole-class read.

What Criteria Should We Use When Selecting Whole-Class Texts?

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.

Book Talk: Sheets and Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Christy Rush-Levine pairs Brenna Thummler’s books Sheets and Delicates in a book talk for her sixth-grade class.

Quick Take: Simple Classroom Library Organization

Christy Rush-Levine shares her simple system for organizing her massive classroom library.

Leading Students Toward Underused Sections of the Classroom Library

Gretchen Schroeder intentionally leads students to “jilted genres” in her classroom library.

The Seasons of Classroom Libraries

Melissa Quimby shifts her classroom library throughout the year so that as her students grow as readers, her library will continue to nourish them.

Expanding Book Choices for Secondary Readers

Ruth Ayres challenges us to be more open to the books that live in our secondary classroom libraries. She contends that committing to supporting choice in independent reading means rethinking some of the restrictions we put on adolescent readers.

A Case for Graphic Novels as “Real” Reading

Christy Rush-Levine makes a case for the robust nature of reading graphic novels. Included are two downloads: a classroom library permission slip and an initial reader’s notebook entry form.

The Classroom Library: Building Bridges

Cathy Mere presses to help children take the first steps in growing a sustainable reading life that carries beyond the classroom walls. She offers ways to build bridges to the school and public libraries as an essential step.

Guided Reading Part 3: Closure

This is the first guided reading group in September for Cheryl Miller. She concludes the lesson by having students share their understanding of the text and reviewing skills that were practiced. This is the final video in a three-part series.

Guided Reading Part 2: Whisper Reading and Instruction

This is the first guided reading group in September for Cheryl Miller. She continues the lesson by listening to the students whisper read and instructing them as needs arise. This is the second video in a three-part series.

How to Use Students’ Reading Logs as a Formative Literacy Assessment

Matt Renwick reminds us that there  is a lot of information available in our classrooms that can inform instruction. Some of it is “hiding in plain sight,” for example reading logs.

Learning to Notice and Analyze Complexities

Gretchen Schroeder supports her high school students to think deeply about the complexities around them, beginning with themselves and pop culture, and then moving to the texts they are reading.

Finding Time for Read Aloud

Katherine Sokolowski makes a case for the importance of reading aloud to secondary students and offers suggestions to make it a reality. She includes a list of five surefire read aloud books for middle school students.

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