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Grammar Games

Melanie Meehan shares two of her favorite games for teaching grammar, including templates and web resources.

The Importance of Correct Examples

Melanie Meehan explains why it is important to mentor students who are struggling with correct examples, and why she cautions writing teachers to avoid “find the mistakes” exercises.

Word Walls in Preschool? Yes, You Can!

A word wall in preschool?! Shari Frost helps a teacher meet this impossible edict, and has a lot of fun in the process thinking about how our youngest learners acquire word knowledge.

Quick Vocabulary Practice and Assessment

Gretchen Schroeder finds any vocabulary routine eventually gets stale in her high school classroom. She shares a couple of favorite options for reinvigorating word learning.

Sentence Phrase Word: Student Independence for Word Learning

Andrea Smith uses the sentence-phrase-word thinking routine with her fourth graders to show how potent one word can be in understanding complex themes.

Student-Generated Vocabulary Discussions

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find the key to middle school students attending to new vocabulary during read-alouds is to have students choose the words.

Toward More Meaningful Extension Activities

Shari Frost challenges assignments in reading workshop that kill a love of wordplay and vocabulary development.

Getting to Know Writers: Using Quotes

Dana Murphy concludes her series on getting to know writers with an activity on responding to quotes. This activity is a great baseline for gauging attitudes and previous  experiences early in the year.

Alternatives to Daily Editing as a “Bell-Ringer” Activity

The “daily edit” is a common routine in many classrooms. Shari Frost explains why this may not be an effective way to teach conventions, and offers some alternatives.

Character Traits Through Word Sorts

Melanie Swider finds word sorts are a great way to help intermediate students master new vocabulary for describing character traits.

Building Word Learning Routines

Cathy Mere shares tried-and-true strategies for word learning with struggling young learners.

Vocabulary Instruction: Where to Start?

Gretchen Schroeder looks for new ways to help high school students learn words.

Holding a Dictionary

Jennifer Schwanke finds dictionaries (the real, not virtual, variety) are still a potent tool for teaching new vocabulary to children.

Tutoring Carl: Sketching to Draft

Max Brand challenges himself to let a student take more of the lead during a writing tutoring session.

Raising the Quality of Word Work

Shari Frost has some practical suggestions for more thoughtful word work.

The Power of Written Blind Word Sorts

Max Brand uses written blind word sorts to build student word learning skills.

Going Public with Word Work

Maria Caplin is discouraged at the low level of transfer of new vocabulary in her fifth graders’ writing, so she makes some changes in her classroom.

English Language Learners First-Grade Guided Group

Stella Villalba leads a guided reading group of first-grade English language learners, beginning with building vocabulary.

Character Traits and Vocabulary Development

Gigi McAllister shares how she combines vocabulary instruction with analysis of character traits in her fourth-grade classroom.

My Middle Schoolers Still Can’t Spell!: Focusing on Individual Students

Gretchen Taylor concludes her two-part series on spelling instruction in middle school.  In this installment, Gretchen visits a colleague in the primary grades to get advice and practical insight.

Rethinking Grammar Instruction in High School

What conventions can be taught in a way that sticks with older adolescents? Gretchen Schroeder slows down and focuses to improve her instruction.

Student-Generated Blends Chart in First Grade

Katie DiCesare’s first graders add to a blends chart during reading transition time.

Introducing Onomatopoeia Minilesson

Christi Overman teaches her second graders about onomatopoeia in a brief minilesson.

My Middle Schoolers Can’t Spell!

Gretchen Taylor has a common teacher's lament about spelling, so she decides to do something about it. This is the first installment in a two-part series.

Word Work Basics

Max Brand explains the basics of word work, including a list of reflective questions teachers can ask themselves and students.

Launching a Sort

Launching a sort with primary students early in the year begins not with words, but with leaves for Max Brand.

Endings Minilesson with Second Graders

Cathy Laker uses her own writing as a mentor text with her second-grade students to demonstrate options for endings.

Capturing the Elementary Years with Photo Essays

Justin Stygles helps his sixth graders prepare to move to middle school with a photo essay assignment in the last weeks of school.

Mentor Reader: Words

Gigi McAllister writes about a quick activity for modeling word learning and fostering discussion of new vocabulary.

Conferring About Word Learning

Sean Moore teaches second grader Mikhail some strategies for learning words in a conference.

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