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Christy Rush-Levine finds her middle school students need more support and scaffolds to understand authors’ craft in graphic novels.
Mark Levine has his middle school students “closely read” paired videos as well as texts to ponder the value and accuracy of different historical sources.
Tammy Mulligan explains how the use of the popular “reading mats” can help build reader confidence.
Gretchen Schroeder uses “appointment clocks” to ensure her students meet with a variety of peers for partner work.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find their middle school students need some scaffolding to tease out essential details in literature.
Tammy Mulligan considers the rituals she has for preparing to write, and then uses what she learns in classroom writing workshops.
Katherine Sokolowski uses the Community Timeline Project to bring together students and older community members around history and writing.
The 100th day of school has become an opportunity for classroom and schoolwide celebrations. Shari Frost provides many resources to ensure reading and writing are front and center on this special day.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills take advantage of students’ knowledge of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to teach the concept of theme before the holiday break.
Bitsy Parks uses the short stretch before the holidays for a quick and fun how-to writing unit with her first graders.
Christy Rush-Levine scaffolds her middle-school students’ understanding of craft moves by moving from short stories to novels when studying specific authors.
Mark Levine shows how young adult literature is a potent tool to drive learning in his middle school social studies classroom.
Whenever a tricky literary concept comes up, Tammy Mulligan finds herself returning to a favorite mentor text to guide students. She explains the value of shared simple stories for understanding complicated literary elements.
Melanie Meehan helps students see the craft moves in mentor texts by tucking brief guides into many of her favorite children’s books in the classroom library.
Mark Levine finds his middle school students need more time to digest learning from brief articles. Freewriting provides the perfect pause for promoting more reflection and insight.
Even eight-year-olds are expected to master a dozen or more conventions. Melanie Meehan shares a process for helping students focus on the small steps needed to master any convention with peer support.
Want students to become more independent? Melanie Meehan recommends that you take each student through a reflective process to figure out what learning processes and habits work for them.
Mark Levine explains why whole-class reflection is an essential component of his middle school workshops.
Dana Murphy finds it is best to teach conventions in small, targeted groups in her fifth-grade classroom. She explains how she designs and leads these groups.
The start of the school year is often all about building reader identities in classrooms. And then October comes, and many of the activities that help students celebrate their reading histories and preferences are forgotten. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share ways teachers can continue to help students define, refine, and expand their reading identities all year long.
Finding time for writing share sessions may begin with trying out a few different options to see what works in your classroom. Melanie Meehan presents some of her favorites.
Sometimes those times when we “wing it” because we don’t have plans can lead to the most profound learning. Dana Murphy dreams up a quick circle share, and what follows is magic.
Christy Rush-Levine uses book covers to help her middle-school students explore their histories (or “lineages”) as readers.
Max Brand uses the “big table” in his kindergarten classroom as a communal spot for writing. You can see how he interrupts students naturally to make quick suggestions, and allows some interruptions of his own writing as he works with his students.
Dana Murphy explains why a system for minimizing interruptions is essential in her fifth-grade classroom, and how she keeps the process of creating and using it as simple as possible.
Ruth Ayres shows how one first-grade teacher saves precious time by not ending minilessons with lots of directions for independent work.
Helping students find and raise their voices so that they can someday change the world is one of the most important things we do. Cathy Mere shares some of her favorite mentor texts for this essential work.
We can teach students craft moves for their writing and how to punctuate. But how do we build their confidence? Melanie Meehan helps Aaron see his needs as a writer, but even more importantly, his strengths.
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