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Finding Topics in Writer’s Notebooks Minilesson

Sean Moore shares the importance of using a writer’s notebook to discover topics in this minilesson with his second-grade students from early in the year.

Collecting Ideas in the Writer’s Notebook

Ruth Ayres confers with third grader Jade about the importance of the “collecting” phase for writers.

Conferring with Spencer: Writing Notebook Topics

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Spencer brainstorm topics for his writing notebook.

Forming Groups Using a Planner

Dana Murphy explains how her small-group planner is an essential tool for organizing groups in her fourth-grade classroom.

The 4 Fs of Assessment

Justin Stygles describes the four crucial components of effective assessment.

Teaching Rereading During Class Read Alouds

Aimee Buckner teaches her 4th graders the power of rereading using the mentor text Goblins in the Castle by Bruce Coville.

First-Grade Writing Conference: Celebrations to Suggestions

Katrina Edwards begins her conference with first grader Allen by celebrating all he is doing well in his writing. She highlights his language and details in writing, before moving on to new strategies to try.

Revising Titles Minilesson

In this minilesson from Franki Sibberson’s grades 3 and 4 classroom, Franki takes students through the process of selecting and revising titles. She uses the poem “Confessions of a Reader” by Carol Wilcox as a mentor text.

A Minilesson on Minilessons

Franki Sibberson leads a minilesson in her fifth-grade classroom to help students design their own lessons. Students also assess what goes into a high-quality minilesson.

Integrating Vocabulary and Retelling Strategies into Read-Aloud

Stella Villalba scaffolds the language development of her first- and second-grade English language learners during read-aloud by highlighting vocabulary and providing a tool to assist with a partner retelling activity.

English Language Learners First-Grade Guided Group

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

Student-Led Conferences from Many Perspectives

Jennifer Schwanke and Franki Sibberson share four perspectives on student-led conferences — teacher, principal, student, and parent.

Word Study Literacy Team Meeting

An elementary literacy team discusses word learning in the context of student assessment results as part of a yearlong inquiry into word study.

Avoiding Implementation Through Lamination

Jennifer Schwanke questions the routines of how wall displays are used in classrooms.

Maximizing Instructional Time at the Start of a New Unit

Time is precious in classrooms, so Melanie Meehan shares strategies to ensure it isn't wasted at the start of new writing units by teaching skills students may already possess.

Field Experience: Kindergarten Writers

Spend time with the youngest writers and you will be mesmerized by their writing processes. Ruth Ayres assembled a field experience focused on kindergarten writers.

Classroom Tours: Learning from Colleagues

Barbara Coleman finds classroom tours are a terrific professional development activity early in the year, fostering unexpected collaboration among colleagues.

Writing Workshop Teacherisms

Jennifer Jones reflects upon the “teacherisms” in writing workshops — the language we use that defines our values and routines.

Teaching Punctuation Through Shared Reading in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek explains with a video example how “interruptions” from students can deepen the shared reading experience. In this case, her kindergarten class is exploring punctuation.

Using Skype in the Classroom

Katherine Sokolowski has suggestions for Skype use in classrooms, covering everything from student etiquette to special events.

A Just-Right Lesson for Just-Right Books

Melissa Styger finds she needs to make changes to her just-right book lesson to meet the needs of her third-grade students.

Prompting and Support: Understanding the Language of the Common Core in Kindergarten

The words prompting and support appear often in the kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Mandy Robek analyzes what prompting and support looks and sounds like in her kindergarten classroom by using a video example.

Name Practice in Kindergarten

Max Brand uses a name chart with his kindergarten English language learners to teach letters and sounds, and build community.

Organizing Materials to Support Literacy Learning (Classroom Design Series Part 3)

Ann Marie Corgill shares how she organizes materials for literacy learning in the third installment of her design series.

In Praise of Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes have timeless appeal, and great value for teachers and literacy leaders.

Notetaking Series Part II: Honing Your Notetaking Skills, One Strategy at a Time

One skill at a time — here are some suggestions for a step-by-step approach to learning how to take good observational notes in the classroom.

First Day of School Read-Alouds with Global and Multicultural Perspectives

Welcome your students to school by honoring their cultures — this diverse list is just right for diverse classrooms.

A Hand to Hold: Crying and Community in Preschool

Sometimes it takes a village to help a preschooler feel a part of the group, especially one who cries almost all the time. Kelly Petrin finds her young students have more empathy and resiliency than she imagined when she enlists their support.

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