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Flexible Groups: Moving Beyond Levels to Assess Reading Needs

Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) discuss how their thinking has evolved when it comes to flexible groups. The article includes a video excerpt of Joan working with a group of kindergartners.


Hooked on Series: Great Series Books for Transitional Readers

Finding the right series for a transitional reader is a gift. Franki Sibberson shares her favorite finds.

Planning for K-3 Author Studies (eGUIDE)

Gayle Brand knows the power of author studies and shares her activities, unit plans and year-long glances to support students identification as readers and writers.

My Son Clark Kent

Lisa Koch shares a parent's perspective of the damage too much emphasis on reading levels in the classroom does to her young son.

Listen In: Jeffry’s Ocean Story

Moving a child from simple to complex sentences is the goal in this second-grade writing conference.

Boys’ Book Club in Second Grade

In this video from Linda Karamatic’s second-grade classroom, boys discuss the book Fudge using the protocol provided by Linda.

Common Core Conversations: Increasing Argumentative Writing

Teachers continue to puzzle over and sort through the terminology in the Common Core related to opinion and persuasive writing. Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader consider terms and teaching strategies.

“I Am the Book”: Helping Emergent Bilingual Learners Connect with Books

Jesabel Centeno helps her emergent bilingual learners respond orally to texts and share favorite books with classmates.

Conferring on Inferring in Second Grade

Linda Karamatic works with a student who is reading the Stink series as he tries out a new tool for documenting inferences as he reads.

Use Math Practices to Deepen Friendships

Molly James is inspired by the book Friends Beyond Measure to use math practices to strengthen the bonds of friendship in her kindergarten classroom.

Going Deeper with Math Curricular Materials

Mallory Messenger guides us in taking what our district-adopted math curriculum resources provide and planning small changes by using problem stems and student problem posing to increase the rigor and make mathematical experiences accessible for all students. 

Searching for Patterns with First Graders

Mallory Messenger leads us through a process to help first-grade students discover patterns by leaving the middle of an equation open. Mallory offers resources and student work to help every teacher see the possibility of giving students opportunities to make sense of math.

Writing as an Act of Resistance and a Source of Strength

In this beautiful personal essay, Stella Villalba reminds us that writing is a source of strength, and developing a community of writers is essential in post-pandemic classrooms.

Writing Will Help

Becca Burk’s kindergartners had a tough recess. As they were discussing what they could do differently, one student proclaimed, “Mrs. Burk, writing, writing will help!” Becca shares what unfolded as students made a plan and created signage to post around the playground as reminders for self-control.

Book Matchmaker: Read Alouds That Invite Young Readers to Participate

Franki Sibberson shares her latest suggestions for read alouds that invite participation from young readers.

Launching a Classroom Library 

Melissa Styger slows down the launch of the classroom library to ensure it is a valuable resource all year.

Field Experience: Supporting Independent Reading, Choice and Stamina

Helping students learn to choose books and develop stamina are important to developing independent readers. Ruth Ayres designed a field experience with opportunities to see minilessons, small group instruction, team meetings and a share session that support independence in readers.

Trusting the Letting-Go Moments

Mandy Robek writes a powerful essay about giving her students more decision-making power in sharing their learning. In the release of letting go, she found ease in the joy of learning.

Picture Books for Naming Emotions

Mandy Robek continues her series on picture books for understanding emotional turmoil in students. In this installment, she shares a list of books that can help children name emotions.

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.

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.

Using Whiteboards Before Writer’s Notebooks

Jen Court shares the way whiteboards and conversation lifted pressure from student writers so they could create poetry.

Morning Message Series: When and How

It’s not always easy to hold on to effective instructional routines and find ways to embrace new initiatives and mandates. In the first installment of a morning message series, Ruth Metcalfe addresses the issue of time. 

Author Studies for Primary Students

Jen Court shares the benefits of an author or illustrator study and offers tips for getting started in primary grades.

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.

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.

Inside and Outside Views Minilesson

Ruth Ayres leads a minilesson in second grade on inside/outside views — what’s happening objectively (on the outside) vs. emotions (on the inside).  The terms are a good starting point for helping young students distinguish between facts and opinions.

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