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Opinion Exchange: A Workshop Activity for Study Groups

New teachers need so much their first year and having the ability to be heard and have their opinions valued is right up there. Ruth Shagoury offers a respectful exchange to meet that need.

Helping Young Readers Understand the Middle East: A Booklist of the Best Fiction Picture Books

Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.

The “All About Us” Board: Linking Literacy and Community Building All Year Long

Suzy Kaback has terrific tips for an ever-evolving “All About Us” bulletin board to use from the first day of school to the last.

Opinion Exchange (E-GUIDE)

How can quotes lead educators to awareness and acceptance of the diversity of opinions in a group? Discover what this format for discussion has to offer your study group or staff.

The Read-Around: Raising Writers

If there was a centerpiece to teaching writing that also brought students closer together, wouldn't you want to know about it? Read on about the Read-Around.

Mix It Up: Helping Young Writers Learn to Confer with Peers and Teachers

Ruth Shagoury models her own writing as a way to introduce the concept of conferring to young learners.

Poetry Friday! Poetry Books That Are Fun to Read Aloud

What do doughnuts and talk-filled mornings have in common? Learn about this Poetry Friday ritual that impacts independent reading time as well.

Family Dichos: Bringing the Language of Home into the Classroom

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.

Creative Literacy Events for Families

Brenda Power suggests formats for events that build stronger home-school connections.

Every Language Counts: Adding Multilingual Counting Activities to Morning Meeting

Every year kindergarten teacher Andie Cunningham has children who come from homes with many different first languages. She helps welcome these different languages and cultures into the classroom community by counting in different languages during the morning meeting.

Let’s Get Some Attitude

Shirl McPhillips recalls a junior high experience that promoted serious "attitude" and an uproar among her peers.

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.

The Difference Between Conferring and “Touching Base”

Debbie Miller goes against the grain, advocating for “the luscious feeling of endless time” as we slow down to confer with children.

Whole Class Interviews: Building Community in Writing Workshop (TEMPLATE)

Interviews early in the year are a potent tool for building a class community.

Don’t Force Vulnerability

Ruth Ayres eavesdrops on some moms complaining about homework assignments, and finds the experience leads to reflection on the dangers of forcing students to make themselves vulnerable in classrooms.

Trauma and Literacy

Jen Schwanke remembers her own experiences with trauma as a scared young girl, and how one kind teacher made all the difference in putting her on the path to healing. This makes her ponder the power of literacy in reaching wounded students in our midst.

Creating a Safe Space in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine ponders what it means to create a safe space for all of her middle school students, and then makes some changes.

Kindergarten and Middle School Poetry Partnership

Middle schoolers and kindergartners forge friendships at Katherine Sokolowski’s school through a sweet poetry writing and sharing project.

Appointment Clocks

Gretchen Schroeder uses “appointment clocks” to ensure her students meet with a variety of peers for partner work.

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.
 

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.

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.

In Praise of Handwritten Notes

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

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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