It's one of the big paradoxes of literacy instruction - students best learn how to read and write independently when they have a strong community of support in classrooms. How teachers build those thoughtful, kind, and challenging classroom communities is explained in these resources.
Ruth Shagoury models her own writing as a way to introduce the concept of conferring to young learners.
What do doughnuts and talk-filled mornings have in common? Learn about this Poetry Friday ritual that impacts independent reading time as well.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.
Brenda Power suggests formats for events that build stronger home-school connections.
Debbie Miller advocates for involving children in the organization of materials for readers and writers in the classroom.
Debbie Miller questions what our classrooms say about our beliefs and practices, and suggests how to bring our designs into closer alignment with our values.
Brenda Power and Ruth Shagoury use letters from home to learn about students and build community.
When our environment aligns with our values, Karen Szymusiak considers what helps learners take charge of their experience in a successful learning community.
What does Andie Cunningham gets when she mixes pictures from the classroom, messages from families and poetry from teachers? A wonderful recipe for an Honor Book you’ll want to try with your own students.
Brenda Power shares a workshop series designed to help educators bring their values into closer alignment for a more cohesive experience for students.
If you've ever compared your classroom to a zoo, this article by Brenda Power is for you. You'll take animal trainer advice like "We change behavior in others by breaking routines in delightful ways" and follow it into the classroom.
In many buddy reading programs we often tout the benefits for the younger, less experienced reader, but Shari Frost tells the story of a “big kid” reader with a legitimate reason to read books that were closer to his independent level. Read on.
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.
Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shirl McPhillips recalls a junior high experience that promoted serious "attitude" and an uproar among her peers.
In this video from Linda Karamatic’s second-grade classroom, boys discuss the book Fudge using the protocol provided by Linda.
Debbie Miller goes against the grain, advocating for “the luscious feeling of endless time” as we slow down to confer with children.
Interviews early in the year are a potent tool for building a class community.
Franki Sibberson shares her latest suggestions for read alouds that invite participation from young readers.
Suzy Kaback works with students to create a “fact or fiction” class book to explore the boundaries between truth and fantasy.
Bitsy Parks finds even the dreariest days in her first-grade classroom are infinitely more enjoyable because she’s built in routines for expressing gratitude.
Christy Rush-Levine lowers the tension level in her class over management issues by moving from irritation to curiosity, using her “inner chimpanzee” voice.
Suzy Kaback reminds us that the language we use to talk about challenging students shapes our perceptions of them. That’s why she has moved to calling students “small teachers.”
Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.
Tony Keefer discovers that his fourth-grade students need focused instruction and support to strengthen their peer conferring skills. Tony shares tips and two video examples from his classroom.
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