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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christy Rush-Levine ponders what it means to create a safe space for all of her middle school students, and then makes some changes.
Middle schoolers and kindergartners forge friendships at Katherine Sokolowski’s school through a sweet poetry writing and sharing project.
Gretchen Schroeder uses “appointment clocks” to ensure her students meet with a variety of peers for partner work.
Franki Sibberson shares her latest suggestions for read alouds that invite participation from young readers.
An elementary literacy team discusses word learning in the context of student assessment results as part of a yearlong inquiry into word study.
Barbara Coleman finds classroom tours are a terrific professional development activity early in the year, fostering unexpected collaboration among colleagues.
Handwritten notes have timeless appeal, and great value for teachers and literacy leaders.
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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