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.
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.
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.
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.
Julie Johnson learns some important lessons about connecting with students remotely, and few of them are about technology.
An elementary literacy team discusses word learning in the context of student assessment results as part of a yearlong inquiry into word study.
Christy Rush-Levine faces the challenge of helping her students see summary writing not as drudgery, but as a way to build more sophisticated thinking around texts.
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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