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Speed Reading

Adolescent learners can face daunting reading loads in high school that they need to tackle at home. Jen Schwanke has tips for how teachers and parents can work together to help teens develop strategies for dealing with a lot of complex reading quickly.

Managing Take-Home Books

Sending books home with young readers is essential. Cathy Mere gives lots of practical tips for designing a take-home books program and communicating with families about what young readers need.

Strategies for Sustaining Student Attention

Jen Schwanke shares some strategies for sustaining student attention, beyond just calling out a student’s name over and over and over again.

Forgetting and Remembering

In the end classroom management often comes down to students valuing the same things we do. Jen Schwanke has tips for how high school teachers can create a culture where there is better communication and more shared values.

July 12, 2019 The Most Important Person

We look at the pros and cons of assigning literacy homework in this week’s newsletter.

Setting and Using Classroom Norms

Class promises, rules, and norms—most teachers set them at the start of the year. But how can we make sure students live them? Dana Murphy shares some tips from her fifth-grade classroom.

Homework: I Challenge You!

Heather Fisher helps a first-grade teacher create a homework challenge as a way to make the practice more meaningful and engaging for students and families.

A Homework-Free Classroom

Dana Murphy looks at homework from the twin perspectives of mom and teacher, and finds she hates it from both views.

June 21, 2019 Invitations to Move

We look at how to improve small-group instruction in this week’s newsletter.

Read-Aloud Annotations: Google Slides

In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read aloud. In this installment, Antonio shares his Google Slides.

Guided Reading for Proficient Readers?

Shari Frost is surprised to see guided reading used for proficient fifth-grade readers. She considers some strategic alternatives.

Using a Strategy Notebook in Small-Group Instruction

So many needs for groups, and so little time. Dana Murphy finds that a strategy notebook is invaluable as a teaching aid in her fifth-grade small groups.

June 14, 2019 Fly-Fishing on a Basketball Court

We look at talk scaffolds for learners of all ages in this week’s newsletter.

June 7, 2019 Maps and Journeys

We look at student note-taking in this week’s newsletter.

Read-Aloud Annotations: Google Docs for Questions

In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read-aloud. In this installment, Lauren uses Google Docs to record questions to explore as she listens.

Helping Students Develop Conversational Identity

Jen Schwanke writes about the challenges of helping students develop conversational identities, providing prompts to help teachers reflect on their strengths and needs in fostering talk in classrooms.

Growing Talk About Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that struggling readers in the early grades benefit from scaffolds and repeated practice in small groups. They share some of their favorite tools, including key ring prompts and anchor charts.

Read-Aloud Annotations: Expectation and Reality

In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read-aloud. In this installment, Lizzie uses her notebook to focus on expectations and reality for characters, especially when it comes to stereotypes.

Talking Through Characters

Melanie Meehan shares activities that help students talk about their characters before writing about them in a realistic fiction unit.

Stepping Away from the Conversation

Jennifer Schwanke explains why sometimes the best thing teachers can do to foster better conversations in their classrooms is to step away and let the talk unfold among students.

May 31, 2019 Smart Enough to Know How Dumb I Am

We look at student note-taking in this week’s newsletter.

Summer Literacy

“What can I do to help my son and daughter stay sharp and not lose momentum during the summer?” When a parent asks this question, Mark Levine offers his Top Six Summer Slide Preventers.

Read Aloud Annotations: Using Google Slides to Focus

In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read-aloud, In this installment, Reagan uses Google Slides to focus her thoughts and analyze different characters.

Student-Centered Notes

Dana Murphy discovers that what works for one student doesn’t work for another when it comes to note-taking. She provides options and then hosts a gallery walk so everyone can discover what works best for them.

May 24, 2019 Yets

We consider ways to be more inclusive in this week’s newsletter.

Read-Aloud Annotations: Thoughts to Themes

In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read-aloud. In this installment, Stone uses Google Slides to record thoughts and tease out themes.

Becoming More Inclusive

Every teacher wants to be more inclusive. But where do you begin? Melanie Meehan presents three practical starting points.

Whose Point of View Matters? Considering Multiple Perspectives

When it comes to including and understanding others, it may be hardest to empathize with those who disrupt or bully others. Tammy Mulligan shares her four favorite mentor texts for understanding students who are angry and lash out.

May 17, 2019 Better To-Do Lists

We look at cleaning up and closing out the year in literacy in this week’s newsletter.

May 10, 2019 Moments That Matter

Telling stories is the focus of this week’s newsletter.

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