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Fostering Thinking Through Play

Katie DiCesare repurposes materials for her first graders to play with, and finds that encouraging play early in the year is a great tool for building reflection skills.

Making Plans for Summer Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills begin a few days before the start of break to help students develop summer reading goals and plans.

Purposeful Partners

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find the young learners in their classroom have mastered the art of turning and talking only with close friends. They provide practical suggestions for expanding the circle of peer response.

Culturally Responsive Texts

Katrina Edwards is horrified when a student response reveals cultural gaps in her first-grade classroom library.  She researches possibilities for expanding the diversity of texts, and shares an annotated bibliography to download linking different cultures and curricular possibilities.

Adjusting the Classroom Library for Student Needs

Mandy Robek realizes her classroom library isn't working for her second graders, in part because many of the books are still too difficult for students early in the year. She explains her process of sorting and stowing books for later use.

An Individualized Conventions Checklist

Melanie Meehan finds that a flexible conventions checklist that students develop according to their own needs is the best way to ensure conventions are taught in the context of authentic student work.

Temporary Strategies

Clare Landrigan confers with a student and discovers that a tool designed to help the reader is actually hindering her learning. The experience causes her to reflect on the need for flexibility when matching strategy scaffolds to young readers.

Supporting Talk Around Writer’s Craft

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills help young writers move away from seeing editing as “adding more details,” and toward developing more specific language for the revision process.

Modeling Nonfiction Writing for English Language Learners: Part 3

Stella Villaba models nonfiction writing for her first- and second-grade English language learners, and in the process integrates vocabulary instruction into her lesson. This is the final video in a three-part series.

Modeling Nonfiction Writing for English Language Learners

Stella Villalba models nonfiction writing for her first- and second-grade English language learners, and in the process integrates vocabulary instruction into her lesson. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Learning Vocabulary in Context with English Language Learners

Stella Villalba explores why it is so important to teach vocabulary to English language learners in context.

Pausing for Reflection in Second Grade

Sean Moore helps his second graders remember the classroom routines and protocols for sharing reading reflections through a circle group.

Growing Toward Independence

Cathy Mere shares what to look for and what to try next with young learners who are easily distracted and struggling to concentrate during independent reading.

Reorganizing Primary Information Texts

Katie DiCesare thinks about the needs of her first-grade students, and spends some time reorganizing primary information texts, considering both physical texts for the library and online resources.

Embracing Meaning Making in Guided Reading Groups

Katie DiCesare finds her guided reading practices are rusty, so she develops some new strategies to improve her work.

Second-Grade Reading Group

Heather Rader demonstrates the importance of a varied reading diet to a second-grade group, sharing her own stack of books.

Doodlebug

What makes a teacher memorable? Recognizing a child's passions from the very first day of school. Jennifer Schwanke recounts how her second-grade teacher did just that.

Using a Strategy Card in a Reading Conference

Deb Gaby confers with second grader Reagan early in the school year. She is reading her first chapter book, and using a reading strategies "toolkit" for support.

Anchoring Language

Katie DiCesare thinks about what language supports student independence early in the year and how to share this in an anchor chart with her first graders.

Time for English Language Learners

Stella Villalba finds what English language learners need more than almost anything else is patience with silence and time to formulate responses.

Quick Writing Conferences in Second Grade

In these brief writing conferences with second graders, Sean Moore reinforces an earlier minilesson on using descriptive language.

Provoking Young Readers

Melanie Meehan finds read aloud is a great time for children to connect opinions and experiences.

Second-Grade Minilesson on Paragraphs

Ruth Ayres uses a student text to demonstrate the importance of paragraph breaks in this second-grade minilesson.

Supporting Readers with Nonfiction Text

Cathy Mere finds that criteria for “just-rightness” varies with genre.

Using Picture Books to Foster Resilience

Gigi McAllister uses picture books to strengthen her fourth grade classroom community.

Teaching Search Skill Basics to Students

Bill Bass has advice for teaching web-based search skills to students.

The Power of Written Blind Word Sorts

Max Brand uses written blind word sorts to build student word learning skills.

Small-Group Writing: Steps for Success

Cathy Mere provides grouping guidelines for primary teachers.

Picture Books or Beginning Readers?

Many beloved characters from picture books are showing up in beginning readers, and in the process can lose a lot of their appeal. Shari Frost provides teachers with criteria for choosing between picture books or beginning readers.

Choosing the Right Tool for Your Message

Julie Johnson has advice on classroom uses of tech resources.

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