Melanie Meehan shares activities that help students talk about their characters before writing about them in a realistic fiction unit.
Dana Murphy is dismayed by the ways graphic organizers can sometimes limit student creativity. She uses writing notebooks and a few other strategies to begin to wean her fourth graders from depending too much on organizers.
Dana Murphy explains how her small-group planner is an essential tool for organizing groups in her fourth-grade classroom.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills describe how they help teachers move from guided reading to strategy groups in the upper elementary grades.
Melanie Meehan finds that a “lift the flap” strategy works for showing students different revision options with dialogue.
Melanie Meehan shares two of her favorite games for teaching grammar, including templates and web resources.
Franki Sibberson finds teaching students to annotate while reading is one of the best ways to promote ongoing reflective response in her fifth-grade classroom. She shares how she starts teaching annotation skills early in the year.
Franki Sibberson explains how she watches students closely and adjusts her library based on what she sees all year long.
It’s not an invitation if students are required to accept it. Franki Sibberson explains how engagement depends upon true choice and lots of options in her fifth-grade classroom.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills conclude their series on independent projects with advice on how to handle issues that often crop up as students design and work through writing their projects.
Reading logs have fallen out of favor in many classrooms because they often become a rote activity for recording pages read. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find authenticity with the logs comes when they move from emphasizing recording to goals and reflection.
Katherine Sokolowski had a dream — her whole community reading and celebrating the same book. She explains how she helped coordinate, organize, and purchase hundreds of books for a community-wide reading of Wonder.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how one book can serve as an anchor for lessons on everything from writer’s craft to test-taking skills.
Stella Villalba explains why rereading is especially useful for young English language learners, and shares some simple strategies for integrating more rereading strategies into reading and writing workshops
Have you revisited your classroom design since September? Andrea Smith and her fourth graders get over the midwinter blahs by refreshing classroom seating together.
Dana Murphy explains why teachers can have true empathy with student writers only if they write themselves, and chronicles the difference between a typical and an empathetic response in a writing conference.
Andrea Smith uses the Color-Symbol-Image thinking routine during read alouds to promote deeper reflection among students.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find an ingenious way in the upper elementary grades to help their struggling readers develop fluency through read alouds.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills develop a process of pre-assessment, careful planning, and systematic recordkeeping to up the value of their small groups.
Andrea Smith builds reflection into whole-class discussions in her fourth-grade classroom by beginning an anchor chart with four different illustrations from the covers of a read-aloud.
Andrea Smith uses the sentence-phrase-word thinking routine with her fourth graders to show how potent one word can be in understanding complex themes.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how they use the first days and weeks of school to celebrate summer reading and build a classroom community.
Franki Sibberson believes planning a unit of study should be just as much fun as planning a trip to Disney World. She explains her planning process for one of her first units of study, on narrative writing.
Andrea Smith realizes her normal reading routine will not work within the constraints of this year’s schedule. She makes some radical changes to ensure she and her students can have enough time to find the joy in reading and building a literate community.
Dana Murphy tries sketchnoting during professional development, and soon finds herself sharing the fun technique with students. They hone their skills during read alouds and while annotating texts.
Franki Sibberson finds the investment of five to seven minutes a day for #bookaday with her third graders is truly time well spent.
Katrina Simkins-Moore explains why becoming more intentional in questioning during reading conferences can help build student independence, as well as consistency among the teaching community.
Andrea Smith shares the final installment of her series on the value of free-range learning in helping students explore nonfiction.
Andrea Smith's students explore nonfiction through free-range roaming. She explains how she sets up expectations and resources early in the year in this first installment of a two-part series.
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