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Six Tips to Plan a Family Literacy Night 

Does planning a family literacy night seem overwhelming? Lisa Mazinas offers six tips to ensure a thoughtful and successful event.

QuickTake: Choice in Making Plans for Writing

Ruth Ayres shares the importance of giving students choice when planning their writing projects.

Centering Students’ Brilliance (Booklist)

Stella Villalba is passionate about centering the beauty, brilliance, and genius of all students in our classrooms. She shares an inclusive booklist to inspire and support other educators in doing the same.

Student-Generated Questions to Promote Problem Solving and Modeling with Mathematics

Mallory Messenger shares a process for students to engage and solve a type of intriguing question called Fermi Questions.

Turn and Talk, Then What?

Vivian Chen offers useful tips for seasoned and new teachers when it comes to helping students engage in a turn-and-talk.

Three Ways Student Writers Taught Me How to Use Writing Partnerships

Patty McGee pays attention to how students work as writers to find the teaching points for how to learn to work as writing partners.

Teaching Students to Be Teachers

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share a process for empowering students to be teachers in partnerships and small-group instruction.

Level Two Unlocked: Using the Language of Video Games to Engage Students in the Assessment Experience

Heather Fisher considers the research behind gamified experiences and applies it to a lengthy first-grade phonics assessment. Heather challenges us to gamify assessments to maintain the integrity of the assessment while increasing student engagement.

Moving Beyond Asking Questions

Dana Murphy comes to a lesson about asking questions in a curriculum resource and realizes it is not what her students need. She has designed a lesson to make asking questions more meaningful and useful for her students.

Building Independence in Problem Solving

Mallory Messenger shares the intentional moves needed to help students build independence in problem solving.

Exploring Rural Literature—A Middle-Grade Booklist

Leigh Anne Eck was named the Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year and shares the way she rethought her library through the lens of reflecting her students’ rural identity or revealing rural stereotypes. This middle-grade booklist is an excellent place for us all to begin expanding our classroom libraries.

 

Assessment in Classroom Book Clubs

In this third installment about classroom book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares options for robust assessment as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.

Letting Informational Mentors Lead the Way

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share a practical process for using an informational mentor text to support students as readers and writers. Download a note sheet to support students in noticing text structure.

Identifying Story Elements

Dana Murphy shares a whole class conversation about identifying the climax of the plot. She reminds us that defining story elements is not always clear-cut.

Implementing Classroom Book Clubs (Part Two)

In this second installment about book clubs, Leigh Anne Eck shares procedures for book club meetings, as well as discusses the importance of standards and instruction. Download a discussion guide.

Getting Started with Classroom Book Clubs (Part 1)

In the first installment of a three-part series, Leigh Anne Eck clearly lays out how to get started with book clubs. Included is an editable planning bookmark to give students more ownership of their reading schedules.

Anthologies to Diversify Middle School Reading Instruction

Christy Rush-Levine offers a booklist of anthologies to diversify middle school reading instruction. In this robust list, everyone will find a new addition to use as a whole-class text.

Still Thinking: An Opportunity to Pause and Think Deeply

Jodie Bailey provides a structure to give students more time to think through ideas and problems. By using this practice, students gain ownership for their learning.

The Power of an Anchor Chart in a Digital World

Dana Murphy reminds us of the power of an anchor chart in a digital world.

Listening for Conjectures

Mallory Messenger shares a routine for hearing student conjectures (in math and other subjects) and a process for giving time for the class to prove or disprove the claims. Download a Conjecture—Prove or Disprove Recording Sheet to collect student conjectures in your classroom.

Student Voices First

David Pittman offers practical ways to place student voices first in classrooms in order for their passions, interests, and identities to influence our teaching.

Renewing Energy in the Classroom

Gretchen Schroeder finds ways to increase the energy students have for doing work in her classroom. Her practical tips are useful for all students.

Math Debates: A Powerful Sense-Making Routine

Jodie Bailey shares a powerful practice of math debates for students to explore a problem with discussion and evidence to discover the correct solution.

Engaging Kids in Reading Intervention

Dana Murphy shares ways to make reading intervention a high-interest time for students.

Nourish a Sense of Belonging

Dana Murphy shares ways to nourish a sense of belonging in all students.

Knowing Genres

Mandy Robek reflects on the importance of knowing genres and empowering students to be part of the organization process of the classroom library.

Establishing Independent Reading Is Like Planting Seeds

Lisa Mazinas reminds us of the importance of independent reading and how to set it in motion.

Reading Threads

Christy Rush-Levine guides us to make reading recommendations based on what students enjoy most about a book they recently read. Christy used to make recommendations based on the genre or topic, but she has learned to listen to students to discover the reason they loved a recent read and use this information for recommendations.

Opportunities Offered in Book Shopping

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills remind us of the important opportunities offered during book shopping. Giving yourself permission to slow down and see the opportunities that the routines invite for collaboration and reflection will likely make it feel like you’re maximizing your minutes even more.

Holidays: Where Do They Fit in the Classroom?

Bitsy Parks shares the inspiration and practical ways she celebrates and honors holidays from many cultures in her classroom.

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