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Community Board: Invitations to Independence

Students transition between home and school with the Community Board in Andrea Smith’s classroom. It’s a lively bulletin board that is updated and discussed daily in her fourth-grade classroom.

Helping Allison Redesign Her Classroom Nonfiction Library

Andrea Smith shares her best advice for library design that celebrates nonfiction as much as fiction.

A Classroom for Elementary English Language Learners

Stella Villalba gives a tour of her classroom library and publishing corner designed to support the grades 1-5 English language learners she works with daily.

Effective Organization

 Ruth Ayres has tips for organizing desks, tables, chairs, and materials to support literacy learning.

Room Tour: Mandy Robek’s Kindergarten Classroom

Mandy Robek gives a tour of her kindergarten classroom, highlighting literacy spaces that build relationships and independence for her young learners.

The Information Board: Celebrating Nonfiction Every Day

Andrea Smith builds interest in nonfiction in her fourth-grade classroom community through her constantly changing Information Board.

Habits That Maximize Time

Stella Villalba writes about the importance early in the year of building habits with students that maximize time for English language learners.

Reader Response Anchor Charts

Christopher Carlson describes why and how he made reader response anchor charts more rigorous and thoughtful in his fifth-grade classroom.

Middle School Design: Cozy Reading Spaces

Katie Doherty has design tips for creating cozy reading spaces in middle school classrooms where there is no space or budget for a whole-class rug area.

Smarter Charts (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Franki Sibberson chats with Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli (the authors of Smarter Charts) about ways teachers can keep anchor charts in their classrooms fresh and useful.

Rethinking Nonfiction Topic-Based Text Sets

Franki Sibberson concludes her series on redesigning nonfiction sections of classroom libraries in the age of the Common Core.

Middle School Design: Reading Gutters

Katie Doherty explains how reading gutters, an inexpensive design feature, dress up her middle school classroom and build community at the same time.

Rethinking Nonfiction Series Books

Franki Sibberson explains how she features nonfiction series books in her classroom library.

Rethinking Nonfiction Author Baskets

Franki Sibberson realizes she needs to highlight nonfiction authors in new ways in her classroom library.

Curating a Nonfiction Classroom Library

Franki Sibberson writes about how her thinking about nonfiction is changing her classroom library in this first installment of a four-part series.

Books and Organization of the Classroom Library (Classroom Design Series Part 4)

Ann Marie Corgill’s classroom design series concludes with ideas for organizing classroom libraries and a self-reflection tool for thinking through your classroom design.

Values and Design (Classroom Design Series Part 2)

Ann Marie Corgill continues her design series, considering the connection between classroom design and values.

Starting with Why (Classroom Design Series Part 1)

Ann Marie Corgill's classroom design series takes you through her process of redesigning a classroom. In the first installment, Ann Marie explains how her designs have become less cutesy and more student-centered over time.

Getting Rid of My Teacher’s Desk

Katherine Sokolowski discovers getting rid of her teacher's desk opens her mind to many new possibilities in her fifth-grade classroom.

Curating the Classroom and School Library

As classroom budgets get tighter, teachers rely more and more on school libraries for books. Erin Ocon describes how she has changed the way she matches books and readers in her middle school classroom, depending more on school library resources and helping her middle school students navigate them.

Classroom Jobs Build Community

Keri Archer describes her process of creating a jobs list for her kindergartners, as well as how she has adapted the tasks based on the evolving class community.

What Anchor Charts Are Essential?

Katherine Sokolowski considers what anchor charts are essential in her fifth-grade classroom, and where they work best for posting.

Appealing Book Displays for Boys

Are your book displays enticing to the boys in your classroom? Tony Keefer has suggestions for making classroom libraries more appealing.

What’s Up with Those Word Walls?

Shari Frost visits classrooms early in the year and finds many have completely full word walls. In this essay, she shares research as well as practical reasons why it’s best to build the walls over time with students.

Walls, Displays, and Invitations Early in the School Year

Franki Sibberson turns to museums for inspiration as she designs wall displays for the start of the school year.

Rethinking My Nonfiction Library in Response to the Common Core

Franki Sibberson finds a new classroom, the Common Core, and tech considerations are changing the ways she organizes the nonfiction sections of her classroom library.

Making the Switch from Desks to Tables

Moving from desks to tables when redesigning a classroom is about a whole lot more than just furniture. Katherine Sokolowski explains what the change has meant to her classroom.

Grades 3&4 Room Tour

In this video tour, Franki Sibberson narrates a description of the grades 3&4 multiage classroom she shares with a colleague. The space is small, so Franki explains how storage areas are carefully arranged and seating is creatively designed to make the most of limited space.

A Seating Arrangement that Empowers: The Conversation Circle

Ann Marie Corgill explains why a circle arrangement for middle school reading and writing workshop share sessions is vital for helping students focus and respond thoughtfully to peers.

Classroom Changes and Birdhouse Gourds

Andrea Smith reworks a board that was successful in the past but is woefully empty now.

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