It's hard work, it matters . . . and nothing brings more joy than reaching a child who is struggling. The problem is each of these students presents a unique array of challenges and needs that don't allow for a uniform approach. Here are the stories from our contributors of their breakthrough moments, one child at a time.
Max Brand tutors a struggling fourth grader who produces very little writing.
Max Brand brings a mother into the assessment process and teaches her what to observe as her child reads.
Kim Campbell has suggestions for ways teachers can help introverts have more say in literacy workshops.
Gigi McAllister realizes she is a slow thinker, and this makes her reconsider some of her classroom practices to support children who need more time to respond.
Jennifer Schwanke has a student who just won't sit still and behave appropriately in her middle school classroom. She finally gives up. That's where the learning begins.
Katherine Sokolowski finds many of the boys in her classroom love to read about violence, weapons, and crude humor. She challenges teachers to appreciate boys’ interests and set some of our own criticism aside.
Katherine Sokolowski advises teachers to ditch the search for the perfect management system, and instead focus on building relationships early in the school year.
Max Brand continues his new tutoring series. In this installment, he designs a creative intake assessment for Ruth, a first grader who struggles with following directions.
Max works with Esther, a third grader who takes pride in being a rapid reader and rarely pauses to make sense of the text.
Katie DiCesare has wise advice for helping readers who are falling behind their peers but don't qualify for additional services.
Ruth Ayres tells the story of Noah, a brave first grader with a hard home life who has few happily ever afters as a writer.
Katharine Hale tries some flipped minilessons in her fifth-grade classroom and explains how technology is providing new opportunities for student learning.
Shari Frost considers the “go-to” instructional strategy for struggling readers, word study, and explores how to make it work well in a case study of a third-grade group.
Shari Frost explains the power of shared writing in intermediate classrooms, especially for struggling learners.
Shari Frost explains why shared reading is valuable for older students, with examples of the practice in the intermediate grades.
Jennifer Vincent explains how recorded texts were a potent tool for reaching a struggling fourth-grade reader.
Shari Frost describes how a sixth-grade teacher provides a range of poetry options to meet the needs of all students.
Maria Caplin shares how and why she began to collaborate with Gretchen Taylor, a sixth-grade teacher who would soon be the middle school teacher for some of her students.
Principal Jennifer Schwanke finds herself on a mad dash to buy a baked potato for a struggling reader, and this is the moment that crystallizes for her everything that is wrong with most reading rewards (especially those involving food).
Katherine Sokolowski explores the challenges and joys of coteaching with special education colleagues.
Shari Frost explains how interactive read alouds are the “kickboards” of reading instruction, especially for struggling readers. She explains how one teacher used them to support a struggling reader in 3rd grade.
Karen Terlecky reflects on the power of read alouds in the intermediate grades for welcoming older students who struggle with reading into the “club” of kids who love books.
Knock knock. Who’s there? A boy who loves sports and has no motivation for reading. Barclay Marcell discovers an unlikely source of engaging text for a child who just doesn’t enjoy books.
Franki Sibberson selects some “cool” books for a struggling reader who wants to fit in with his 2nd grade peers.
Teachers speak often about the importance of helping students become independent, but what does that look like in practical terms? Katie DiCesare considers her interactions with Evan, an emergent reader, on the road to independence.
What do you do about those book clubs that just don’t gel in your middle school classroom? Katie Doherty demonstrates how she guides a struggling group of sixth graders, helping them reflect and converse together.
Heather Rader introduces a new spelling series and maps out the topics she’ll be tackling.
Think you don’t have enough time for reader’s workshop in your classroom? Worried that you don’t have enough books to go around? Feel like you just don’t have the space for it? What if you had students, but no classroom, no books, and no set class times? Ellie Gilbert faced down all these challenges in her nontraditional high school reading workshop.
Heather Rader describes how to use "wows and wonders" to reach students who say they hate to write.
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