Latest Content
Finding a Writing Buddy

Beth Lawson helps her fourth graders sort through what makes peer collaboration work during writing buddy time.

Pumpkin Time: Provocations and Stories with Preschoolers

Kelly Petrin reinvents a pumpkin decorating project with her preschoolers to help them build storytelling skills.

In Defense of Dictation

Leslie Woodhouse finds dictation is a critical tool for understanding young writers and their sense of story.

New Teachers: The Power of Inexperience

Sometimes a lack of experience is a gift worth embracing. Michelle Kelly considers all the strengths new teachers bring to schools, from their comfort with technology to genuine enthusiasm.

Do You Have Any Questions? Conferring with Families

We've all experienced that moment in a parent conference. You finish your spiel, which includes assessment data, charts, and an anecdote or two about the child. And when you're finished, the parent asks, "But how is my child doing?" Melissa Kolb explores the reasons why there can be a mismatch between our sense of useful information in parent conferences and a parent's expectations.

Exploring Rick Riordan Books in an 8th Grade Conference

In this video from Katie Baydo-Reed’s 8th grade classroom, Katie confers a student about his favorite Rick Riordan books and his plans for future reading.

Keeping Track of Questions

Andie Cunningham observes a third-grade teacher as she systematically improves the quality and depth of student questioning over time.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners.

Kindergarten Moments Count: Question of the Day

Keri Archer makes the most of the time her kindergarten students spend transitioning into her classroom with her Question of the Day.

The Truth About Building a Writing Community in Middle School

Building a sense of community is complicated in middle school classrooms. Katie Baydo-Reed considers her eighth graders, and is surprised at what endures most with these young teens.

Supporting Introverts in a First-Grade Classroom

Courtney Pawol looks at how being an introvert affects her role in learning communities, and then moves from insight to practical changes to help the introverts in her first-grade classroom.

Peer Conferring: The Release Phase

Amanda Adrian concludes her series on peer conferring, analyzing the value of students working on their own after instruction and practice.

Building Peer Conferring Skills in the Primary Grades

Ann Marie Corgill questions whether her second graders are ready for peer response. She finds that with some guidance and construction of anchor charts together, the answer is a resounding yes.

Lifting the Quality of Peer Response

Tony Keefer discovers that his fourth-grade students need focused instruction and support to strengthen their peer conferring skills. Tony shares tips and two video examples from his classroom.

Whole Class Writing Share: Teaching Response Skills in 1st Grade

Katie DiCesare’s first graders respond to their classmates’ writing, using questions they developed together over time.

A Picture Walk in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.

I Have Two Pictures of Cindy. . .

Melissa Kolb writes about the importance of time and patience in meeting our goals with young learners — in this instance, a child who struggles to speak in her preschool classroom.

Hearing Carlos: Helping Young English Language Learners Develop Speaking and Listening Skills

Stella Villalba incorporates more speaking and listening activities into her primary classroom for English language learners.

Peer Conferring: The “Try It On” Phase

Amanda Adrian continues her series on how teachers can scaffold and model peer conferring. In this installment, Amanda uses the fishbowl technique with students.

Preschool: Learning in Many Languages

Melissa Kolb explains how she supports many languages in her preschool classroom through the thoughtful use of volunteers and other resources in this three-minute video.

Do They Care? Empathy Book Clubs

Do they care? That’s the question Karen Terlecky asks herself as she sets up book clubs in her fifth-grade classroom with a focus on empathy.

Without Answers

English language learners may have some of the quietest voices in schools. In this poem and narrative, Stella Villalba shares the power of finding ways to bring those voices out in your classroom.

A Perfect Storm

If you work with young children, you know these girls. Olivia is a pink princess, given to tears and fanciful tales of slights from classmates. Maggie is a tomboy who struts around in zombie t-shirts and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. The two meet like gladiators in the preschool playhouse late in the school year.

From Playing to Drawing to Writing in Preschool

Kelly Petrin guides Drew from playing to drawing and finally writing during this conference in her preschool classroom.

Engaging Boy Readers: Beginning with Teacher Behaviors

Tony Keefer considers some of those awkward early conferences with male readers in his classroom, and shares advice on how to get the year off to a comfortable start with minilesson and conferring suggestions.

Are Your Writers Talking During Writing Workshop?

Stella Villalba shares practical tips for helping young English language learners collaborate with classmates and receive feedback during writing workshop.

Partner Reading: Helping Peers Teach Peers

In this video from Linda Karamatic’s second-grade classroom, two girls meet with Linda to develop tips to share with their classmates on how to partner read successfully.

Energy, Stamina, and Training Wheels for Coaching Teachers

Gradual release, not-so-gradual release or catch and release? Heather Sisson ponders the challenges of providing the appropriate support in a coaching cycle.

Discussing Observations with New Teachers

Jennifer Allen’s new teacher group discusses what they learn from classroom observations in this video taped early in the fall.

Focused Independent Reading in Second Grade

Sean Moore demonstrates how he helps students focus their independent reading with preparation and then with discussion after reading.

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