Listening and speaking—it's the art at the heart of literacy workshops. But there is also a science to how these skills are taught and learned. These resources will show you how to build communication skills in your classroom and school communities.
Justin Stygles finds that a ban on personal listening devices may not be the best option for students who are easily distracted. He explains how he designed a policy that allows students to listen to music of their choice during literacy workshops.
When’s the best time for some spontaneous opinion writing? Suzy Kaback argues it’s when class conversations get hot.
Are the terms stamina and engagement synonymous? Cathy Mere defines the terms by observing her first graders.
Gretchen Taylor finds the three little words “tell me more” provide breakthroughs in helping her middle school students respond to reading.
Beth Lawson helps her fourth graders sort through what makes peer collaboration work during writing buddy time.
Kelly Petrin reinvents a pumpkin decorating project with her preschoolers to help them build storytelling skills.
Leslie Woodhouse finds dictation is a critical tool for understanding young writers and their sense of story.
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.
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.
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.
Andie Cunningham observes a third-grade teacher as she systematically improves the quality and depth of student questioning over time.
Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners.
Keri Archer makes the most of the time her kindergarten students spend transitioning into her classroom with her Question of the Day.
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.
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.
Amanda Adrian concludes her series on peer conferring, analyzing the value of students working on their own after instruction and practice.
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.
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.
Katie DiCesare’s first graders respond to their classmates’ writing, using questions they developed together over time.
Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.
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.
Stella Villalba incorporates more speaking and listening activities into her primary classroom for English language learners.
Amanda Adrian continues her series on how teachers can scaffold and model peer conferring. In this installment, Amanda uses the fishbowl technique with students.
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? That’s the question Karen Terlecky asks herself as she sets up book clubs in her fifth-grade classroom with a focus on empathy.
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.
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.
Kelly Petrin guides Drew from playing to drawing and finally writing during this conference in her preschool classroom.
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.
Stella Villalba shares practical tips for helping young English language learners collaborate with classmates and receive feedback during writing workshop.
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