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Honoring Student Choice in a Teacher-Chosen Text

Tara Barnett offers practical and engaging choices to students when reading a teacher-selected whole-class text. Download the reading choices survey and a sample pacing calendar to offer your students more choice during a whole-class read.

What Criteria Should We Use When Selecting Whole-Class Texts?

Christy Rush-Levine reminds us that text selection affects students. By shaping a unit of study to contain texts of varying formats and representing a wide variety of characters, students are empowered to develop their own ideas even while reading a whole-class text. Download a diverse text list to deepen a discussion of how family shapes identity.

Tips for Selecting Inclusive Texts

Hannah Tills and Josie Stewart challenge themselves to select more inclusive texts so all students feel as though they belong. They offer six suggestions to help us examine our bookshelves, thinking, and curriculum.

Book Talk: Sheets and Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Christy Rush-Levine pairs Brenna Thummler’s books Sheets and Delicates in a book talk for her sixth-grade class.

The Reluctant Marathoner: Reflecting on Student Engagement

Gretchen Schroeder uses her reluctance as a marathon runner to reflect on how to encourage more engagement in reading and writing.

Quick Take: Simple Classroom Library Organization

Christy Rush-Levine shares her simple system for organizing her massive classroom library.

Leading Students Toward Underused Sections of the Classroom Library

Gretchen Schroeder intentionally leads students to “jilted genres” in her classroom library.

Formative Assessment From Share Sessions

Ruth Ayres outlines different kinds of share sessions and different formats for the share, including some that take advantage of technology.

Expanding Book Choices for Secondary Readers

Ruth Ayres challenges us to be more open to the books that live in our secondary classroom libraries. She contends that committing to supporting choice in independent reading means rethinking some of the restrictions we put on adolescent readers.

Minilesson: Using a Web Search to Help Visualize

Staci Revere helps her middle school multilanguage students learn to visualize by discovering images through a web search to understand the text in a deeper way.

Finding Time for Read Aloud

Katherine Sokolowski makes a case for the importance of reading aloud to secondary students and offers suggestions to make it a reality. She includes a list of five surefire read aloud books for middle school students.

Picture Books to Teach Conflict

Katherine Sokolowski shares a book list that inspires her to teach five different kinds of conflict.

Quick Take: Share Your Reading Struggles

Instructional coach Staci Revere reminds us of the importance of modeling our own reading lives for students, especially the parts where we struggle as readers.

Three Meaningful Ways to Incorporate Drawing into English Class

Gretchen Schroeder shares three meaningful ways to incorporate drawing into her high school English classes, and the purpose behind each strategy.

Combining Personal Narratives and Comics

Katherine Sokolowski combines personal narratives and comics to encourage students to go deeper in their storytelling.

Teaching Students How to Email

Katherine Sokolowski outlines the nitty-gritty on how to teach students to organize, manage, and compose email.

Sensible Reasons to Use Student Reading Records

Leigh Anne Eck outlines sensible reasons for students to keep reading records. She considers guidance for book selection, data for teachers, and entry points for reading conferences.

Writers’ Club

In her high school writing workshop, Julie Cox noticed that students wrote eagerly, but struggled to give and accept feedback. To increase student ownership and trust, she started Writers’ Club, and it affected transfer of learning in big ways!

Making Connections with Sociograms

Gretchen Schroeder taps into the connections between characters by creating sociograms with her high school students.

From Seed to Blossom

Leigh Anne Eck provides a guide to developing an End-of-Year Reflection for students to consider their own growth, as well as offer advice regarding curriculum and instruction.

Online Writing Notebooks

Gretchen Schroeder makes the leap to digital notebooks and finds new life in a tried-and-true practice.

What Do Readers Need?

Christy Rush-Levine offers a close look into the needs of readers by considering engagement, enrichment, and nourishment. She offers three examples of reading conferences with students.

Best Graphic Novel Adaptations for the Middle Grades

Shari Frost shares her favorite graphic novel adaptations for the middle grades.

Teaching Summary

Christy Rush-Levine faces the challenge of helping her students see summary writing not as drudgery, but as a way to build more sophisticated thinking around texts.

Online Routines to Create Energetic Reading Communities

Melissa Quimby shares online routines to strengthen the class reading community.

Troubleshooting Difficulties When Writing a Big Idea in Memoir

Kate Mills and Tara Barnett pinpoint common difficulties in sixth-grade memoir. They share teaching points and student writing samples before and after revision.

Honoring Student Identity

Christy Rush-Levine considers how to communicate to all students that their presence and their identities are valued and appreciated.

Engaging Students with Humor

Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.

Read Alouds in Content Classes

Mark Levine explains the many ways read alouds can enhance and deepen learning for middle school students in content areas like social studies and science.

Choice in Literacy Workshops

What makes choice authentic in literacy workshops? Christy Rush-Levine grapples with this tough question that leads to changes in her instruction.

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