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Top 10 Technology Tools for Teachers

If you're overwhelmed with the slew of new technology tools coming out all the time (and who isn't?), you might appreciate Scott Sibberson's Top 10 Tech Tools for Teachers. You are probably using some of the tools daily, and may discover a few new ones too.

Classroom Gifts from Carlos: Helping Young Students Learn Academic Language and Routines

It can be especially difficult for young children from impoverished homes to understand academic language and the demands of school. Andie Cunningham observes the sophisticated ways a preschool teacher helps her students adapt with invitational language.

Using Jackdaws to Build Community in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek gives us the how-to as she revises a community-building project to make it a better fit for Kindergarten students.

More Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share more of their favorite end-of-year gifts for students to make and take home.

Beginning with the End in Mind: Planning Ahead for Closing Activities

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite end-of-year activities that circle back to events from the start of the school year.

Pencil Plans

The care and use of the lowly pencil in classrooms says a lot about what we value and our relationships with students.

Read Alouds for the First Day of School

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite read alouds for the start of the year.

Make it Personal

The connections we make with students and families are what we remember most when all is said and done. Trish Prentice has thoughts on what changes a respected teacher into a beloved teacher.

Creating a Kindergarten Classroom Library

Mandy Robek finds herself overwhelmed when moving from a 3rd grade to kindergarten classroom. Her therapy? Rolling up her sleeves and designing a kindergarten classroom library.

Quick Take: Conferring with Young English Language Learners

In this short video, Ruth Shagoury gives advice to teachers conferring with young English language learners, explaining how other English language learners can be surprisingly helpful in conferences.

Parent Contributions Beyond Instructional Support

Parents want to contribute, but not all contributions are welcome or even helpful when it comes to teaching children how to read and write. Trish Prentice has suggestions for making the most of family skills and willingness to help.

Preschool Morning Message

This five-minute video from Melissa Kolb's preschool classroom shows the value of morning message for teaching literacy skills. Melissa explains the skills children develop during this brief whole-class lesson and sharing time.

34 Languages

What is the starting point for building community in a preschool classroom where almost every child speaks a different first language than their teacher? Melissa Kolb writes about how she gently guides her preschool students early in the year.

Preschool Book Browsing Time

This five-minute video from Kelly Petrin's preschool classroom shows the value of book browsing time. Kelly explains the skills children develop in language, book handling skills, and literacy independence during this time.

Book Matchmaker: Texts to Inspire Our Youngest Readers and Writers

In this installment of the Book Matchmaker series with Franki Sibberson, Franki helps first-grade teacher Danielle think through what books might spark better writing in her young students who are mostly interested in toys and video games.

Preschool Writing Center

In this video from Melissa Kolb’s preschool classroom, children work in the writing center. Melissa explains how she routinely changes the supplies in the center to spark interest in students and make connections to their experiences.

Seven Minutes of Listening

What can we learn by listening closely to children? Plenty — Andie Cunningham shares insights from seven minutes with a young English language learner.

Read Alouds for the Last Days of School

Choice Literacy readers share some of their favorite read alouds for the last days of school.

Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite gifts for students to make and take home at the end of the year.

Engaged by the World: Maps, Globes, Reading, and Writing with Young Children

Kelly Petrin and Ruth Shagoury connect globes and children's literature with a map theme to inspire young children to write more and include visual representations in their drafts.  While the examples are from a Head Start classroom, the booklist and activities are appropriate for any K-2 students.

Where Am I?: The Power of Wordless Photo Books for Preschoolers

Melissa Kolb shares the power of wordless photo books with preschoolers, explaining how they work in her classroom and demonstrating with a video.

Choosing New Books for Comprehension Strategy Studies with Young Children

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share a wealth of books appropriate for comprehension study with young children. The booklist is especially useful for work with English language learners.

Multicultural Books for Beginning Readers

"Why isn't there an African-American Henry and Mudge?" asks a teacher. This question leads Shari Frost on a quest to find the best early readers for multicultural students. In this booklist, she highlights her top picks.

Preschool Letter Detectives

Andie Cunningham works with three-, and four-year-olds as they become "letter detectives." This activity is a wonderful bridge between children's natural curiosity and the alphabet, suitable for preschoolers or kindergartners.

On Not Fretting

Kelly Petrin’s meditation phrase for the day—Do not fret; it only leads to evil—guides her through a home visit with a parent who worries about her daughter’s literacy skills. This is a terrific short read for thinking through how to make encounters with parents less stressful.

Build Fluency with Books That Are Fun for Kids to Read Aloud Over and Over and Over Again

Here’s a booklist of delightful titles that will build fluency skills for students — both as read alouds, and during independent reading.

Many Languages, Many Texts: Book Time in Preschool

In this brief video, Melissa Kolb explains "Book Time" in her preschool class. It's a time when many volunteers read books informally to small groups of children in their home languages.

Keeping the M

Melissa Kolb confers with three-year-old Daniela and explains why approximations are crucial for young literacy learners.

The Lines are to Write My Words: Phonics in Context

Ruth Shagoury considers the role of phonics in context as she observes a classroom built on a foundation of children's expert knowledge as writers.

Mix It Up: Helping Young Writers Learn to Confer with Peers and Teachers

Ruth Shagoury models her own writing as a way to introduce the concept of conferring to young learners.

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