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Finding Clues in Writing Folders

Katrina Edwards looks for clues in her first-grade students’ work and conferences to help them develop more writing stamina. She analyzes her notes to develop instructional plans.

The Value of Pre-Assessment

Melanie Meehan explains why a baseline assessment at the start of any writing unit is well worth the time.

Beginnings, Middles, and Endings: The Power of Baseline Assessments

Carly Ullmer shares how much her seventh-grade students learn from examining their own growth as writers with baseline, midpoint, and final assessments throughout the year.

Fostering Thinking Through Play

Katie DiCesare repurposes materials for her first graders to play with, and finds that encouraging play early in the year is a great tool for building reflection skills.

Writing for Reflection at the End of the Year

Katherine Sokolowski reflects on ways to extend the learning from an end-of-year activity all the way to the fall.

End-of-the-Year Reflection

Melanie Meehan shares a series of thoughtful questions to help students reflect on their process as writers, and what they need as they move into the summer and new classrooms.

Choosing and Refining Student Goals

Katie DiCesare shares the process of having her first graders choose their literacy goals, and her role in helping them refine goals through observation and conferring.

Revising Weekly Reflections

Katherine Sokolowski revises the weekly reflection form her fifth graders use to ensure everyone is tracking goals, progress, and expectations.
 

Temporary Strategies

Clare Landrigan confers with a student and discovers that a tool designed to help the reader is actually hindering her learning. The experience causes her to reflect on the need for flexibility when matching strategy scaffolds to young readers.

Student Self-Assessment Strategies

Melanie Meehan works with fifth graders to help them create their own set of indicators of success in a writing unit.

Tests of Time

This vivid new poem from Shirley McPhillips, explores the disconnect between exams and life.

Observations and Test Preparation

Christopher Carlson takes on the role of observer and researcher to analyze his students' needs when it comes to test-taking skills, and enlists students in the process of reflecting on his data to implement new test-taking strategies.

What’s a Great Workshop Day?

Mary Lee Hahn  considers how the success of any day has to integrate observations from conferring, lessons, and share sessions.

Planning and the Tuesday Effect

Mary Lee Hahn realizes how much a workshop approach has changed her planning process and comfort level with the unexpected.

Getting Creative with Writing Celebrations

Celebrations are the pause that refreshes between writing units for many teachers. Melanie Meehan shares suggestions for creative celebrations.

Growing Toward Independence

Cathy Mere shares what to look for and what to try next with young learners who are easily distracted and struggling to concentrate during independent reading.

Alternatives to Home/School Reading Logs

There may be few literacy homework assignments more despised by families than the dreaded reading log. Gigi McAllister proposes some alternatives, and explains how she keeps families in the loop on reading progress.

Core Memories and Gotcha Moments

Jennifer Schwanke explains why pop quizzes can be damaging to students by using a pop culture reference.

Reading, Engagement, and Kidwatching

Katrina Edwards looked around her first-grade reading workshop one day in winter and it wasn’t a pretty picture. Many students were doing anything but reading. She develops a plan to approach the issue of time on task thoughtfully.

Unstable Labels: Stop the Race to Z

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris consider the insignificance of what levels convey about young readers.

Using Reading Notebook Covers for Reflection and Goal Setting

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan are using reading notebook covers in ingenious ways.

Getting Started with Digital Portfolios

Megan Skogstad shares advice launching digital portfolios.

Data That Matters

What information is gathered by a teacher sitting in a rocking chair quietly watching her students? Christy Rush-Levine discover it is plenty.

Launching Student Data Binders

Megan Skogstad shares lots of practical advice for creating and sustaining student data binders.

Growth Lines

Deb Gaby thinks about the importance of baseline information early in the school year.

Setting Goals During Mini-Celebrations

Melanie Meehan recommends linking goal setting to small celebrations as a great way to build community and skills at the same time.

Student Learning Targets

Christy Rush-Levine finds she has to rethink learning targets for her middle school students if she wants students to pursue complex and lifelong reading goals.

Setting Goals with Students

Melanie Meehan shares anchor charts and strategies for goal-setting.

Rethinking Reading Goals

Maria Caplin develops a system for helping students move beyond simple goals like noting the number of pages read.

Weekly Check-In Sheets

Are you finding effort from students is flagging? Katherine Sokolowski develops check-in sheets as a way to lift student energy and reflection.

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