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Monday Headlines

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use Monday Headlines to energize students after the weekend, and get a peek into what’s going on at home.

Reading Ambassadors

Cathy Mere finds that a Reading Ambassadors program pays big dividends in building confident and conversant young readers.

Hosting Reading and Writing Events

Gigi McAllister explains why you have to be a bit choosy about reading and writing events since there are so many possibilities. Here are some she values in her fourth-grade classroom.

Building Excitement for Book Awards

Bitsy Parks finds building excitement for book awards works in tandem with generating enthusiasm for reading in her first-grade classroom.

Supporting Introverts in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski was that shy child hiding behind a tall classmate in the back of the room when she was a student. As a teacher, she makes sure there are many ways she helps bring out the voices of introverts in her fifth-grade classroom.

Starting the Day with Literacy

Bitsy Parks shares how she starts the day with literacy in her first-grade classroom.

Reminder Notes

Bitsy Parks teaches her first graders to write sticky note reminders throughout the day, and is delighted by the learning and community building that ensues.

Read-Aloud Gone Awry

Jennifer Schwanke shares her experience of having read-aloud go awry in a middle school classroom.

In Search of Just-Right Reading Spots

If children can choose just-right reading spots, they will have more stamina for reading. Heather Fisher explains how she works with first-grade teachers and students to build this skill.

Supporting Brave Writers

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use the Sara Bareilles song Brave to help their fourth-grade students move from bed-to-bed to more emotive writing early in the year.

Creating a Culture of Book Love

Tara Smith shares some of her favorite online resources for keeping up with new books, as well as organizing tips for classroom libraries.

An Identity of Success

Mary Lee Hahn is a bit flummoxed when a parent asks about her management system at an open house. The experience sparks reflection on what makes a classroom community gel.

An Unconventional Scavenger Hunt: Finding Errors

Jennifer Schwanke finds that a scavenger hunt for errors to add to a bulletin board is a great way to build editing skills and a writing community all year long in her seventh-grade classroom.

Guidelines for Posting Online

Katherine Sokolowski describes a wall display with guidelines to ensure students are respectful and aware of the pitfalls of posting online.

Padlet Possibilities

Katherine Sokolowski finds that electronic charting of learning with Padlet has almost endless possibilities for use in her fifth-grade classroom.

Opening the Year with Optimism

Katrina Edwards shares her plans for presenting children's literature to help her first-grade students acquire the skills needed for being positive and proactive problem solvers.

Better Mondays Through Quick-Writes

Mark Levine uses quick-writes with his middle school students to set the expectation at the start of the week for work together that is independent, thoughtful, and conversational.

Critical Thinking and Captain Underpants

Christy Rush-Levine and some struggling eighth-grade readers consider misogyny in a popular children’s book.

Who Owns the Room?

Katherine Sokolowski considers how classroom design says a lot about the relationship between students and teachers.

Reflective Transitions

Christy Rush-Levine helps her eighth-grade students launch the work period with a reflective question that sets a tone for productivity, and then returns to it throughout the morning during transition times.

“What Are We Learning Today?”: Transitioning with Compelling Questions

Mark Levine helps his seventh-grade students transition to the learning of the day with a "compelling question" posted on the board before each class session.

Transition Time in Middle School

Gretchen Taylor considers how she handles hard transitions as an adult, and questions how she can make transitions more efficient and valuable for her middle school students.

Making the Most of Transitions

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share strategies for meaningful transitions in their fourth-grade classroom.

Student Interest Board

Katherine Sokolowski shares a wall display from her fifth graders that students build to celebrate who they are and people they love from home.
 

Creating a Space for Peace

At a time of escalating violence throughout the world, children need peaceful spaces. Katie DiCesare creates a "peace table" in her first-grade classroom as a safe place for working through everything from playground squabbles to emotional distress.

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.

Last Chance Workshop

Christy Rush-Levine breaks her routine of responding to student writing, and instead calls on students to guide and support peers. She shares some surprising results.

Nonfiction Research Group in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski meets with a group of fifth graders who are all researching the use of nets in fishing and the environmental effects of the process. She works to build connections among classmates as well as research skills.

Lester Laminack on Bullying (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Franki Sibberson chats with Lester Laminack about bullying. Lester is the author of beloved books for children and teachers including Saturdays and Teacakes and Unwrapping the Read Aloud.

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.

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