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Whole-Class Research Planning

Andrea Smith leads her fourth graders through brainstorming for their owl research project.

Writing Leads Minilesson

A writing lead is a door — readers will either want to walk through it or shut it and move on to something else. That's the analogy Karen Terlecky uses in this video of a fifth-grade writing workshop minilesson.

Fourth Grade Writing Workshop Minilesson on Focusing

Franki Sibberson shares some tips and strategies with her fourth graders from the web for focusing and organizing their writing.

Launching a Fiction Writing Unit with Fifth Graders

Katherine Sokolowski finds late in the year is the perfect time for launching a fiction writing unit with her fifth graders.

Using Shared Writing to Build Argument Skills

Shari Frost explains the power of shared writing in intermediate classrooms, especially for struggling learners.

Subheading Literacy: Nothing “Sub” About It

Heather Rader discovers subheadings are a neglected but useful tool for teaching students about key topics in their writing.

Keeping Track of Questions

Andie Cunningham observes a third-grade teacher as she systematically improves the quality and depth of student questioning over time.

Shared Reading in the Intermediate Grades

Shari Frost explains why shared reading is valuable for older students, with examples of the practice in the intermediate grades.

Kindergarten I-Pick Minilesson

It’s never too early to help students learn to make wise choices for independent reading. Mandy Robek reviews the I-Pick strategy for choosing appropriate books with her kindergarten students.

10 Principles for Planning Reading Minilessons

Franki Sibberson shares 10 principles for minilesson planning. This is an excerpt from her new book, The Joy of Planning.

Teacher-as-Writing-Model Minilesson in Fourth Grade

Beth Lawson models her process as a writer for her fourth-grade students, describing her emotions as well as creating a draft.

Poetry and Fluency Minilesson in Second Grade

Sean Moore uses the poem “The Busy Ant” for partner work and discussion of fluency and vocabulary with his second graders.

Beyond Text Features in Nonfiction Instruction

Franki Sibberson considers how the demands of the Common Core and the complex mix of online and offline nonfiction texts are changing the skills she teaches students.

Transitions Are Like Underwear

If you tell students transitions are like underwear, they sit up and pay attention. Heather Rader uses the analogy to help students analyze and improve the transitions in their writing.

Touchy Topics for Opinion/Argumentative Writing

When students take a stand in writing, they will almost inevitably bring up touchy topics. Heather Rader considers the challenge in part 3 of her opinion/argumentative writing series.

A Graphic Novels Unit in 5th Grade

Katherine Sokolowski designs a graphic novels unit for her fifth graders, and is surprised by how much the genre delights them.

Previewing and Picture Walks with Fiction Texts

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan provide previewing how-to advice for grades K-2 teachers.

Helping Students Develop Independent Previewing Skills

Franki Sibberson's goal is to provide her students with more tools for previewing books independently and making wise selections. In this lesson, she makes full use of technology to set up sites and resources for students to browse at school or home.

A Picture Walk in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.

Just Write More

Aimee Buckner has tips for ways to focus lessons that will help students produce more writing.

Teaching the Rule of Three to Writers

Aimee Buckner finds that teaching the rule of three to young writers adds variety to student texts.

Second-Grade Writing: Adding Details and Descriptive Language

In this first video from a four-part series, Sean Moore leads a writing workshop focused on adding more details and descriptive language to writing. He begins with the classic Charlotte’s Web as his mentor text.

Quick Sketch Practice

Linda Karamatic uses quick sketches to teach her second graders about sensory images in reading. This is the second installment in a two-part series.

Quick Sketch Sensory Images Read Aloud: Introduction

Linda Karamatic uses quick sketches to teach her second graders about sensory images in reading. This is the first installment in a two-part series.

Writing Workshop: Preparing for Publication

Beth Lawson helps her 4th grade students work through a checklist of items to prepare for publishing early in the fall.

Launching a Punctuation Study in Second Grade

Linda Karamatic is launching a unit on punctuation with her second graders which includes mentor texts, inquiry, and anchor charts.

The Blank Page and Better Teaching

Aimee Buckner learns some important lessons about how images and words work together for student writers when she moves between second- and fifth-grade classrooms.

Interactive Read Alouds to Support Struggling Readers

Shari Frost explains how interactive read alouds are the “kickboards” of reading instruction, especially for struggling readers. She explains how one teacher used them to support a struggling reader in 3rd grade.

Writing, Graphic Organizers, and Mentor Texts

In this video from Sean Moore’s second-grade classroom, Sean demonstrates how to use a graphic organizer with his own writing as the mentor text.

Educating the Writer’s Palate

Helping high school students understand the sophisticated literary tastes of writers is just a cookie away in Ellie Gilbert’s classroom. Ellie pairs cardamon with irony to launch the school year with a metaphor and challenge.

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