Latest Content
Practical Advice for Dealing with Messy Handwriting

Do struggles with handwriting matter? They do when a student can’t even decipher his own words. Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Sauvi to help him find solutions to the problem.

My Teaching Toolbox (Part 2)

Dana Murphy reminds us that having a teaching toolbox makes planning efficient and effective. In this second installment of a two-part series, Dana offers two additional approaches to delivering strong reading instruction.

Small Shifts That Make a Big Difference

Dana Murphy names two practices that made a big difference in her work as a reading specialist. You may be surprised at the simplicity and smallness that led to powerful gains in her readers.

My Teaching Toolbox (Part 1)

Every now and then we make the classic teaching mistake: assign rather than teach. Dana Murphy curated her favorite teaching tools that help her stay inspired to continually teach students. This is part one of a two-part series.

Does Gender Impact Reader Engagement?

Gretchen Schroeder questions whether the protagonist’s gender influences her students’ engagement with a text. Using the dystopian novel Legend, which has two protagonists of different genders, Gretchen gathered feedback from her students. What she discovered was that a reader’s engagement with a text has more to do with empathy than with gender. You’ll love Gretchen’s new way of selecting whole-class texts for her students.

August 25, 2023: New Ways of Thinking

This week’s newsletter is about new ways of thinking.

Holding Space for Counter-Narratives That Honor Communities

Stella Villalba guides us to expand the counter-narrative texts we use in our classrooms. Counter-narrative texts challenge the stereotypes often seen about a group of people, and they celebrate the joy and resilience of a community. Stella provides a list of critical questions that allow us to deeply explore texts, as well as suggestions of books to read.

Considering Positionality and Developing New Sight Lines

Gretchen Schroeder shares a powerful approach to reading response to help students consider their positionality in a scene. Your identity, your thoughts, and your experiences influence the way that you relate to a text. This is your positionality as a reader, and it’s important to consider your positionality within a text because it explains how and why we come to certain conclusions as we read.  

August 18, 2023: Shared Experiences

This week’s newsletter is about shared experiences.

August 11, 2023: Nourishing Writers

This week’s newsletter is about nourishing writers

Let’s Write Together: The Importance of Class Books

Jen Court considers whether creating class books is a valuable use of time for today’s young students. As she teases out this question, she realizes class books are a relevant and essential instructional strategy.

August 4, 2023: Getting Ready for a New Year

This week’s newsletter is about getting ready to start a new school year.

How Long Does This Have to Be?

Students often question how long a piece of writing needs to be. Gretchen Schroeder shares a strategy that changed the focus of writing projects from length to meaning.

Everyone Wants to Write?

Becca Burk reflects on creating a classroom where everyone wants to write. She offers timely advice for creating a community of writers.

Putting Together the Pieces of a Classroom (Classroom Organization)

When Julie Cox moves into a smaller classroom, she realizes that to make it a room where students learn and thrive, she needs to shift her mindset. Rather than simply putting things where they fit, she asks three questions to make intentional decisions that will support learning.

From a Blank Canvas to a Community Space

Jodie Bailey approaches setting up her math classroom as a blank space with an invitation for students to engage in establishing identity, creativity, and collaboration.

July 28, 2023: Reaching Readers

This week’s newsletter is about reaching all readers by deepening our instruction.

Creating Learning Progressions with Students

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills outline the steps to involve students in defining how to progress as readers and then set goals. They offer a practical plan for empowering students to take ownership of their learning.

Getting Ready to Read

Dana Murphy encourages us to go beyond teaching students to recognize different genres by helping them establish expectations of genres so they’ll be ready to read.

July 21, 2023: Routines for Readers

This week’s newsletter is about establishing routines for readers.

Emoji Book Talks

Jen Vincent outlines a twist on book talks—the Emoji Book Talks. This is a fast and fun way for students to share books and build their Books to Read lists.

Middle School Reading Routines

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share ways to establish middle school reading routines. They share two downloads to help support reading routines in all classrooms.

July 14, 2023: Encouraging Independence

This week’s newsletter is about encouraging independence in learners.

Managing Your Students’ Independent Work During Guided Reading

Are you ready to ditch small-group instruction because it seems too difficult for students to work independently? Lisa Mazinas compiled a helpful chart to problem solve common classroom issues and support student independence.

Small-Group Conversations About Independent Reading

Jen Vincent scaffolds conversations to help students discuss their independent reading books in small groups…even when everyone is reading a different book! Download and print a copy of the guide to support students in their small-group conversations.

June 16, 2023: Independence in Writers

This week’s newsletter is about creating space for independence for writers.

Developing Independent Writers

Vivian Chen tackles the difficult topic of helping students become independent as writers. She offers tips for before, during, and after writing time to uplift student agency.

Encouraging Agency

Melanie Meehan shares three tips on helping students be independent and productive writers. She also includes a hefty list of craft moves from mentor texts to use while teaching writers.

June 9, 2023: Graphic Novels

This week’s newsletter is about graphic novels.

Learning from Our Favorite Illustrators

Ruth Metcalfe tapped a plethora of resources to help her first-grade writers understand how to communicate meaning with illustrations.

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