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Conversational Skills in a Boys Book Club

Linda Karamatic observes a second-grade boys book club using tokens as a cue for turn taking, and then discusses her observations with the students.

Children’s Literature for the Olympics

The Olympics are just around the corner, and Sarah Klim has suggestions for read alouds in a new booklist.

Jennifer Serravallo on Formative Assessment (PODCAST)

Franki Sibberson chats with Jennifer Serravallo about formative assessment in this podcast. Jennifer is the author of The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook, Grades 3-6: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction.

Formative Spelling Assessment

Max Brand has developed templates for grades K-2 and 3-5 to use for formative spelling assessments.

Rereading and Retelling to Inferring: Part 2

Linda Karamatic uses texts her second graders already know to build their inferring skills as they construct a chart together.

Words Chart Minilesson

Ruth Ayres develops a words chart in this brief minilesson with second graders.

Exploring Inferring with Second Graders: Part 1

Linda Karamatic uses a read aloud to launch a group activity to build understanding of  inferring.

Keep Going

Ruth Ayres has advice for moving forward, staying positive, and focusing on what’s important.

A Closer Look at Engagement

Are the terms stamina and engagement synonymous? Cathy Mere defines the terms by observing her first graders.

Spelling Cycles: An Alternative to Weekly Spelling Lists

Max Brand developed Spelling Cycles as an alternative to weekly spelling tests. He explains how they work with an example from a third-grade class.

Second-Grade Minilesson on Capital Letters

Ruth Ayres presents a minilesson on capital letters to a second-grade class.

Finding Topics in Writer’s Notebooks Minilesson

Sean Moore shares the importance of using a writer’s notebook to discover topics in this minilesson with his second-grade students from early in the year.

Powerful Conferences

Ruth Ayres explains how deciding the purpose of conferring in advance can lead to more powerful conferences.

Mentor Texts for “Versus” Stories

Shark vs. Train! Fork vs. Spoon! Versus stories are incredibly popular in writing workshops these days. Cathy Mere found herself struggling to teach narrative conventions to students writing versus tales, so she created a booklist of mentor texts.

Holding Thinking Minilesson with Second Graders

Deb Gaby uses an analogy of animal tracks to introduce the concept of "holding thinking" in reading journals to second graders.

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

Julie Johnson provides helpful tips and a letter for parents to help keep students safe on the Internet.

Mentor Texts for Writing Endings

One goal of many primary teachers is to help students finish their drafts with an ending other than “The End” (or “they lived happily ever after”). Katie DiCesare shows her first graders many alternative examples, and she begins early in the year.

Using Pinterest for Professional Development

Franki Sibberson finds Pinterest is a useful tool for professional development.

Using Technology to Connect Young Readers and Writers

Julie Johnson reflects on how technology is changing her own reading community, and builds on this knowledge to connect readers and writers in her classroom with others through the Internet.

Building from Strengths: Conferring with Mia

Sean Moore confers with second grader Mia, gently encouraging her to work from her strengths by writing about what she knows well.

Daily Routines: Finding Time for What Matters

Ann Marie Corgill provides some guiding questions to help teachers figure out priorities in their schedules for daily routines.

Routines to Build Independence Early in the School Year

Katie DiCesare explores how to develop routines early in the year, and includes advice to give to parents to build the home/school connection around expectations for independence.

Grateful Journals

Beth Lawson began her own gratitude journal as a troubled teen, and finds the daily routine of Grateful Journals is a powerful tool for reflection and building community in the intermediate grades.

Recommendations for Summer Reading Fun: Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

Early readers love comic books and graphic novels. Meghan Rose and Ruth Shagoury give their top picks in their latest summer fun for early readers booklist.

Recommendations for Summer Reading Fun: Classic Books for Early Readers

Meghan Rose and Ruth Shagoury have written a series of booklists for early readers, perfect for sharing with parents looking for suggestions. The first installment tackles the classic books many of us cherish from our own childhood days.

Literacy in the Music Room: A Sequence of Lessons

Jennifer Schwanke describes the work of a music teacher who integrates literacy learning into her curriculum.

Staying Connected with Students All Summer Long

Cathy Mere explains how she uses technology to stay in touch with students and families over the summer.

Death in Books: Finding Our Way After Loss

Books can help children deal with the toughest challenges in life. In a new booklist, Andie Cunningham shares her top picks for stories about characters grappling with the death of a loved one.

Rehearsing Informational Writing: Conferring with Jocelyn

Stella Villalba confers with first grader Jocelyn about the information text she is writing about bunnies. Jocelyn is an English language learner, and this conference demonstrates the value of oral rehearsal for young ELL writers.

Understanding the Middle East Through Children’s Literature (BOOKLIST)

Sheiks, harems, and terrorists — the stereotypes of the middle east from popular culture may not be realistic, but they sure are pervasive. Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham find authentic alternative views to present to children in their new booklist.

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