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Spreading Out the Fun

Why save all the most enjoyable literacy activities for May or June? Gigi McAllister spreads out the fun all year long with literacy events and activities to break up routines.

Can Books Harm Children? Support and Censorship

Shari Frost asks a provocative question: Can books harm children? She explores practical ways for teachers to walk the fine line between support and censorship in matching books to students.

Jumping Off the Buzz Wagon: The Value of Reading Logs

Are you ready to ditch your reading logs? Not so fast. Franki Sibberson explains why she still uses them in her third-grade classroom.

Inviting Book Tub Titles: Nonfiction Library Redesign

Andrea Smith discovers the value of more creative nonfiction book tub titles after listening to ideas from her students.

Conferring About Illustrations

Ruth Ayres encourages a young writer to emulate a favorite illustrator.

Reader Response in the Digital Age

Franki Sibberson has suggestions for moving to more digital response options with students.

Digital Boards for Formative Assessment

Katharine Hale has moved much of her reading response to digital boards, which are also a useful tool for formative assessment.
 

Independence in Writing Workshop

Beth Lawson uses an LCD, whiteboard, and magnetic clips in a clever way during the transition from minilessons to independent writing in writing workshop. Students tag whether they will be working on drafts or conferring with peers as Beth completes her status of the class on the board.

Community Board: Invitations to Independence

Students transition between home and school with the Community Board in Andrea Smith’s classroom. It’s a lively bulletin board that is updated and discussed daily in her fourth-grade classroom.

Helping Allison Redesign Her Classroom Nonfiction Library

Andrea Smith shares her best advice for library design that celebrates nonfiction as much as fiction.

A Classroom for Elementary English Language Learners

Stella Villalba gives a tour of her classroom library and publishing corner designed to support the grades 1-5 English language learners she works with daily.

A Strong Foundation: Books and Media for Launching Literacy Workshops

Help students transition back to school with minilessons that give children a strong sense of the purpose of literacy workshops.

Effective Organization

 Ruth Ayres has tips for organizing desks, tables, chairs, and materials to support literacy learning.

“I Used To, and Now I”: An Early Year Minilesson

Franki Sibberson finds an “I Used to and Now I” format helps her third-grade students understand how technology is changing reading habits.

Launching a Sort

Launching a sort with primary students early in the year begins not with words, but with leaves for Max Brand.

Using Summer Reading as Bookends for the School Year

Karen Terlecky has advice for using summer reading for launching and closing the school year to build community and enduring connections with students.

The Rapid Reader: Tutoring Esther

Max works with Esther, a third grader who takes pride in being a rapid reader and rarely pauses to make sense of the text.

The Information Board: Celebrating Nonfiction Every Day

Andrea Smith builds interest in nonfiction in her fourth-grade classroom community through her constantly changing Information Board.

A Booklist for Memorial Day

Sarah Klim’s latest booklist includes titles for honoring those who serve on Memorial Day.

The Data Wall Debacle

Shari Frost has a suggestion for what shouldn’t be on classroom walls: student assessment scores. She explains why this practice can be harmful to students.

Understanding the Summer Slide: Sharing Data with Parents and Students

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain why it is important to share data with parents while school is still in session in order to avoid the summer slide. This is another installment in their summer reading series.

Getting Ready for Summer Reading: A Lesson Cycle

Franki Sibberson designs a lesson cycle to prepare students for summer reading.

Reading Through Spring

Gigi McAllister has many suggestions for a strong reading finish to the school year.

Celebrating Screen-Free Week (BOOKLIST)

Screen-Free Week is scheduled for May 5-11 this year. Here are some book suggestions to help you explore the issue with students.

A Booklist for Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. Sarah Klim presents some favorite titles to share with students and build awareness in this booklist.

Word Observations

Max Brand describes how word observations can work as powerful minilessons in elementary classrooms.

Simplifying Word Study

Max Brand has suggestions for simplifying word study.

Sentence Combining in Workshops

Heather Rader has strategies for using sentence combining in literacy workshops.

A Tool Worth Exploring: Sentence Combining

Heather Rader begins a new series on sentence combining, an alternative to traditional drill and kill grammar instruction.

Collecting Ideas in the Writer’s Notebook

Ruth Ayres confers with third grader Jade about the importance of the “collecting” phase for writers.

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