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Feed Forward

Carly Ullmer learns a powerful lesson about teaching her middle school students to respond to peer writing.

Donalyn Miller on Modeling Literate Lives (PODCAST)

Donalyn Miller, author of the acclaimed bestseller The Book Whisperer, chats with Franki Sibberson about the importance of teachers modeling their literate lives for students.

Closing Out the Year with “Where I’m From”

Jillian Heise shares a marvelous poetry writing activity for students who are transitioning from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school.

Student Learning Targets

Christy Rush-Levine finds she has to rethink learning targets for her middle school students if she wants students to pursue complex and lifelong reading goals.

Book Blurbs in the Middle School Classroom

Jillian Heise uses the quirky genre of book blurbs in her middle school classroom to model summaries and glean information about students’ comprehension, reading interests, and writing skills.

Researching Like Writers: From Read-Aloud to Notebooks

Katie Doherty finds read alouds are a valuable tool for developing middle school writers.

Giving Students a Notebook Tour

Melanie Meehan finds a notebooks tour is a terrific minilesson for helping students expand the ways they use notebooks.

Catching Up with Anna

Katie Doherty Czerwinski tackles the challenging issue of helping a student catch up in book clubs and reading workshop when they have missed a lot of class time.

Integrating Paraprofessionals into Reading Workshops

Justin Stygles decides he needs to completely rethink the role of classroom aides.

Webquests with Middle School Students

Megan Ginther revisits a classic internet research project.

Teaching Search Skill Basics to Students

Bill Bass has advice for teaching web-based search skills to students.

Blurring Genres and Real-Life Readers

The line between fiction and nonfiction can be fuzzy, but Tony Keefer finds what matters most is finding texts that captivate readers.

Exploring Literary Nonfiction with Middle School Students

Holly Mueller and her middle school students have fun exploring the creative aspects of literary nonfiction.

The Power of a Hashtag

Katharine Hale looks at the value of hashtags in helping students harness Twitter in a reading community.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Teaching Book Choice Strategies to Middle Schoolers

Katie Doherty helps students make choices for independent reading.

Peer Evaluation of Student Writing

Megan Ginther found she was spending too much time responding to student writing, and just as important, taking on too much of the responsibility for improvement. She tackled the issue by developing a new program for peer evaluation of student writing.

My Middle Schoolers Still Can’t Spell!: Focusing on Individual Students

Gretchen Taylor concludes her two-part series on spelling instruction in middle school.  In this installment, Gretchen visits a colleague in the primary grades to get advice and practical insight.

Writing Homework

If your students are already comfortable with an unstructured requirement of 20-30 minutes of reading each night, you may find adding 10 minutes of writing at home works wonders in fostering writing skills. Katherine Sokolowski explains how the assignment works in her classroom.

My Middle Schoolers Can’t Spell!

Gretchen Taylor has a common teacher's lament about spelling, so she decides to do something about it. This is the first installment in a two-part series.

Close Reading and Multiple Layers in Middle School

Christy Rush-Levine uses striking texts that inspire multiple readings by her middle school students.

Using Close Reading to Analyze Propaganda

Propaganda, word clouds, and close reading engage students in Holly Mueller’s sixth-grade class.

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.

What Kenny Taught Me

Jennifer Schwanke has a student who just won't sit still and behave appropriately in her middle school classroom. She finally gives up. That's where the learning begins.

Reading Passports

Justin Stygles develops reading passports as an alternative to traditional reading logs with his fifth- and sixth-grade 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.
 

Effective Organization

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

Shoebox Autobiographies

Susan Dee uses shoebox autobiographies to build community and relationships with students early in the fall.

Giving Audio Feedback to Student Writing

If you find yourself buried in student work that needs a response, you’ll enjoy suggestions from Bill Bass for using a nifty new online tool.

30 Books in 30 Days

Justin Stygles uses the 30 Books in 30 Days project to introduce his sixth graders to a wide variety of authors and genres.

Giving Up Television

Gretchen Taylor finds giving up television enables her to reconsider many habitual behaviors.

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