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Connecting Read Alouds and the Literacy Curriculum at the Start of the School Year

Here are some ways to link read alouds with learning across the curriculum at the start of the year, suggested by Choice Literacy readers.

Book Matchmaker: Picture Book Biographies

Franki Sibberson shares some of her favorite picture book biographies in the latest installment of Book Matchmaker.

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 5

In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this fifth video, Heather and students shift from “I do” to “we do” as students try test their summary writing skills with partners

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 6

In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this final video, Heather and students debrief and capture their learning in writing.

Book Matchmaker: Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility

Here are some newer books for teaching students about social responsibility and what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Listen In: Writing in Math

Heather Rader confers with 2nd grader Maya about her math writing as Linda Karamatic listens in.

Frogs as Learning Ambassadors Part 1: Literary Nonfiction in 4th Grade

Andrea Smith gets creative in teaching literary nonfiction to her 4th graders in this video series.

Nonfiction Read Aloud

Sean Moore reads nonfiction aloud to his 2nd grade students. This is the first video in a two-part series.

Nonfiction Read Aloud – Part 2

Here are some more tips for nonfiction read-alouds, based on Sean Moore's reading of Plants That Eat Animals.

Essay Writing: Teacher Modeling

Beth Lawson works with her fourth graders to develop essays with strong thesis statements and supporting details, using a folder organization system to highlight different thesis statements for each child. This is the second video in a series.

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 4

In this sequence of videos, Heather Rader teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this fourth video, Heather and students discuss their summaries in progress

Teaching and Assessing Persuasive Writing Skills

Heather Rader explores different ways into persuasive writing with teachers and students, highlighting the importance of helping students learn to cite and quote expert resources

The Power of Games for 21st Century Learners

Franki Sibberson explains how low-tech board games can be a powerful tool for developing skills that will be in high demand in the coming years.

Digging Into Literary Nonfiction

Andrea Smith and her 4th grade students use an article from National Geographic for Kids to chart literary nonfiction elements.

Standards and Magic: Digging Deep and Being Spontaneous with Infographics

If you’ve ever had 15 minutes or less to plan for a session with kids, you can appreciate the blend of panic and improvisation the experience inspires. Mary Lee Hahn devises an activity with an infographic for the 4th and 5th grade environmental science club at the last minute, and finds students exhibit many surprising literacy skills during the session.

Setting the Stage for Historical Fiction

In this demonstration lesson from a 5th grade classroom, Aimee Buckner works with students to construct an anchor chart for understanding the genre of historical fiction.

Frogs as Learning Ambassadors Part 2: Literary Nonfiction in 4th Grade

Andrea Smith explains how the classroom environment influences instruction in the second installment of this video series.

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 1

In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a fourth-grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this first video excerpt, Heather reviews the work the class has already done on understanding the attributes of good summaries.

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 2

In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a fourth-grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this second video, Heather presents the powerful analogy of a sponge for summarizing.

The Sponge Summary Lesson Part 3

In this sequence of videos, Heather teaches a 4th grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this third video, Heather and students cull down a text into the important points needed for a summary.

Common Core Conversations: Reading in the Disciplines

Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader look at reading across the disciplines within the Common Core.

Current and Cocoa: Mixing Social Studies and Literacy

Current and Cocoa is a fun routine for integrating social studies, literacy, and conversation in classrooms. Heather Rader describes how the weekly activity builds community and fosters awareness of news events.

Wild Facts

Wild Facts is a terrific example of how Andrea Smith's intermediate students naturally connect web resources with content learning.

Wonderopolis: Nonfiction, Technology, and Web-Based Independent Learning

Wonderopolis hits the sweet spot so many of us are looking for in web resources for students, delivering free, engaging, high-quality nonfiction text and video in small chunks that can easily be integrated into literacy and science workshops. Andrea Smith explains how she uses Wonderopolis daily with her students.

Born Wonders: Tapping Student Interest in Animals, Babies, and Books

Cute Alert – what’s more adorable than babies or animals?  Perhaps baby animals!  Andrea Smith shares an addictive web resource that will instantly hook students of any age.  It’s zoo postings of newborn animals from around the world, with many literacy connections.

Fireflies: Then and Now

Andrea Smith watches her young daughter capture fireflies in the twilight of a summer night.  The evening reminds her of what’s changed in connecting literacy and life experiences, and what endures for teachers and kids.

How to Look at Student Work

With summaries as an example, Heather Rader uses trends from learners to help make smart instructional decisions about what is presented during whole group, small group and individual time.

Math Journals

Julie Johnson rekindles her love affair with math when she incorporates journals and sees her students become more adept at organizing and explaining their thinking.

Photovoice: Exploring Content Literacy with Images

As Suzy Kaback explores the question “How does your expertise function?” she explains the power of Photovoice and details its use in K-12 classrooms.

Social Justice Picture Books

If you’re looking for a read aloud to spark some discussions about making a difference in the world, you might enjoy Ruth Shagoury’s new booklist of children’s literature with a  social justice theme.

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