Latest Content
Walls, Displays, and Invitations Early in the School Year

Franki Sibberson turns to museums for inspiration as she designs wall displays for the start of the school year.

Capturing Student Learning with Evernote

It can be difficult to move from print to electronic records in the classroom. After using a spiral notebook for 10 years, Cathy Mere did just that.

The Power of Powerpoints for English Language Learners

Erin Ocon discovers a surprising tool to help her middle school English language learners develop their writing and oral language skills — Powerpoint presentations. Erin shares some practical tips for using presentation software to support English language learners.

What Can You Learn from Slice of Life Writing?

Ruth Ayres inspires us to develop the habit of writing on a regular basis by taking a bite out of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

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.

The Affect of Tech on Splrs

Heather Rader considers the cultural divide between teachers and students who are “screenagers” when it comes to texting.  If u r getting LOLed out in ur classroom u might want 2 read this.

Using Video to Build the Home-School Connection

Video is a terrific tool for building connections between home and school. Heather Rader explains how Kelli Demonte uses video to guide children and communicate with families.

Image of the Week: Building a Classroom Community Through Visual Literacy

Teachers know visual learners are in every classroom and Andrea Smith is no exception. She uses an “image of the week” to get at high expectations, observations, publishing and of course, building community.

Teaching Poetry to Teens with the William Stafford Archives

Erin Ocon highlights the life and work of William Stafford and how she uses the archives of his work to bring poetry alive for her middle school students.

Fact of the Day

Do you have fact hunters in your room? Andrea Smith legitimizes and celebrates these collectors and brings a new level of nonfiction awareness to her classroom.

Skype an Author with Kate Messner (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Kate Messner points out the cost and kid benefits for skyping with an author.

Improving Poetry’s Rap

Katie Baydo-Reed finds the web has great resources for her middle school students when it comes to sparking more interest in poetry.

Top 10 Technology Tools for Teachers

If you're overwhelmed with the slew of new technology tools coming out all the time (and who isn't?), you might appreciate Scott Sibberson's Top 10 Tech Tools for Teachers. You are probably using some of the tools daily, and may discover a few new ones too.

Wild Facts

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

Adventures with Author Skyping: Nuts and Bolts from My Fourth-Grade Classroom

Dozens of children’s book authors will “visit” classrooms for free twenty minute chats via the Internet. Talking with authors about books students have read takes motivation and comprehension to new levels. Colby Sharp shares the nuts and bolts of getting the most out of virtual author visits.

Tech Tools for Our Youngest Learners with Kathy Cassidy (PODCAST)

Kathy Cassidy has the tips and tools of the trade for increasing technology in developmentally appropriate way for little ones.

Producing Instead of Consuming: Using iPads Wisely with Students

In order for an iPad to transform teaching and learning, Tony Keefer suggests we need to think about these tools with creativity in mind. This article is packed with thoughtful resources for iPad users.

Refining the Weekly Class Newsletter

Andrea Smith uses the school-to-home communication tool to give her writers an authentic process and audience.

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.

Getting Started With Twitter

Intrigue, frustration, instruction at the point of need…Franki Sibberson cycles through many common learning stages as she builds Twitter into her daily routine.

Strawberries, Fun, and Student Blogging

Andrea Smith evaluates the success of her new student blogging program.

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.

Digital Reading: Another Facet of a Classroom Library

The good news?  There are lots of free and low-cost digital books for young readers on the web.  The bad news?  The quality of many of them is mediocre at best. Andrea Smith highlights three web-based resources for digital books that are affordable and also high quality.

Updating Reading Interviews: Technology and Changing Habits

Reading Interviews are a staple in many literacy programs – a terrific tool for learning more about the history and habits of students. Franki Sibberson explains how she has updated her reading interview to include questions about digital resources and tools.

5 Easy Steps to Becoming Active in the Blog Community

If you are beginning to involve yourself more in online networks, you might enjoy these suggestions from Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson.

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.

Patrick Carman on Books and Multimedia (PODCAST)

Patrick Carman is the author of some fascinating multimedia novels for young readers.

Using Animated Short Films to Teach Inference

Here’s a problem many teachers share – students are far too literal when it comes to inferring while reading. Ellie Gilbert finds animated short films readily available on the web are a terrific tool for helping students move beyond literal interpretations of text.

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.

Teaching Blogging to Second Graders

You’re never too young to blog, as Katie DiCesare demonstrates with her 2nd graders.

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