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Overcoming Tears and Fears: Developing Criteria for Flexible Groups

Katie DiCesare comforts a student in tears at the end of the day, and realizes part of the problem may be that she moved the child into a guided writing group too quickly.

Rethinking Writing Centers – Winter Follow-Up

Shari Frost questioned the amount of writing going on in many elementary writing centers. She decided to work with a team of literacy coaches and teachers to explore ways to increase writing in classrooms – through better use of centers, or alternative programs. In this follow-up article, Shari presents two different solutions that are working well – one involves introducing writing tools in a more systematic way in centers, and the other is an implementation of a different program entirely for independent work.

Assessing Spelling in Writing Workshop Part 3: Embedding Instruction

In the last installment of this three-part series, Katie DiCesare shows how she translates the findings from individual students into instructional plans when she uses a spelling assessment in her 1st grade classroom.

Making Predictions and Finding Evidence in Text

In this video from a fifth-grade small group, Clare Landrigan talks with students about making predictions and finding evidence in text.

“If You Like Matt Christopher” Student Book Share

In this video from Franki Sibberson’s grades 3-4 classroom, boys share books that are similar to ones written by Matt Christopher.

Open Book Clubs

Shari Frost shares the nuts and bolts of setting up open book clubs in your school. These clubs are a great way to expand the reading community, as well as connect school libraries and classrooms.

What Are Reading Centers?

Kathy Collins gives a detailed definition of how reading centers are connected to the goals of different reading units of study.

Rethinking Writing Centers

Shari Frost finds writing centers are beloved by many teachers and students. There’s only one problem – very little writing appears to be going on in the centers.

First Grade Small Group: Chunking

In this small group from Courtney Tomfohr's first-grade classroom, students work on their "chunking" skills.

Small Group After Demonstration Lesson

In this small group after a demonstration lesson in a 5th grade classroom, Clare Landrigan talks through strategies for inferring the meaning of new words while reading.

Running and Reading Logs

In this first video in a two-part series, Clare Landrigan meets with a group of fourth graders to talk about reading logs and goals. In this excerpt, Clare uses the analogy of how runners use logs to chart progress and set goals.

Running and Reading Logs Part II

In this second video in a two-part series, Clare Landrigan meets with a group of 4th graders to talk about reading logs and goals. In this excerpt, Clare confers with students over their logs and debriefs with their teacher.

Staying Focused in Literacy Workshops

Clare Landrigan meets with a group of fifth graders to talk about what’s going well in literacy workshops, and to set individual goals.

First Grade Guided Writing Group: Goldilocks and the 3 Writers

In this video of a first-grade guided writing group, Katie DiCesare works with three girls on spelling issues that have emerged in their writing.

4th Grade Small Group: Writing Paragraphs

In this video, Aimee Buckner uses a mentor text to demonstrate how writers construct lively nonfiction paragraphs.

4th Grade Small-Group Lesson: Dialogue

One of the challenges of working with intermediate writers is helping them understand how and when to use dialogue in their writing. In this video of a small-group lesson, Aimee Buckner uses a mentor text and a metaphor to help her 4th grade students understand the value of using dialogue sparingly in their writing.

5th Grade Strategy Group on Summarizing

In this strategy group, Karen Terlecky brings together three of her 5th graders to reread a nonfiction article shared with the whole class. They discuss main ideas, and do a writing activity together to build summarizing skills.

Sports Writing Group Discussion

Franki Sibberson finds sports writing is a powerful motivator for boys in her grades 3-4 classroom.

Teaching Inferring with Picture Books Part II: Partner Shares

Katie Doherty’s 6th grade students discuss the read-aloud through partner shares.

Rule of 3: Mini-Group After Whole-Class Lesson

In this second video of a three-part series showing a teaching progression for the Rule of 3, Aimee Buckner has asked students who might want a little more information or help after the whole-class lesson to stay for a small group.

Fonts: Small Group and Conferring with Intermediate Writers

In this follow-up to a whole class lesson and discussion of fonts, Franki Sibberson pulls together a group of 3rd and 4th graders from her class who have asked to be a part of a small group on fonts.

Flexible Grouping: When, How, and Why

Max Brand explains how daily student grouping can be both planned and spontaneous.

Flexible Groups: Moving Beyond Levels to Assess Reading Needs

Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) discuss how their thinking has evolved when it comes to flexible groups. The article includes a video excerpt of Joan working with a group of kindergartners.

 

Organizing Writing Groups

Franki Sibberson describes how she organizing writing groups in her grades 3 and 4 classroom, and shares a video of a writing group considering leads.

Small Group Instruction: Inferring Focus

In this example of reading instruction with a small group, Gail Boushey of “The Sisters” leads a discussion of inference, using Peter Rabbit as a focus text. All of the children in the group are reading at different levels independently, but they share a goal of learning more about inferring.

Noticing Interesting Words: Small-Group Vocabulary Lesson

In this five-minute video, Gail Boushey (of “The Sisters”) leads a short small-group lesson on vocabulary.

Boys’ Book Club in Second Grade

In this video from Linda Karamatic’s second-grade classroom, boys discuss the book Fudge using the protocol provided by Linda.

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