Our contributors lead reading workshops in classrooms with creative flair. Over the past 12 years, we've filled our site with loads of suggestions, tools, and tips for using engaging books throughout the curriculum to hook kids on reading. Here is where you will find many stories of successful and not-so-successful workshop days, and what we learned from them. We bring these stories to life through hundreds of video examples.
Reagan, a fifth grader in Franki Sibberson's class, explains how she uses sticky notes to flag examples of writer's craft she could use in her own writing.
Tara Smith shares many strategies for helping her sixth graders get to the heart of understanding themes in literature.
We continue our video series from Franki Sibberson's class of fifth graders explaining how they take notes while reading. Sarah marks important elements early in the mystery she is reading, so she can easily refer to them later.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with Jadev about how the title of a book often gives clues to its theme.
Christy Rush-Levine moves from emphasizing theme to teaching strategies for understanding text, and finds it’s a much better way to get her eighth graders to grapple with theme in natural, organic ways.
Comic books and graphic novels are genres tweens adore, but teachers sometimes struggle to embrace. Ruth Shagoury creates a booklist with engaging books in the genre any teacher would enjoy.
Tre uses lots of sticky notes to sort through and keep track of characters in a book with a whole classroom full of personalities.
What do student notes from independent reading look like when students have free choice? In this video series, fifth graders from Franki Sibberson's class explain their notetaking strategies. We start with Ally, who tries out two different strategies to figure out which one will help her the most.
In this week's video, Aimee Buckner has a quick conference with a fourth grader about ways to solve a dilemma — how to figure out the setting in a historical fiction novel when there are no pictures.
Melanie Meehan considers content and context for students who struggle to master new skills because of a lack of background knowledge.
Tara Smith finds her sixth graders love historical fiction, but they often lack the background knowledge to understand texts fully. She launches her historical fiction unit with a careful mix of discussion, anchor charts, and shared texts.
Christy Rush-Levine shows a group of three students how they can use a storyboard to help track thinking while reading.
Melanie Meehan shares questions and reflection prompts to make the “turn and talk” strategy more effective.
Gigi McAllister presents a guide to her fourth-grade students to improve talk in reading trios.
Andrea Smith uses the “compass points” strategy to provoke better whole-class discussions and reflection during read alouds.
Dana Murphy realizes the best way to introduce students to reading in kindergarten is to apply the principles that work at home with her own children.
Bitsy Parks reflects upon her own not-so-successful experiences as a parent in getting her four children to read during the summer months. She uses these parenting lessons to help students take the initiative for summer reading by writing down commitments and goals in her first-grade classroom.
Reading logs have fallen out of favor in many classrooms because they often become a rote activity for recording pages read. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find authenticity with the logs comes when they move from emphasizing recording to goals and reflection.
Bitsy Parks has a simple seven-step process for a hard day’s work of weeding out her first-grade classroom library.
Katherine Sokolowski demonstrates her book talk skills when she presents The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary to her students late in the school year.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Jack build a next-read stack of nonfiction, highlighting a variety of text features and historical references.
Katherine Sokolowski had a dream — her whole community reading and celebrating the same book. She explains how she helped coordinate, organize, and purchase hundreds of books for a community-wide reading of Wonder.
Christy Rush-Levine meets with eighth grader Jaden, who talks through his struggles in writing a conclusion to his literary analysis, and how his peers helped him improve the writing.
Gretchen Schroeder shares a quick exercise she’s developed for her high school students to hone grammar and editing skills using online video resources and individual Chromebooks.
Melanie Meehan looks at the issue of engagement through the lens of student questions during read alouds, and shares a strategy to provoke more thoughtful student participation.
Christy Rush-Levine finds administrators are questioning the value of read alouds, especially with older students. She shares how she uses the picture book Love in her middle school classroom to launch challenging discussions about timely themes.
Katherine Sokolowski models how readers make choices as questions arise while reading independently. She also demonstrates how she moves between a novel and web resources.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how one book can serve as an anchor for lessons on everything from writer’s craft to test-taking skills.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Tori about her reading response to Why We Broke Up. She encourages Tori to make connections between the characters in her current book and her previous reading by paying close attention to surprising action.
We’ve all had that student — the one who blurts out a misreading of a text, only to have classmates agree with the analysis. Christy Rush-Levine explains how she uses “first-, second-, and third-draft readings” to help her middle school students develop stronger comprehension skills.
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