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Spreading Love with Compliments

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills close out the year in their eighth-grade classroom with a compliments activity.

Looking Forward with Students

Melanie Meehan uses reflective questions and video to build a library of materials at the end of the year to use with next year's class.

Puppy Chow

How do you know an assignment is authentic and worthy of your students' time? Suzy Kaback explains why you need to try it out yourself first.

Using Tech to Find Authentic Audiences for Student Writing

Matt Renwick discovers technology provides many authentic audiences for student writing.

Reimagining Reading Logs

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.

Weeding a First-Grade Library

Bitsy Parks has a simple seven-step process for a hard day’s work of weeding out her first-grade classroom library.

Books on a Budget

There are scores of new children’s books that continually tempt teachers. But how do you stock your classroom library with a limited budget? Shari Frost shares proven strategies.

Managing Independent Projects

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills continue their series on independent projects with nuts and bolts advice on management.

A Year of Learning About Student Refugees

Did you know the average length of stay in a refugee camp is 17 years? That’s only one of the many astonishing facts Stella Villalba learned as she worked to learn more about the needs of the refugees in her school district.

Literacy and Global Competence

“China is going to kill us all!” This quote from a student causes Matt Renwick to stop and consider how schools can use literacy to promote global understanding.

A Variety of Share Sessions

Ruth Ayres catalogs her favorite types of share sessions (from old favorites to creative innovations) in writing workshops.

A Community Reads “Wonder”

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.

Backward Chaining

How do you help students who are far behind their classmates in tackling writing projects, and have had years of learned helplessness in approaching complex tasks? Melanie Meehan takes on the challenge with a backward-chaining model.

Why We Like Independent Writing Projects

One way to get all students excited about writing workshop is through independent projects. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills explain why they devote many Fridays to independent projects. This is the first installment in a three-part series.

The Writing Workout

Suzy Kaback meets with a group of teachers to talk through struggles in the writing workshops. Using a fitness analogy, they come up with strategies to try immediately in their classrooms.

Eating Poetry

April is a month-long "thanksgiving" for those of us who love poetry. Shirl McPhillips shares her favorite resources for sharing that love with students.

Spoken Word Poetry

Gretchen Schroeder uses online videos as resources to teach her high school students to appreciate spoken-word poetry and write their own.

Forest Bathing

Shirl McPhillips explains how "forest bathing" is a wonderful entry point for writing, especially in early spring.

Inspiring Students to Revise

Melanie Meehan uses revision strips to move young writers beyond "I'm done!" and into expanding and editing their writing.

How to Write a Sentence

Bitsy Parks realizes charts will help her first graders craft sentences. She shares how her sentence writing charts have changed over time.

Choose Your Own Grammar Adventure

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.

Questioning Within Read Alouds

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.

Leveraging Read Aloud

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.

End-of-Year Read Alouds

Bitsy Parks explains how the ending weeks of read alouds in her first-grade classroom are designed to celebrate learning and shared experiences from the entire year.

Building Stronger Wordsmiths

Maria Caplin is integrating vocabulary work into content areas.

Meaningful Data

Ruth Ayres explains how data can make students and teachers feel empowered or deflated — so much depends on what you are looking for and how you present it.
 

Asking Students to Grade Themselves

Asking students to assess and grade their own work cements learning and deepens understanding for many students, but only if it is done in a thoughtful, collaborative way. Melanie Meehan takes you step-by-step through the process in a fifth-grade classroom.

Leveraging Reading Assessment Benchmarks

Benchmark assessments can be incredibly time-consuming for teachers to complete. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills describe how they leverage the time spent by using the assessments in strategy conferences with students.

An Editing Strategy for Run-On Sentences

Is your problem writers whose sentences never seem to end? Tara Barnett and Kate Mills have a strategy for grappling with run-on sentences.

Writing Workshop Bingo

Carly Ulmer develops a bingo board to use with her middle school students to give them more choice and foster independence while crafting writing in specific genres.

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