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January 10, 2020 Nothing Buried Here

This week we look at tools for literacy instruction.

Building Conversation Skills in Book Clubs

Fifth graders use a visual tool to help them build on each other’s ideas in book clubs. They are applying a strategy demonstrated in an earlier minilesson.

January 3, 2020 Letting Go

This week we look at teacher modeling in literacy workshops.

It’s All in the Details

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find their middle school students need some scaffolding to tease out essential details in literature.

Minilesson: Building Conversations in Book Clubs

Dana Murphy leads a minilesson on book club conversations, using a fishbowl strategy and building blocks to support more sophisticated conversations.

Writers Make Plans

Tammy Mulligan considers the rituals she has for preparing to write, and then uses what she learns in classroom writing workshops.

December 13, 2019 Norwich

This week we look at easy and fun classroom literacy events and celebrations.

December 6, 2019 Just Say Yes

This week we look at creative literacy instruction before holiday breaks.

Community Timeline Project

Katherine Sokolowski uses the Community Timeline Project to bring together students and older community members around history and writing.

Reading and Writing for the 100th Day of School

The 100th day of school has become an opportunity for classroom and schoolwide celebrations. Shari Frost provides many resources to ensure reading and writing are front and center on this special day.

November 22, 2019 Cue the Habit

This week we look at author studies in classrooms.

Teaching Theme Before the Holidays

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills take advantage of students’ knowledge of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to teach the concept of theme before the holiday break.

A Quick How-to Writing Unit in First Grade

Bitsy Parks uses the short stretch before the holidays for a quick and fun how-to writing unit with her first graders.

Comparing Authors Minilesson

Jen Court uses text sets from three authors to help second graders ferret out different elements of the authors’ styles.

Scaffolding Instruction in an Author’s Study

Christy Rush-Levine scaffolds her middle-school students’ understanding of craft moves by moving from short stories to novels when studying specific authors.

Magic Connections: Young Adult Literature in a Social Studies Class

Mark Levine shows how young adult literature is a potent tool to drive learning in his middle school social studies classroom.

November 15, 2019 In Praise of Clutter

This week we look at how to use anchor texts in classrooms.

When Learning Gets Tricky, Go Back to the Pigs

Whenever a tricky literary concept comes up, Tammy Mulligan finds herself returning to a favorite mentor text to guide students. She explains the value of shared simple stories for understanding complicated literary elements.

Writing Endings Minilesson in Fifth Grade

A classic anchor text for many teachers is Charlotte’s Web. In this week’s video, Dana Murphy seamlessly integrates a brief excerpt from it into a writing minilesson on endings in her fifth-grade classroom.

Mentor Text Craft Guides

Melanie Meehan helps students see the craft moves in mentor texts by tucking brief guides into many of her favorite children’s books in the classroom library.

November 8, 2019 The Gift of Noticing

We look at reflection in this week’s newsletter.

The Freewrite Pause

Mark Levine finds his middle school students need more time to digest learning from brief articles. Freewriting provides the perfect pause for promoting more reflection and insight.

November 1, 2019 Romancing the Em Dash

We look at how to teach conventions in this week’s newsletter.

October 25, 2019 Candy Bombs

We look at how to develop and use text sets in this week’s newsletter.

Reinforcing Workshop Norms

In this quick video, Dana Murphy shows how she leads her fifth graders with a kinesthetic reminder of workshop norms before beginning independent work.

Fifth-Grade Small Group: Paragraphs

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to help students develop paragraphing skills, using a peer’s mentor text.

Mastering Conventions

Even eight-year-olds are expected to master a dozen or more conventions. Melanie Meehan shares a process for helping students focus on the small steps needed to master any convention with peer support.

Text Set Resources

Melanie Meehan shares some of her favorite resources for developing text sets.

October 18, 2019 Offers and Offerings

We look at writing shares in this week’s newsletter.

Helping Students Understand What Works for Them

Want students to become more independent? Melanie Meehan recommends that you take each student through a reflective process to figure out what learning processes and habits work for them.

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