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Children’s Literature for the Olympics

The Olympics are just around the corner, and Sarah Klim has suggestions for read alouds in a new booklist.

Jennifer Serravallo on Formative Assessment (PODCAST)

Franki Sibberson chats with Jennifer Serravallo about formative assessment in this podcast. Jennifer is the author of The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook, Grades 3-6: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction.

Formative Spelling Assessment

Max Brand has developed templates for grades K-2 and 3-5 to use for formative spelling assessments.

Keep Going

Ruth Ayres has advice for moving forward, staying positive, and focusing on what’s important.

Rethinking Nonfiction Topic-Based Text Sets

Franki Sibberson concludes her series on redesigning nonfiction sections of classroom libraries in the age of the Common Core.

Rethinking Nonfiction Series Books

Franki Sibberson explains how she features nonfiction series books in her classroom library.

Rethinking Nonfiction Author Baskets

Franki Sibberson realizes she needs to highlight nonfiction authors in new ways in her classroom library.

Explanatory Grammar Moves: Right-Branching Sentences

Jeff Anderson continues his Explanatory Grammar Series with a feature on the power of right-branching sentences.

Spelling Cycles: An Alternative to Weekly Spelling Lists

Max Brand developed Spelling Cycles as an alternative to weekly spelling tests. He explains how they work with an example from a third-grade class.

Curating a Nonfiction Classroom Library

Franki Sibberson writes about how her thinking about nonfiction is changing her classroom library in this first installment of a four-part series.

Powerful Conferences

Ruth Ayres explains how deciding the purpose of conferring in advance can lead to more powerful conferences.

Finding a Writing Buddy

Beth Lawson helps her fourth graders sort through what makes peer collaboration work during writing buddy time.

Two Lessons for Teaching Theme

Franki Sibberson writes about how she chooses books for theme instruction and shares two lessons.

She Wants to Be Katniss for Halloween: Courageous Girls in Books

Shari Frost celebrates a tomboy who finally finds a female character she wants to emulate with a booklist highlighting courageous girls.

Exploring Explanatory Moves Writers Use

Jeff Anderson explores the difference between informational and explanatory writing, and what that might mean for teaching craft moves to students.

Research Book Clubs for Struggling Readers

Beth Lawson finds that a nonfiction research book club is just the grouping structure needed for a group of struggling readers in her fourth-grade classroom.

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

Julie Johnson provides helpful tips and a letter for parents to help keep students safe on the Internet.

Using Pinterest for Professional Development

Franki Sibberson finds Pinterest is a useful tool for professional development.

Using Technology to Connect Young Readers and Writers

Julie Johnson reflects on how technology is changing her own reading community, and builds on this knowledge to connect readers and writers in her classroom with others through the Internet.

Rethinking the Assessment Binder

Franki Sibberson’s dilemma? How to file every evaluation so it is organized and accessible (since she never knows when someone might ask for it), while still finding a way to keep the assessments she needs every day at her fingertips.

Daily Routines: Finding Time for What Matters

Ann Marie Corgill provides some guiding questions to help teachers figure out priorities in their schedules for daily routines.

Whole Group Writing Share

Franki Sibberson’s fourth graders use the whole-class writing share time to discuss writing series they are working on (including blog interviews and book reviews), with an eye toward collaborating with classmates.

Grateful Journals

Beth Lawson began her own gratitude journal as a troubled teen, and finds the daily routine of Grateful Journals is a powerful tool for reflection and building community in the intermediate grades.

Literacy in the Music Room: A Sequence of Lessons

Jennifer Schwanke describes the work of a music teacher who integrates literacy learning into her curriculum.

Conferring with Pierce

Franki Sibberson demonstrates how much ground can be covered in a three-minute conference with a student. She helps fourth grader Pierce think through the audience for his writing, how to add visuals to blog posts, and enlists him to teach others new skills as he acquires them.

Death in Books: Finding Our Way After Loss

Books can help children deal with the toughest challenges in life. In a new booklist, Andie Cunningham shares her top picks for stories about characters grappling with the death of a loved one.

Grouping Struggling Students for Word Study: A Case Study

Shari Frost considers the “go-to” instructional strategy for struggling readers, word study, and explores how to make it work well in a case study of a third-grade group.

Subheading Literacy: Nothing “Sub” About It

Heather Rader discovers subheadings are a neglected but useful tool for teaching students about key topics in their writing.

The Lunch Lady and Gender in Reading

Franki Sibberson has her students read a blog post about books written for boys and girls, which begins a fascinating discussion with the class about gender in reading choices.

Keeping Track of Questions

Andie Cunningham observes a third-grade teacher as she systematically improves the quality and depth of student questioning over time.

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