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Giving Graphic Organizers a Go

Mary Lee Hahn is skeptical about how her fifth-grade students might use graphic organizers. But once she tries them alongside students, she begins to see their utility.

Gradual Release of Responsibility in Small Groups

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills develop a process of pre-assessment, careful planning, and systematic recordkeeping to up the value of their small groups.

Super Teacher Reading Workshop

Mary Lee Hahn tries to be super teacher while she confers — juggling goals, assessments, notices and notes . . . and then it all comes crashing down. She shares what she learns from trying to do too much at once and failing.

Building a Reflective Community

Andrea Smith builds reflection into whole-class discussions in her fourth-grade classroom by beginning an anchor chart with four different illustrations from the covers of a read-aloud.

Sharing and Celebrating Summer Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how they use the first days and weeks of school to celebrate summer reading and build a classroom community.

Conferring with Spencer: Writing Notebook Topics

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Spencer brainstorm topics for his writing notebook.

Environment Small Group: Habitat

Katherine Sokolowski leads a small group of fifth graders who have chosen similar topics for their projects in an environmental unit.

Dabbling: Reviving a Focus on Play

Mary Lee Hahn finds a focus on play and "dabbling" renews student writers during a unit on narrative nonfiction.

Reading Workshop Non-Negotiables

Scott Jones finds working with a student teacher forces him to explain what the “non-negotiables” are in his reading workshop.

Sketchnoting as a Response to Reading

Dana Murphy tries sketchnoting during professional development, and soon finds herself sharing the fun technique with students. They hone their skills during read alouds and while annotating texts.

Building a Next-Read Stack

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Abby build her next-read stack of books.

Practical Ways to Connect Students and Goals

Kate Mills and Tara Barnett provide some practical tips for connecting students and goals.

Student-Designed Development Cards

Melanie Meehan finds that student-designed development cards are a great way to get students invested in literacy goals.

Monday Headlines

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills use Monday Headlines to energize students after the weekend, and get a peek into what’s going on at home.

Brainstorming Writing Topics with Drew

Katherine Sokolowski confers with Drew about writing at home, brainstorming possible topics. In the process she shows how much she knows about Drew's life outside of school.

The Ocean Research Project: From Launch to Celebration in 10 Days

Ten days from the launch of student research projects to a celebration with families? Katherine Sokolowski shares how a tight time frame that concludes with an evening event can bring energy and high student interest to the research process.

The Riskiest Writing

Mary Lee Hahn tackles the riskiest writing of all — in front of students and improvised with no advance drafting or planning.

Research Through Picture Books

Katherine Sokolowski explains how picture books can be a potent tool for teaching intermediate students research skills.

Supporting Introverts in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski was that shy child hiding behind a tall classmate in the back of the room when she was a student. As a teacher, she makes sure there are many ways she helps bring out the voices of introverts in her fifth-grade classroom.

Environmental Group Notes

Katherine Sokolowski meets briefly with a group of fifth-grade girls to go through the notes they are taking for their environmental studies project and talk through next steps.

Free-Range Learning with Nonfiction Part 2: Infographics and Maps

Andrea Smith shares the final installment of her series on the value of free-range learning in helping students explore nonfiction.

Minilesson on Facts and Sources

Katherine Sokolowski presents a minilesson on ferreting out facts while completing independent research projects.

Free Range Learning with Nonfiction (Part 1)

Andrea Smith's students explore nonfiction through free-range roaming. She explains how she sets up expectations and resources early in the year in this first installment of a two-part series.

Teaching Students How to Give Revision Suggestions

Franki Sibberson shares a lesson progression to help students learn how to give helpful revision feedback. She uses online videos and resources to support her work.

The Power of Group Conferences in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski explains why group conferences can be a powerful tool for building a reading community. The article includes a video of a group conference in her fifth-grade classroom.
 

An Identity of Success

Mary Lee Hahn is a bit flummoxed when a parent asks about her management system at an open house. The experience sparks reflection on what makes a classroom community gel.

Loving Books or Reading?

Justin Stygles wonders why a love of books doesn't necessarily translate into a love of reading for his fifth and sixth graders.

Teaching Revision Strategies: Introduction and Modeling

Heather Rader shares a process for teaching peer editing and revision skills that helps students learn how to assist each other kindly during writing workshop. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Teaching Revision Strategies: Partner Work

Partners confer over revision in fifth grade in this second installment of a three-part video series.

Guidelines for Posting Online

Katherine Sokolowski describes a wall display with guidelines to ensure students are respectful and aware of the pitfalls of posting online.

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