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Reading Passports

Justin Stygles develops reading passports as an alternative to traditional reading logs with his fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Digital Boards for Formative Assessment

Katharine Hale has moved much of her reading response to digital boards, which are also a useful tool for formative assessment.
 

Effective Organization

 Ruth Ayres has tips for organizing desks, tables, chairs, and materials to support literacy learning.

Shoebox Autobiographies

Susan Dee uses shoebox autobiographies to build community and relationships with students early in the fall.

Giving Audio Feedback to Student Writing

If you find yourself buried in student work that needs a response, you’ll enjoy suggestions from Bill Bass for using a nifty new online tool.

30 Books in 30 Days

Justin Stygles uses the 30 Books in 30 Days project to introduce his sixth graders to a wide variety of authors and genres.

Giving Up Television

Gretchen Taylor finds giving up television enables her to reconsider many habitual behaviors.

Nonfiction Book Blitz

Justin Stygles finds a nonfiction book blitz is the perfect unit for closing out the school year.

Final Literacy Contracts: Student-Generated Themes

Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller close out the year with their final literacy contracts. It’s time for students to take ownership of their learning, so they select the themes.

Capturing the Elementary Years with Photo Essays

Justin Stygles helps his sixth graders prepare to move to middle school with a photo essay assignment in the last weeks of school.

The Data Wall Debacle

Shari Frost has a suggestion for what shouldn’t be on classroom walls: student assessment scores. She explains why this practice can be harmful to students.

Nonfiction Graffiti Walls

Katie Doherty uses nonfiction graffiti walls as a tool for building response skills and community with her sixth-grade students.

Reading Interviews: Part 3

We conclude our video series of end-of-year reading interviews with Ruth Shagoury. In this installment, she asks students about how they have changed as readers throughout the year.

Writing Interviews: Part 3

Ruth Shagoury’s end-of-year writing interviews finish with questions about change and the teacher’s influence on writing.

Reading Interviews: Part 2

Ruth Shagoury asks sixth-grade students about reading at home and how they have changed as readers this year.

Writing Interviews: Part 2

Ruth Shagoury’s end of year writing interviews with sixth graders continue with questions about writing strengths and weaknesses.

Reading Interviews: Part 1

Interviews at the end of the school year can help students consider their growth as readers and writers. In this week’s video, Ruth Shagoury interviews sixth graders about their reading. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Writing Interviews: Part 1

Ruth Shagoury interviews sixth graders about their writing at the end of the year. This is the first video in a three-part series.

Reading Through Spring

Gigi McAllister has many suggestions for a strong reading finish to the school year.

End-of-Year Literacy Interviews

Ruth Shagoury explains why year-end interviews are so valuable, and includes questions to use in your interviews.

April Literacy Contracts: Discovery

Megan Ginther and Holly Mueller choose a theme of discovery for their April literacy contracts.

Creating Video with Students: Tools and Tips

Bill Bass gives advice and provides resources for creating video with high school students.

Simplifying Word Study

Max Brand has suggestions for simplifying word study.

March Literacy Contracts: Nonfiction Curiosities

This month’s literacy contract for middle school students focuses on nonfiction texts and growing independence in the classroom.

Sentence Combining in Workshops

Heather Rader has strategies for using sentence combining in literacy workshops.

The Power of Mystery Series for Teens and Tweens

Ruth Shagoury shares her top picks of mystery series for teens and tweens.

A Tool Worth Exploring: Sentence Combining

Heather Rader begins a new series on sentence combining, an alternative to traditional drill and kill grammar instruction.

Deeper Writing: The Story Behind the Selfie

Gretchen Taylor taps into a cultural phenomenon with her seventh-grade writers to help them deepen their writing and reflection.

Explanatory Grammar Moves: Getting Verbal with It

Jeff Anderson concludes his series on explanatory grammar moves by exploring participles, included in the Common Core eighth-grade standard covering the use of verbals.

Middle School Design: Cozy Reading Spaces

Katie Doherty has design tips for creating cozy reading spaces in middle school classrooms where there is no space or budget for a whole-class rug area.

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