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Releasing Responsibility

When it comes to producing independent readers and writers in classrooms, it’s all about the language we use. Debbie Miller has practical suggestions for bringing out the best in children.

The Secret to Productivity: Hard Work or Play?

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris connect their own working lives to those of students, and consider the value of play.

Three Classroom Games for Literacy Learning and Laughter

Melanie Meehan suggests some favorite classroom games for building literacy skills.

The Secret to Magical Author Visits

Prolific children’s book author Laura Purdie Salas explains why you should treat visiting authors like rock stars, with many tips and examples from her writing friends.

Classroom Management and Student Responsibility

Katherine Sokolowski is discouraged when she observes that some students are off-task during literacy workshops. She decides a reflection sheet will be a useful weekly scaffold to support independent monitoring of behavior.

Shallow Books? Learning from a Reading Celebration

Franki Sibberson discovers we allow students to assess what reading matters most to them, we can learn a remarkable amount.

Multicultural Series Books

Shari Frost is alarmed when she realizes how rarely children of color are represented as main characters in book series. She decides to compile a list of multicultural series books.

Infusing Informational Texts into Morning Meetings: Fact of the Day and Daily News Routines

Andrea Smith explains two routines, Daily News and Fact of the Day, which are key components of her morning meetings.

The Weight of Stories

Some of our students lead such hard lives. Christy Rush-Levine explores how teachers can keep from being dragged into the undertow of the most difficult situations children face.

The Power of Reading Habits

Gretchen Taylor’s overscheduled middle school students have almost no time for reading outside the classroom. She finds that some reflective inquiry helps them build reading habits at home.

Student-Generated Blends Chart in First Grade

Katie DiCesare’s first graders add to a blends chart during reading transition time.

Spreading Out the Fun

Why save all the most enjoyable literacy activities for May or June? Gigi McAllister spreads out the fun all year long with literacy events and activities to break up routines.

What Kenny Taught Me

Jennifer Schwanke has a student who just won't sit still and behave appropriately in her middle school classroom. She finally gives up. That's where the learning begins.

Books for Brain Breaks

Mandy Robek compiles a list of her favorite books for brain breaks with young learners.

Quick Transitions in Second Grade

Sean Moore demonstrates two different quick kinesthetic movements to help his second-grade students focus and transition between whole-class instruction segments.

Independence in Writing Workshop

Beth Lawson uses an LCD, whiteboard, and magnetic clips in a clever way during the transition from minilessons to independent writing in writing workshop. Students tag whether they will be working on drafts or conferring with peers as Beth completes her status of the class on the board.

Community Board: Invitations to Independence

Students transition between home and school with the Community Board in Andrea Smith’s classroom. It’s a lively bulletin board that is updated and discussed daily in her fourth-grade classroom.

A Strong Foundation: Books and Media for Launching Literacy Workshops

Help students transition back to school with minilessons that give children a strong sense of the purpose of literacy workshops.

Getting to Know You: Brown Bag Objects

Maria Caplin uses a getting-to-know-you activity in the first days of school to jumpstart research reading and writing with her fifth-grade students.

Shoebox Autobiographies

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

The Case Against Management Systems

Katherine Sokolowski advises teachers to ditch the search for the perfect management system, and instead focus on building relationships early in the school year.

First Shared Text: Fishing for Many Meanings with Adolescents

Christy Rush-Levine introduces her middle school students to the complexity of reading on the first day of school.

“I Used To, and Now I”: An Early Year Minilesson

Franki Sibberson finds an “I Used to and Now I” format helps her third-grade students understand how technology is changing reading habits.

Six-Word Memoirs

Gigi McAllister finds the ever-popular six-word memoirs are a wonderful way to build community and help students get to know each other.

Launching Writing Workshop: Mentor Texts

Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts for building understanding early in the year of writing workshop with young writers. These books are ideal for launching discussions about how writers find ideas.

Candy Memoirs

Gretchen Schroeder ditches the long discussion of rules and procedures with her high school students, and instead gives writing workshop a sweet start.

Launching Reading Workshop: Mentor Texts

Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts to use early in the year with young students to introduce them to everything from places to read to how to handle books.

The First Days of Reading and Writing Workshops

Katherine Sokolowski explains how she spends her time during the first days of literacy workshops in her fifth-grade classroom.
 

Using Summer Reading as Bookends for the School Year

Karen Terlecky has advice for using summer reading for launching and closing the school year to build community and enduring connections with students.
 

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