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Previewing Nonfiction

Teachers are adding more nonfiction to their classroom libraries, and looking for ways to promote nonfiction with students in light of the emphasis on nonfiction in the Common Core. Franki Sibberson share tips for previewing nonfiction with students.

Grades K-2 Fluency Lesson

In this video from a K-2 multiage classroom, Joan Moser and Gail Boushey ("The Sisters") present a fluency lesson to the whole class.

Graphic Organizer for Mystery Writing

Beth Lawson talks with her 4th graders about the elements of a good mystery, and shares a graphic organizer to help them develop realistic characters and themes.

Putting the “Mini” Back in Minilessons

We know that the shorter our minilesson, the more time students will have to read and write, but it's not easy for many of us. Shari Frost has tips to shape up minilessons that have become maxilessons.

A Closer Look at Anchor Charts

Shari Frost has a gift for helping us think about purpose and this article is no exception as she turns her attention to the benefits of intentional anchor charts.

Linking Morning Message, Poetry, and Word Learning

Second-grade teacher Linda Karamatic has been starting her morning with a message for years. The morning message is just one part of her daily opening that reinforces community.

Purposeful First Grade Reading Share Sessions

Katie DiCesare prompts her 1st grade students during the reading share time at the end of workshop to make connections between the strategies they use during independent reading time and the day’s minilessons.

Using Comics in Literacy Workshops

Franki Sibberson works with her 3rd and 4th graders to use comics in the literacy workshop.

Digging Deeper with Rereading

In this video from Katie DiCesare’s first-grade classroom, Katie uses the strategy of rereading to help students look more closely at words—in this case, words that rhyme.

“The Wrath of Guess Jeans”: Reading, Writing, and Cliques in Middle School

In this first video in a three-part series, Katie Doherty leads her 6th graders through a response activity. The text they are reading was written by a middle school student over a decade ago, and its themes of popularity and belonging still ring true for students.

Injecting Writing into . . . Everything: Ellipsis Stories

"DOT DOT DOT" – a phrase made famous in Mama Mia, it's also the spark for some writing instruction linked to read alouds from Heather Rader.

Revising Titles Minilesson

In this minilesson from Franki Sibberson’s grades 3 and 4 classroom, Franki takes students through the process of selecting and revising titles. She uses the poem “Confessions of a Reader” by Carol Wilcox as a mentor text.

Seedfolks: Connecting Community and Literature

There's so much to do during the first weeks of school, but it's important not to skip the most important thing – building a sense of community with your students.

Injecting Writing into Everything: Cover-up Stories

Cover-up stories involve removing illustrations to heighten awareness of other story elements. Heather Rader explains how the instructional technique works.

Writing Do-Overs: ERPs in the Classroom

ERP.  The sound can't help but make you grin.  It's Heather Rader's acronym for Explicit Revision for Peers, a series of one-minute kinesthetic writing routines to help students learn how to help each other kindly during writer's workshop.

Is “Just Right” Still Just Right?: Helping Children Select Appropriate Books

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan consider how the incredibly useful and widely accepted “just right” term can sometimes limit how students think about book selection and their identities as readers. This essay includes sample lessons to help expand the ways young readers think about and discuss their reading preferences.

A Sponge is a Summary

Heather Rader shares a concrete analogy that students (and teachers) love for understanding how summaries work.

Punctuation Study with Third Graders

Mandy Robek finds a punctuation unit study with her third graders is a fun alternative to yet another genre study. Her essay includes booklists of children's literature and professional texts.

Why and Watch Me: Making the Abstract Concrete for Readers

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan present some teacher question and reflection prompts for helping struggling readers understand why and how reading is a meaning-making process.

Teaching Themes Through Keywords

Aimee Buckner presents a simple strategy for helping students look for themes as they read a new text.

Assessing Spelling in Writing Workshop Part 3: Embedding Instruction

In the last installment of this three-part series, Katie DiCesare shows how she translates the findings from individual students into instructional plans when she uses a spelling assessment in her 1st grade classroom.

Weekend Headlines: Introduction

In this first of a three-part video series, Katie Doherty and her sixth grade students begin the Weekend Headlines activity. Each Monday, students listen to Katie share some of the headlines from the local newspaper and then share their "headlines" from the weekend.

The Books We Can’t Live Without in Our Teaching: Resource Round-Up

Literacy experts share their well-loved and well-worn children's and professional books.

Becoming More Purposeful with Writing Share

In this whole-class writing-share session from Katie DiCesare’s first-grade classroom, Katie talks about how she has become more purposeful in connecting student drafts with the minilesson from the start of the writing workshop.

Demonstration Lesson: Inferring Character Traits

In this demonstration lesson from a 5th grade classroom, Clare Landrigan leads students through a reading and discussion of inference and character development.

Linking Math and Writing Through Word Problems

In this six-minute video, Franki Sibberson demonstrates how she helps her 3rd and 4th grade students make connections between writing workshop and math problem solving.

Picking a Partner: Demonstration Lesson and Debrief

In this demonstration lesson from a K-2 classroom, Joan Moser leads students through guided practice in picking a partner.

From Questions to Drafts

Aimee Buckner shares the mentor text Could You? Would You? with her 4th grade students. Aimee explains how questions are a springboard to interesting writing topics, and models connections she makes to the text.

Writing Comics: Introducing the Activity

In this lesson from a fourth-grade classroom, Sarah Thibault introduces students to a writing activity. Students will be creating their own comic books, after extensive preparation and experience with mentor texts.

Helping Students Set Nonfiction Reading Goals

Franki Sibberson finds nonfiction reading goals elevate the value of nonfiction in her grades 3-4 classroom.

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