Our contributors lead reading workshops in classrooms with creative flair. Over the past 12 years, we've filled our site with loads of suggestions, tools, and tips for using engaging books throughout the curriculum to hook kids on reading. Here is where you will find many stories of successful and not-so-successful workshop days, and what we learned from them. We bring these stories to life through hundreds of video examples.
Christy Rush-Levine shows a group of three students how they can use a storyboard to help track thinking while reading.
Gigi McAllister presents a guide to her fourth-grade students to improve talk in reading trios.
Melanie Meehan shares questions and reflection prompts to make the “turn and talk” strategy more effective.
Andrea Smith uses the “compass points” strategy to provoke better whole-class discussions and reflection during read alouds.
Dana Murphy realizes the best way to introduce students to reading in kindergarten is to apply the principles that work at home with her own children.
Bitsy Parks reflects upon her own not-so-successful experiences as a parent in getting her four children to read during the summer months. She uses these parenting lessons to help students take the initiative for summer reading by writing down commitments and goals in her first-grade classroom.
Reading logs have fallen out of favor in many classrooms because they often become a rote activity for recording pages read. Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find authenticity with the logs comes when they move from emphasizing recording to goals and reflection.
Bitsy Parks has a simple seven-step process for a hard day’s work of weeding out her first-grade classroom library.
Katherine Sokolowski demonstrates her book talk skills when she presents The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary to her students late in the school year.
Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Jack build a next-read stack of nonfiction, highlighting a variety of text features and historical references.
Katherine Sokolowski had a dream — her whole community reading and celebrating the same book. She explains how she helped coordinate, organize, and purchase hundreds of books for a community-wide reading of Wonder.
Christy Rush-Levine meets with eighth grader Jaden, who talks through his struggles in writing a conclusion to his literary analysis, and how his peers helped him improve the writing.
Gretchen Schroeder shares a quick exercise she’s developed for her high school students to hone grammar and editing skills using online video resources and individual Chromebooks.
Melanie Meehan looks at the issue of engagement through the lens of student questions during read alouds, and shares a strategy to provoke more thoughtful student participation.
Christy Rush-Levine finds that administrators are questioning the value of read alouds, especially with older students. She shares how she uses the picture book Love in her middle school classroom to launch challenging discussions about timely themes.
Katherine Sokolowski models how readers make choices as questions arise while reading independently. She also demonstrates how she moves between a novel and web resources.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how one book can serve as an anchor for lessons on everything from writer’s craft to test-taking skills.
Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Tori about her reading response to Why We Broke Up. She encourages Tori to make connections between the characters in her current book and her previous reading by paying close attention to surprising action.
We’ve all had that student — the one who blurts out a misreading of a text, only to have classmates agree with the analysis. Christy Rush-Levine explains how she uses “first-, second-, and third-draft readings” to help her middle school students develop stronger comprehension skills.
Lifelong readers often have books they love to reread, sometimes more than once. But young readers can also get into ruts. Jennifer Schwanke explores when rereading is fine for students, and when it should be challenged. She includes a series of questions for teachers to use when conferring with children who are rereading favorite books.
Shari Frost and a teacher she is assisting notice some bins collecting dust in the classroom library. When the teacher resists removing the books, they work together to find creative ways to help students develop enthusiasm for neglected series and authors.
Why bother with close reading? Jennifer Schwanke finds many teachers asking themselves if close reading is worth the time, when schedules are already overstuffed. She shares some prompts to help assess when close reading makes sense.
Mark Levine capitalizes on what captures his middle school students’ attention with his Stop and Inquire routine.
The dark days of winter may be the best time to plan for spring step-up events to introduce students to next year's teachers. Christy Rush-Levine has a new goal of using the day to promote summer reading.
Bitsy Parks finds goals aren’t enough for her first-grade students—real growth requires that the goals eventually become habits. She develops a process mid-year to help children refine their goals step-by-step.
Katherine Sokolowski confers with her son Liam and his friend Caden, helping them learn how to make peer book recommendations.
Mary Lee Hahn finds some of her fifth-grade readers are stuck in ruts by early winter. Her solution involves some radical changes to her classroom library over winter break.
Building "next-read" stacks with students before holidays is a great way to ensure they have books in hand that they will be excited to read over break. Katherine Sokolowski helps Taryn finds books that are similar to those written by Rick Riordan (Taryn's favorite author).
Listening stations are invaluable in elementary reading workshops, and can also be a hassle to set up and maintain. QR codes to the rescue! Stephanie Affinito shares how she helps teachers use simple online tools for setting up QR code listening stations.
Kate Mills and Tara Barnett often write together about their experiences as co-teachers. They share their best advice for teachers and school administrators on how to make co-teaching partnerships between classroom teachers and special educators work.
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