Latest Content
We Are All Shamu: What Literacy Leaders Can Learn from Exotic Animal Trainers

If you've ever compared your classroom to a zoo, this article by Brenda Power is for you. You'll take animal trainer advice like "We change behavior in others by breaking routines in delightful ways" and follow it into the classroom.

Poetry Friday! Poetry Books That Are Fun to Read Aloud

What do doughnuts and talk-filled mornings have in common? Learn about this Poetry Friday ritual that impacts independent reading time as well.

Under, Over and Beyond Words: Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms

This article offers possibilities for observing classrooms focused on talk as an alternative to traditional observation notes.

Inviting Students to Organize Books and Materials

Debbie Miller advocates for involving children in the organization of materials for readers and writers in the classroom.

Charting the Course: A Yearlong Professional Development Plan for New Teachers (SCHEDULE)

Planning with the end in mind is essential for literacy leaders. Jennifer Allen takes us through her process for creating a focused and progressive year-long plan.

The Other Buddy: How Partnership Programs Help Older Readers

In many buddy reading programs we often tout the benefits for the younger, less experienced reader, but Shari Frost tells the story of a “big kid” reader with a legitimate reason to read books that were closer to his independent level. Read on.

Shopping With Ana: Expanding Our Definition of “Just Right” Books in Grades K-2

Franki Sibberson learns from her daughter about emerging readers and book choice.

Time for Reading

Shari Frost describes how literacy coaches shadowed children to get a sense of how much reading students were doing.

Planning for a Year of Author Studies (TEMPLATE)

Meaningful reading, writing, speaking and listening comes out of thoughtfully planned author studies. Gayle Gentry shares her thinking and planning.

Conferring in the Zone: Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Writing Conferences

The zone of proximal development continues to be an important frame for noting where writers are at and what's next. Ruth Shagoury lists questions at different phases of writing to help nudge writers forward.

Idealism Fades to Reality: Thinking Back to My Days as a New Teacher

Jennifer Allen makes connections between her new professional life as a literacy coach and her beginning as a classroom teacher.

Layered Support: Meeting the Needs of Beginning Teachers

Jennifer Allen reflects on essential layers that provide a safety net for the challenges facing beginning teachers.

Digging Deep: The Power of Rereading

Max Brand considers how rereading helps students understand and enjoy texts.

Let’s Get Some Attitude

Shirl McPhillips recalls a junior high experience that promoted serious "attitude" and an uproar among her peers.

Power Tools

Aimee Buckner shares three essential "power tools" for writers.

Coaching Moment: Reorganizing a Classroom Library

Gayle Gentry reflects on how a colleague’s simple request to reorganize a classroom library turned into coaching opportunities that had a direct impact on student learning.

Tracking Young Children’s Writing and Development

Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury share the assessment tools they use to track Andie’s kindergarten writers.

Common Core Conversations: Increasing Argumentative Writing

Teachers continue to puzzle over and sort through the terminology in the Common Core related to opinion and persuasive writing. Amanda Adrian and Heather Rader consider terms and teaching strategies.

The Difference Between Conferring and “Touching Base”

Debbie Miller goes against the grain, advocating for “the luscious feeling of endless time” as we slow down to confer with children.

“I Am the Book”: Helping Emergent Bilingual Learners Connect with Books

Jesabel Centeno helps her emergent bilingual learners respond orally to texts and share favorite books with classmates.

Whole Class Interviews: Building Community in Writing Workshop (TEMPLATE)

Interviews early in the year are a potent tool for building a class community.

Word Study is More Than Spelling

Franki Sibberson works to expand her views of spelling and word work, redefining routines in her grades 3 and 4 classroom.

Important Book, Important Notes: Guiding Young Students Through Notetaking

Suzy Kaback catches a young learner near and dear to her in the process of plagiarizing. She uses the experience to develop a template to help students and colleagues with notetaking.

A Strategy Lesson for “Drive-Thru” Readers

Who is a “drive-thru” reader? One who zips through the start of a book and discards it before finishing, moving  ever more quickly through random books.  Aimee Buckner has some minilesson suggestions for dealing with those students who can’t or won’t finish any books they start.

Teaching About Words, Grammar, and Mechanics Through Children’s Literature (BOOKLIST)

Franki Sibberson wants her students to be more than just good spellers — she wants them to understand words in sophisticated ways, from many different angles. Children's books are a tool for reaching that goal.

Breathing New Life into the Writer’s Notebook

Tara Smith finds her sixth graders have years of experience with writer's notebooks by the time they reach her classroom. How to inspire enthusiasm for a familiar tool? Mix old favorite tasks and lessons with fresh texts and tech-savvy options.

Company-Ready Teaching

Mary Lee Hahn prepares for classroom visitors, and the process of viewing her room with fresh eyes makes her question routines and wall displays.

Jose the Late Bloomer

Stella Villalba has practical advice for reaching a young English language learner who is reluctant to write and often frustrated.

Photo Booth and Young Readers

Stella Villalba uses the Photo Booth app to build stamina in a young English language learner, as well as reinforce the learning and practice at home.

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