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Using Read Alouds to Build Fluency

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find an ingenious way in the upper elementary grades to help their struggling readers develop fluency through read alouds.

More Nonfiction Read Alouds

Franki Sibberson shares strategies for incorporating more nonfiction into read-aloud times throughout the day.

Color-Symbol-Image: A Thinking Routine for Read Alouds

Andrea Smith uses the Color-Symbol-Image thinking routine during read alouds to promote deeper reflection among students.

Great Books for African American Boys

Shari Frost deals with the failure of a classic read-aloud text to reach young African American boys by finding more engaging books for them.

Eighth-Grade Conference: Empathetic Reading

Christy Rush-Levine confers with eighth grader Julian about his strengths as an empathetic reader.

Sketching Your Way to a Big Idea

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills work with eighth graders who struggle to articulate big themes in literature. A breakthrough comes when they have the option of sketching their thoughts.

Exploring Text Features

Melanie Meehan works with a small group to talk through how nonfiction text features might enhance their informational writing.

Gradual Release of Responsibility in Small Groups

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills develop a process of pre-assessment, careful planning, and systematic recordkeeping to up the value of their small groups.

Better Student-Led Literature Discussions

Gigi McAllister tries student-led discussion groups in her fourth-grade classroom, with disastrous results. She regroups the following year with multiple lessons, anchor charts, and preparation to ensure success.

First-Grade Minilesson: Tricky Words

Bitsy Parks presents a minilesson on figuring out tricky words by recounting a student's strategy from a recent reading conference, using it to begin an anchor chart.

Balancing Reading and Talk

Mark Levine finds that the best way to deal with controversial topics like slavery in his middle school classroom is with open and focused whole-class discussions.

Building a Reflective Community

Andrea Smith builds reflection into whole-class discussions in her fourth-grade classroom by beginning an anchor chart with four different illustrations from the covers of a read-aloud.

Sentence Phrase Word: Student Independence for Word Learning

Andrea Smith uses the sentence-phrase-word thinking routine with her fourth graders to show how potent one word can be in understanding complex themes.

Lunchtime Author Discussion Groups

Gigl McAllister explains why she hosts optional lunchtime author studies, with practical tips on getting started.

Fourth-Grade Lunch Fan Club

Gigi facilitates one of her lunchtime author fan clubs, where everyone gets organized and brainstorms what they might explore in the group during this first meeting.

Sharing and Celebrating Summer Reading

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills share how they use the first days and weeks of school to celebrate summer reading and build a classroom community.

When a Book Doesn’t Work

Gretchen Schroeder is frustrated when a novel that has worked well for many years doesn’t appeal to her current high school students. Letting go of it is hard.

#bookaday in Middle School: Nuts and Bolts

Jillian Heise shares advice for teachers who want to try a #bookaday challenge of sharing at least one picture book each day with older students. She gives criteria for book selection, as well as examples of books to read at the start of the school year.

Stuck at Level E

Shari Frost assists a teacher who is instructing a child stuck at level E, and in the process reveals some of the issues in treating all levels equally.

Leveled Text Dilemma

"We don't have enough leveled texts!" is the cry from teachers. Heather Fisher helps them move beyond the school book room to more creative online resources to meet students' needs, and move beyond narrow definitions of text suitability.

The Scarlet Level

Stephanie Affinito tells everyone at a staff meeting to write their weights and ages on sticky notes so that she can post the numbers for the group to view. When teachers balk at the request, she has the perfect opening to discuss why focusing on levels in classrooms is a bad idea.

Conferring in First Grade: Reading Illustrations

Katrina Edwards helps a first grader use pictures to help her make sense of confusing text.

Environment Small Group: Habitat

Katherine Sokolowski leads a small group of fifth graders who have chosen similar topics for their projects in an environmental unit.

My Five Objectives for the Start of the School Year

Gretchen Schroeder winnows many competing demands at the start of the year down to five clear objectives in her high school classroom.

Reconsidering Reading Workshop Routines

Andrea Smith realizes her normal reading routine will not work within the constraints of this year’s schedule. She makes some radical changes to ensure she and her students can have enough time to find the joy in reading and building a literate community.

Sketchnoting as a Response to Reading

Dana Murphy tries sketchnoting during professional development, and soon finds herself sharing the fun technique with students. They hone their skills during read alouds and while annotating texts.

#bookaday in Middle School

Jillian Heise rises to the challenge of reading a new picture book to her seventh and eighth graders each day all year long.

Building a Next-Read Stack

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Abby build her next-read stack of books.

The Benefits of #bookaday

Franki Sibberson finds the investment of five to seven minutes a day for #bookaday with her third graders is truly time well spent.

The Basics of Teaching Internet Search Skills to Children

Bill Bass provides a range of search options for students, and encourages teachers to promote different tools in different contexts.

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