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A Fiction Writing Field Trip

Katherine Sokolowski’s students love writing fiction, but their skills don’t match their enthusiasm. A field trip helps bridge that gap.

Using Reading Notebook Covers for Reflection and Goal Setting

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan are using reading notebook covers in ingenious ways.

What Difference Does Difference Make?

Mary Lee Hahn begins the year with honest and open discussions with her fifth-grade students about diversity.

Adding Dialogue to Writing: Conferring with Sam

Karen Terlecky confers with Sam about adding dialogue to writing in her fifth-grade classroom.

Read Alouds as “Third Things”

Katherine Sokolowski uses read alouds early in the year to help students reflect on how to be kind and thoughtful members of a classroom community.

Strategies for Using Reader’s Notebooks

Melanie Swider enhances read alouds and the entire reading workshop with creative uses for reading notebooks.

Curating a Classroom Library

Katherine Sokolowski explains why it is important to sort and weed out books carefully before the new year begins.

Crafting Characters and Scenes

In this discussion with fifth graders about her book Paper Things, author Jennifer Richard Jacobson and the students share strategies and tools for visualizing scenes and characters when they are writing stories.

Digital Literacy Workshop

Maria Caplin has suggestions for making transitions to digital literacy in reading and writing workshops.

Donalyn Miller on Modeling Literate Lives (PODCAST)

Donalyn Miller, author of the acclaimed bestseller The Book Whisperer, chats with Franki Sibberson about the importance of teachers modeling their literate lives for students.

Note Taking for Research

Katherine Sokolowski helps her fifth graders build notetaking skills for research.

Choices for Paragraphs

Melanie Meehan finds third grade is a good age for helping students develop paragraphing skills.

Using Padlet with Students

Katherine Sokolowski finds Padlet is a great tool for compiling learning and building community.

Rethinking Reading Goals

Maria Caplin develops a system for helping students move beyond simple goals like noting the number of pages read.

Anchor Chart Changes

Mary Lee Hahn finds midyear is the perfect time for refreshing anchor charts.

Weekly Check-In Sheets

Are you finding effort from students is flagging? Katherine Sokolowski develops check-in sheets as a way to lift student energy and reflection.

Giving Students a Notebook Tour

Melanie Meehan finds a notebooks tour is a terrific minilesson for helping students expand the ways they use notebooks.

Using a Sketchbook as a Tool to Teach Grammar

Melanie Swider describes how she develops notebook pages for minilessons and conferring.

Integrating Student Teachers into Literacy Workshops

Katherine Sokolowski gives advice for integrating student teachers into literacy workshop instruction.

Integrating Paraprofessionals into Reading Workshops

Justin Stygles decides he needs to completely rethink the role of classroom aides.

Digital Status of the Class

Maria Caplin explains how a digital status sheet saves minutes every week that add up to extra hours of instructional time over the year.

Infographics and the Common Core: Resources and Standards

Andrea Smith explains why infographics are more useful than ever in the age of the Common Core, and provides many links to free infographic resources on the web.

Webquests with Middle School Students

Megan Ginther revisits a classic internet research project.

Using Google Earth to Support Readers

Justin Stygles finds Google Earth is a marvelous tool for helping students research settings in novels.

Teaching Search Skill Basics to Students

Bill Bass has advice for teaching web-based search skills to students.

The Power of Written Blind Word Sorts

Max Brand uses written blind word sorts to build student word learning skills.

Going Public with Word Work

Maria Caplin is discouraged at the low level of transfer of new vocabulary in her fifth graders’ writing, so she makes some changes in her classroom.

Classroom Displays for Nonfiction Learning

Andrea Smith shares some of her favorite nonfiction classroom displays.

Blurring Genres and Real-Life Readers

The line between fiction and nonfiction can be fuzzy, but Tony Keefer finds what matters most is finding texts that captivate readers.

Exploring Literary Nonfiction with Middle School Students

Holly Mueller and her middle school students have fun exploring the creative aspects of literary nonfiction.

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