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Field Experience: Picture Books and Older Students

The value of picture books with older students is often questioned. Ruth Ayres assembled this field experience to allow insight into the depth and power of picture books for older students.

Running and Middle School Reading Goals

Gretchen Taylor helps her middle school students analyze their needs as readers and set benchmarks for growth.

Worldwide Cinderellas

Erin Ocon discovers Worldwide Cinderella stories are a wonderful tool for building community and cultural awareness in her 7th grade classroom and with English language learners. Erin describes how she uses a range of Cinderella picture books with students, and provides an extensive booklist for expanding your library.

Quick Take: Using Timers in Middle School Writing Workshops

In this video quick take, Katie Doherty explains why she finds a timer helpful in her middle school writing workshop.

Getting Started with Sentence Observations

Karen Terlecky details the assessments and preparation that goes into the design of her sentence observation program.

From “I Don’t Get It” to “Never Mind — That’s Amazing!”: Scaffolding Schema for Comprehending Poetry

Katie Doherty finds poetry is a powerful tool for helping her middle school students understand the value of schema while reading.

Why Read? – A Question to End the School Year

“Why read?”  This is the question asked every spring in Erin Ocon’s middle school classroom, and in the process of answering it, she and her students rediscover a lot of what they’ve learned together throughout the year.

Lifting the Quality of Student Reading Letters with Quotes

Katie Doherty demonstrates for her middle school students how quotes can lift the quality of writing, using student and literary examples in this 11-minute video.

Learning to Write Engaging Nonfiction: A Middle School Partner Writing Study

Ann Marie Corgill takes a big risk and pairs her middle-school students randomly for a nonfiction writing project, and finds the risk pays off.

The Affect of Tech on Splrs

Heather Rader considers the cultural divide between teachers and students who are “screenagers” when it comes to texting.  If u r getting LOLed out in ur classroom u might want 2 read this.

Book Matchmaker: 5th Grade English Language Learners

Robin Heist is an elementary teacher looking for books for her older English language learners who are reading below grade-level expectations.

Top 10 Technology Tools for Teachers

If you're overwhelmed with the slew of new technology tools coming out all the time (and who isn't?), you might appreciate Scott Sibberson's Top 10 Tech Tools for Teachers. You are probably using some of the tools daily, and may discover a few new ones too.

No More Excuses: Reading Workshops in Nontraditional Middle and High School Settings

Think you don’t have enough time for reader’s workshop in your classroom? Worried that you don’t have enough books to go around? Feel like you just don’t have the space for it? What if you had students, but no classroom, no books, and no set class times? Ellie Gilbert faced down all these challenges in her nontraditional high school reading workshop.

Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite gifts for students to make and take home at the end of the year.

Writing and Publishing Book Reviews with Middle School Students

What teenager doesn't enjoy critiquing everything in the world? Erin Ocon puts that judgmental passion to good use in her classroom with a book review assignment.

More Literacy Keepsakes to Carry Home at the End of the School Year

Choice Literacy readers share more of their favorite end-of-year gifts for students to make and take home.

Beginning with the End in Mind: Planning Ahead for Closing Activities

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite end-of-year activities that circle back to events from the start of the school year.

Pencil Plans

The care and use of the lowly pencil in classrooms says a lot about what we value and our relationships with students.

Read Alouds for the First Day of School

Choice Literacy readers share their favorite read alouds for the start of the year.

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.

Linking Reading, Writing, and Getting to Know You Activities During the First Week of Middle School

Want to get your middle school students’ attention on the first day of school? Read a book about how to ruin it for them.

Persuasive Pamphlets

Erin Ocon and her middle-school students observe some political activists passing out pamphlets outside the building for a few moments. Voila – the pamphlet project is born.  Pamphlets are the perfect genre for teaching persuasion and summary, two key skills highlighted in the Common Core.

Pamphlets on Books (Part 2 of the Persuasive Pamphlets Series)

Erin Ocon finds pamphlets are a terrific format for teaching her middle-school students persuasive writing and summary skills.  In this essay she explains how to use pamphlets for book recommendations.  This is the second installment in a two-part series.

Literacy Rights and Responsibilities

Something bad was happening in Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom—it was time to rebuild the class community with a reality check.

Read Alouds for the Last Days of School

Choice Literacy readers share some of their favorite read alouds for the last days of school.

Vocabrity: Fun with Words for Middle School Students

Are your students getting bored with vocabulary routines?  Katie Doherty invents a quick and fun game, Vocabrity, to help her middle school students learn words.

Sarcasm Is a Useful Teaching Tool — NOT

How does sarcasm hurt students? Heather Rader counts the ways.

Getting and Giving Student Feedback

How can we help students be more reflective in our classrooms, giving us the feedback we need to make them better places for learning? Heather Rader has suggestions.

Letters in the Middle School Classroom

First-year teacher Erin Ocon finds an old-fashioned way to build rapport with some of her struggling middle school students – she writes letters to them. This brief article would be a good reading for a middle school team meeting or new teacher group.

Fairy Tales for Middle Grade Readers (BOOKLIST)

This booklist is on fairytales, and there are a range of reading levels and styles to support readers of different ability levels.

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