It's one of the big paradoxes of literacy instruction - students best learn how to read and write independently when they have a strong community of support in classrooms. How teachers build those thoughtful, kind, and challenging classroom communities is explained in these resources.
Gretchen Schroeder ditches the long discussion of rules and procedures with her high school students, and instead gives writing workshop a sweet start.
Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts to use early in the year with young students to introduce them to everything from places to read to how to handle books.
Katherine Sokolowski explains how she spends her time during the first days of literacy workshops in her fifth-grade classroom.
Karen Terlecky has advice for using summer reading for launching and closing the school year to build community and enduring connections with students.
Justin Stygles uses the 30 Books in 30 Days project to introduce his sixth graders to a wide variety of authors and genres.
Katherine Sokolowski finds that the beginning of the year is the best time to build community with a unit on character and morals through literature.
Keri Archer writes about the importance of morning message for kindergartners.
Shari Frost finds before and after “snapshots” are a wonderful way to celebrate learning and get closure at the end of the school year.
Stella Villalba writes about the importance early in the year of building habits with students that maximize time for English language learners.
Justin Stygles helps his sixth graders prepare to move to middle school with a photo essay assignment in the last weeks of school.
Suzy Kaback remembers saying goodbye to her first group of students as a young teacher.
Gretchen Taylor explains why it’s important to get less “judgy” of the colleagues around us.
Katie Doherty uses nonfiction graffiti walls as a tool for building response skills and community with her sixth-grade students.
Katherine Sokolowski finds the work ethic of her fifth-grade students is flagging by spring, so she helps them reflect upon and improve their performance.
Franki Sibberson designs a lesson cycle to prepare students for summer reading.
Kelly Petrin reflects on what she values most in the final days with children in her preschool program, and what she shares with parents.
Gigi McAllister has many suggestions for a strong reading finish to the school year.
Ruth Shagoury explains why year-end interviews are so valuable, and includes questions to use in your interviews.
Maria Caplin shares her strategies for slowing down at the end of the year with her fifth graders and reflecting on the growth and learning that can't easily be measured with tests.
Colby Sharp shares step-by-step guidance for linking class blogs, Twitter and private Facebook pages when sharing with families. Best of all, you can turn over the task to students.
First graders in Katie DiCesare’s class discuss character traits in books from independent reading during a whole-class share session.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. Sarah Klim presents some favorite titles to share with students and build awareness in this booklist.
In a new podcast, Meenoo Rami talks about ways teachers can bring energy and joy back into their teaching.
Mary Lee Hahn uses bracketology to help her fifth-grade students explore determining importance in short texts and close reading.
When’s the best time for some spontaneous opinion writing? Suzy Kaback argues it’s when class conversations get hot.
Tony Keefer finds that the article-of-the-week activity (adapted from Kelly Gallagher's work) is a good way to integrate short shared texts into his fourth-grade literacy workshop.
Andrea Smith’s fourth graders brainstorm next steps for their research project on owl habitats, which includes writing a research proposal.
Katherine Sokolowski has suggestions for organizing and hosting a Mock Newbery Club in the weeks before the award is given in late January.
Kelly Petrin meditates on the importance of trust and patience when looking for ways to connect with preschoolers.
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