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Middle School Book Clubs in Action

Katie Doherty talks about the links between strategy lessons and book club work in her 6th grade classroom. Katie also sits in on a book club discussion.

Conferring with Tweens: Boys and Series Books

In this conference from a 6th grade classroom, Katie Doherty confers with a boy who is reading a book from a series she is unfamiliar with – watch how she engages the child to learn about the series and refocus the discussion on skills and goals.

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.

“And Then and Then and Then”: Moving Students from Retelling to Thoughtful Response

Katie Doherty confers with sixth grader Kristina during reading workshop. Kristina is new to the classroom, and Katie demonstrates how to gently move a student from retelling to more thoughtful responses to literature with a few simple and carefully worded questions.

Middle School Book Clubs: Introduction

Katie Doherty explains why she has book clubs with her 6th grade students.

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.

6th Grade Word Sort

In this six-minute video, Pam Pogson leads an open word sort with her 6th grade students.

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.

Conferring with Tweens: Nastia

Katie Doherty confers with Nastia, a 6th grade English language learner who is working on her inferring skills.

Book Matchmaker: Graphic Novels for a 6th Grader

Franki Sibberson has graphic novel suggestions for 6th grade girls.

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.

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.

Guiding a Struggling Middle School Book Club

What do you do about those book clubs that just don’t gel in your middle school classroom? Katie Doherty demonstrates how she guides a struggling group of sixth graders, helping them reflect and converse together.

Spelling Rules — Or Does It?

Heather Rader introduces a new spelling series and maps out the topics she’ll be tackling.

Three Rules Worthy of Spelling Inquiry

It seems like every spelling rule has an exception — so which ones must be taught? Heather Rader shares the three spelling rules worth any teacher’s time.

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.

Great Lead Investigators

Katie Doherty turns her middle school students into lead investigators – an activity that is a terrific combination of mentor texts, group work, and connections to student writing.

Caught in the Middle: Tween Books to Excite Readers

What does research tell us about tween readers and capturing their interest in books? Teri Lesesne’s tween booklist integrates the research with recent publications sure to interest young readers.

On Compassion

You’re a sucky teacher!”  How would you respond if a student hurled those words at you? Katie Baydo-Reed  shares a deeply honest and personal account of the year early in her career when she developed a corrosive relationship with her students, and what she learned from the experience about compassion.

Math Journals

Julie Johnson rekindles her love affair with math when she incorporates journals and sees her students become more adept at organizing and explaining their thinking.

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.

“I Am the One Who . . .” Building Writing Skills and Community in Middle Schools

In this 12-minute video, Katie Doherty leads her sixth-grade students as they try the prompt “I am the one who . . .” during writing workshop. This is an excellent activity for building classroom community.

Quick Take: Katie Doherty on Middle School Reading Workshop Choices

In this two-minute quick take video, Katie Doherty explains the choices students have in her 6th grade reading workshop.

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.

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.

Literacy Letters: Helping New Students Understand Ongoing Assignments

How do teachers bring new students up to speed with ongoing assignments? In this video from Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom, Katie presents the latest “Literary Letters” assignment to her 6th graders. It is early spring, and all but two of the students have experience with this writing assignment.

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.

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