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Notetaking Series Part V: Getting Out of Notetaking Ruts

It's a quick journey from notetaking routines to notetaking ruts. This installment of the notetaking series focuses on ways to get out of the ruts that emerge naturally whenever any notetaking routine is established.

Establishing a Routine for Notetaking

We close out the notetaking series with advice on setting notetaking goals.

Student Reading Interview: Assessing Ana

Principal Karen Szymusiak interviews Ana, a second grader, to learn more about her strengths and needs as a reader.

Helping Students Set Nonfiction Reading Goals

Franki Sibberson finds nonfiction reading goals elevate the value of nonfiction in her grades 3-4 classroom.

Talking About Tests

Franki Sibberson prepares her grades 3-4 students for state examinations by helping them observe attributes and patterns in test questions.

Test-Taking Skills: Reading Strategies for Word Problems Part I

Question It – Know It – Show It  are the keys to test preparation in Andrea Smith's 4th grade classroom.

Data Cards: Assessment Profiles at a Glance

“Data cards” are ingeniously designed to allow an entire grade-level team to look at the reading levels of all students in the grade. In this four-minute video, “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) explain how they work.

Conferring Close-Up: Test-Taking Strategies Part II

Andrea Smith confers with two 4th graders in her classroom as part of test preparation.

Test-Taking Strategies Part III: Whole Class Debrief

Andrea Smith’s 4th graders debrief together after a test preparation workshop.

Collaborative Team Meeting: Assessing and Planning Together

Gail Boushey leads a collaborative planning meeting between 4th grade teachers, literacy coaches, and the principal early in the year.

Reflection Sheets: A Tool for Assessment and Conferring

Franki Sibberson explains how “reflection sheets” work as an assessment tool in her classroom, replacing detailed notes from conferences.

Assessment and Curriculum Mapping

In this video from a new teacher study group for grades 3-5 teachers, Jennifer Allen demonstrates how teachers can use assessment data to develop instructional plans for individual students and create curriculum maps for an entire class of students.

Professional Development Needs Assessment Inventory

Teachers help define a literacy coach's role through a needs assessment survey.

Conferring with Yourself: A Tool for Anticipating Response (TEMPLATE)

Take time for this quick write and Brenda Power will have you conferring with yourself, considering new viewpoints and thoughtfully preparing for your "yeah but" colleagues.

Starting Points: Easy Beginnings for Writing Better Narrative Assessments and Report Card Comments

 If you struggle as a writer at report card time, these tips might give you ideas for streamlining your work.

Enlisting Students as Observers

Students are keen observers – put those talents to work in your classroom.

Adjectives to Anecdotes: Writing Better Report Card Comments

Brenda Power helps report card comment writers pack a punch in a few lines with positivity, honesty and some time-saving tips.

Two-Column Notes (E-GUIDE)

The Two-Column Notes eGuide has 18 different options for notes in professional development settings.  These templates are helpful to use in staff meetings and study groups while watching videos, or to focus observations during classroom visits

Tracking Young Children’s Writing and Development

Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury share the assessment tools they use to track Andie’s kindergarten writers.

Whole Class Interviews: Building Community in Writing Workshop (TEMPLATE)

Interviews early in the year are a potent tool for building a class community.

Administering a Pre-Assessment

Melanie Meehan works with a new teacher to develop and administer a writing pre-assessment early in the school year.

Forming Groups Using a Planner

Dana Murphy explains how her small-group planner is an essential tool for organizing groups in her fourth-grade classroom.

The 4 Fs of Assessment

Justin Stygles describes the four crucial components of effective assessment.

Maximizing Instructional Time at the Start of a New Unit

Time is precious in classrooms, so Melanie Meehan shares strategies to ensure it isn't wasted at the start of new writing units by teaching skills students may already possess.

Choice in Assessment

Christy Rush-Levine explores the way a shift in assessment questions can give students ownership of their thinking and responsibility for developing meaning from a text.

Notetaking Series Part II: Honing Your Notetaking Skills, One Strategy at a Time

One skill at a time — here are some suggestions for a step-by-step approach to learning how to take good observational notes in the classroom.

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