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My Son Clark Kent

Lisa Koch shares a parent's perspective of the damage too much emphasis on reading levels in the classroom does to her young son.

Introducing Bull’s-Eye and Waves Written Responses in Synthesis Work

Andie Cunningham explains the bull’s-eye and wave responses her kindergartners complete to demonstrate their understanding of synthesis. A video introducing the activity is included.

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.

The Art of Listening in Writing Conferences with English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham share tips for mastering the art of listening in conferences with English language learners.

Revision Tools: Providing Options to Students

From old favorites like highlighters to new resources like kangaroo bags, this whole-class session with Franki Sibberson's grades 3-4 students highlights cool tools that will inspire learners to dive in and test out different revision strategies in writer's workshop.

Four Essentials in Designing Professional Development for Literacy Leaders

While clever activities for adult professional development are fun, what really helps colleagues become more competent and sensitive to classroom and school needs? Franki Sibberson knows what her colleagues need and gives it to them.

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.

Helping Young Readers Understand the Middle East: A Booklist of the Best Fiction Picture Books

Do your books reflect the images of your learners' families and culture? Ruth Shagoury offers a booklist to explore the Arab and Persian world.

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.

Teacher Study Group: Writing Focus

In this video of a teacher study group, Jennifer Allen leads a group of grades 3-5 teachers as they launch their monthly meeting in October.

The Dark Side of Girl Talk: How Female Conversation Patterns Can Inhibit School Change

Brenda Power explores the differences between “rapport talk” and “report talk” and what to do when communication breaks down with female colleagues.

Flexible Groups: Moving Beyond Levels to Assess Reading Needs

Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) discuss how their thinking has evolved when it comes to flexible groups. The article includes a video excerpt of Joan working with a group of kindergartners.

 

Minilessons to Start Conversations with Students About Books

In leadership positions, the first conversations with students about who you are and what you believe can set the tone for the year. Franki Sibberson has helpful advice for talking with readers — big and small.

Family Survey: Report Cards and Evaluations (SURVEY)

Here’s a quick and easy family survey to send home with students.

The “All About Us” Board: Linking Literacy and Community Building All Year Long

Suzy Kaback has terrific tips for an ever-evolving “All About Us” bulletin board to use from the first day of school to the last.

Concepts of Print: Conferring with a Kindergartner

In this conference with five-year-old Mariano, Joan Moser (of “The Sisters”) assesses his understanding of reading, print, and books at the start of the school year.

Creating Anchor Charts with Sticky Note Responses from Young Readers

Over-sized sticky notes are a great learning tool for kindergartners. In this video, Andie Cunningham demonstrates how she uses them with her students.

Guilty Pleasures

Aimee Buckner reveals her guilty pleasures, and finds they make for great writing fodder.

The Lines are to Write My Words: Phonics in Context

Ruth Shagoury considers the role of phonics in context as she observes a classroom built on a foundation of children's expert knowledge as writers.

On Kidney Tables: Small Changes for Big Effects

When our environment aligns with our values, Karen Szymusiak considers what helps learners take charge of their experience in a successful learning community.

Enlisting Students as Observers

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

Keeping It Simple: Reflections on the December New Teachers Study Group

What is really important for our time and energy? Jennifer Allen reflects on words of wisdom that keep her centered as a literacy coach.

Noticing Interesting Words: Small-Group Vocabulary Lesson

In this five-minute video, Gail Boushey (of “The Sisters”) leads a short small-group lesson on vocabulary.

In the Zone: Conferring with a Young English Language Learner

Andie Cunningham confers with kindergartner Cristian within his "ZPD" – Zone of Proximal Development.

Getting Started with Your Own Writer’s Notebook

Notebook Faker Extraordinaire Aimee Bucker writes about how she managed after years of false starts to build the writer's notebook habit one summer not long ago.

Family Dichos: Bringing the Language of Home into the Classroom

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham use dichos (sayings or proverbs) in many languages and cultures to build bridges between school and home.

Over, Under, and Beyond Words: Alternative Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms (E-GUIDE)

Words matter. Tried-and-true templates and strategies in this E-Guide focus attention on classroom talk in ways that help grow professional conversations.

What’s Valued? Exploring Different Values in Evaluation (E-GUIDE)

Brenda Power shares a workshop series designed to help educators bring their values into closer alignment for a more cohesive experience for students.

Opinion Exchange (E-GUIDE)

How can quotes lead educators to awareness and acceptance of the diversity of opinions in a group? Discover what this format for discussion has to offer your study group or staff.

Community Language Board: Building Vocabulary All Year Long

“The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) talk about how the community language board changes and evolves over the year, building a sense of community and shared literacy.

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