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.
Choice Literacy readers share more of their favorite end-of-year gifts for students to make and take home.
Choice Literacy readers share their favorite end-of-year activities that circle back to events from the start of the school year.
The care and use of the lowly pencil in classrooms says a lot about what we value and our relationships with students.
Choice Literacy readers share their favorite read alouds for the start of the year.
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.
In this two-minute quick take video, Katie Doherty explains the choices students have in her 6th grade reading workshop.
Something bad was happening in Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom—it was time to rebuild the class community with a reality check.
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.
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.
Want to get your middle school students’ attention on the first day of school? Read a book about how to ruin it for them.
In this first video in a three-part series, Katie Doherty leads her 6th graders through a response activity. The text they are reading was written by a middle school student over a decade ago, and its themes of popularity and belonging still ring true for students.
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.Â Pamphlets are the perfect genre for teaching persuasion and summary, two key skills highlighted in the Common Core.
In this quick take video, Franki Sibberson gives advice for dealing with "book hogs" — those students who try to grab any new book when it appears in the classroom library.
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.
Many students in the upper elementary and middle school grades shun all picture books, yet they are an invaluable resource for teaching sophisticated literacy concepts. Franki Sibberson explains how to teach the concept of theme using picture books in this booklist.
ERP. The sound can't help but make you grin. It's Heather Rader's acronym for Explicit Revision for Peers, a series of one-minute kinesthetic writing routines to help students learn how to help each other kindly during writer's workshop.
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.
Carol Wilcox prepares her struggling intermediate readers for state exams, and finally experiences a breakthrough in linking vocabulary learning to authentic reading.
Ann Marie Corgill switches from a 1st to 6th grade classroom, and finds herself immersed in rethinking the “learning landscape” as she unpacks boxes and sets up her classroom. While the room looks a little different, the principles for classroom design are the same. She shares her process in this photo essay.
How does sarcasm hurt students? Heather Rader counts the ways.
Katie Doherty and Ruth Shagoury present a fun way to launch (or close) the year with middle schoolers and discover the best-loved books of students from previous years. This project can be adapted for any age level.
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.
A character study unit is a terrific choice early in the school year, since it taps into students' reading histories and favorites from years past. Franki Sibberson has suggestions of books and questions for use in read-alouds.
Katie Doherty's 6th graders take charge of the classroom library, with an activity designed to build an understanding of genre at the same time.
This booklist is on fairytales, and there are a range of reading levels and styles to support readers of different ability levels.
Katie Doherty faces daunting challenges as a grade-level team leader in her middle school. A simple notetaking form works wonders in elevating the conversations and collaboration.
If Nancy Drew was an important literary role model for you when you were a preteen, you might enjoy a peek at the sassy new gals who are influencing our tweens.
Katie Doherty finds surveys of student reading habits and preferences are really useful in the winter, after she knows her students and they’ve settled into a routine.
In this one-minute quick take video, Katie Doherty has advice for middle school teachers who are thinking of launching a reading workshop in their classrooms.
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