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

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

Word Study is More Than Spelling

Franki Sibberson works to expand her views of spelling and word work, redefining routines in her grades 3 and 4 classroom.

Important Book, Important Notes: Guiding Young Students Through Notetaking

Suzy Kaback catches a young learner near and dear to her in the process of plagiarizing. She uses the experience to develop a template to help students and colleagues with notetaking.

A Strategy Lesson for “Drive-Thru” Readers

Who is a “drive-thru” reader? One who zips through the start of a book and discards it before finishing, moving  ever more quickly through random books.  Aimee Buckner has some minilesson suggestions for dealing with those students who can’t or won’t finish any books they start.

Teaching About Words, Grammar, and Mechanics Through Children’s Literature (BOOKLIST)

Franki Sibberson wants her students to be more than just good spellers — she wants them to understand words in sophisticated ways, from many different angles. Children's books are a tool for reaching that goal.

Company-Ready Teaching

Mary Lee Hahn prepares for classroom visitors, and the process of viewing her room with fresh eyes makes her question routines and wall displays.

Breathing New Life into the Writer’s Notebook

Tara Smith finds her sixth graders have years of experience with writer's notebooks by the time they reach her classroom. How to inspire enthusiasm for a familiar tool? Mix old favorite tasks and lessons with fresh texts and tech-savvy options.

Jose the Late Bloomer

Stella Villalba has practical advice for reaching a young English language learner who is reluctant to write and often frustrated.

Photo Booth and Young Readers

Stella Villalba uses the Photo Booth app to build stamina in a young English language learner, as well as reinforce the learning and practice at home.

Administering a Pre-Assessment

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

Book Matchmaker: Read Alouds That Invite Young Readers to Participate

Franki Sibberson shares her latest suggestions for read alouds that invite participation from young readers.
 

The Sharpening Stone

Summer is rushing along. Are you feeling restored or refreshed yet for the new year? Suzy Kaback writes about the power of the sharpening stone.

Goals and How-to Writing in First Grade

Danielle French helps a first grader set nonfiction writing goals.

Talking Through Characters

Melanie Meehan shares activities that help students talk about their characters before writing about them in a realistic fiction unit.

Choice Literacy Writing Guidelines

Are you interested in writing for Choice Literacy? Here are our guidelines.

Personal Touches Early in the Year – Classroom Design Photo Essay Series

Make it personal with these lovely design suggestions from "The Sisters" for bringing students' homes into your classroom.

I Think, I Wonder, I Understand: Making Sense of the Work of Literacy Coaches

Jan Miller Burkins works with colleagues to develop the “I Think I Wonder I Understand” reflective tool for literacy coaches.

Book Matchmaker: 3rd Graders Reading Below Grade Level

In this installment of Book Matchmaker, Franki Sibberson shares her favorite books for 3rd graders who are not at grade level, but don’t want to read texts that will embarrass them in front of their peers.

Activities Linking Books and Visual Learners for Early in the Year

What are the best books for the visual learners in your classroom? Carol Wilcox draws on her experience as a mom to two boys who do not love her “world of words” in coming up with suggestions.

Writer’s Workshop: Planning for “Dips”

We love seeing growth, but how can we plan for plateaus or even dips with young writers? Aimee Buckner finds it's all about commitment.

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.

Student-Led Conferences from Many Perspectives

Jennifer Schwanke and Franki Sibberson share four perspectives on student-led conferences — teacher, principal, student, and parent.

Word Study Literacy Team Meeting

An elementary literacy team discusses word learning in the context of student assessment results as part of a yearlong inquiry into word study.

Avoiding Implementation Through Lamination

Jennifer Schwanke questions the routines of how wall displays are used in classrooms.

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.

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