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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.

Classroom Tours: Learning from Colleagues

Barbara Coleman finds classroom tours are a terrific professional development activity early in the year, fostering unexpected collaboration among colleagues.

Writing Workshop Teacherisms

Jennifer Jones reflects upon the “teacherisms” in writing workshops — the language we use that defines our values and routines.

Teaching Punctuation Through Shared Reading in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek explains with a video example how “interruptions” from students can deepen the shared reading experience. In this case, her kindergarten class is exploring punctuation.

Using Skype in the Classroom

Katherine Sokolowski has suggestions for Skype use in classrooms, covering everything from student etiquette to special events.

A Just-Right Lesson for Just-Right Books

Melissa Styger finds she needs to make changes to her just-right book lesson to meet the needs of her third-grade students.

Prompting and Support: Understanding the Language of the Common Core in Kindergarten

The words prompting and support appear often in the kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Mandy Robek analyzes what prompting and support looks and sounds like in her kindergarten classroom by using a video example.

Name Practice in Kindergarten

Max Brand uses a name chart with his kindergarten English language learners to teach letters and sounds, and build community.

Organizing Materials to Support Literacy Learning (Classroom Design Series Part 3)

Ann Marie Corgill shares how she organizes materials for literacy learning in the third installment of her design series.

In Praise of Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes have timeless appeal, and great value for teachers and literacy leaders.

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.

First Day of School Read-Alouds with Global and Multicultural Perspectives

Welcome your students to school by honoring their cultures — this diverse list is just right for diverse classrooms.

A Hand to Hold: Crying and Community in Preschool

Sometimes it takes a village to help a preschooler feel a part of the group, especially one who cries almost all the time. Kelly Petrin finds her young students have more empathy and resiliency than she imagined when she enlists their support.

Inside and Outside Views Minilesson

Ruth Ayres leads a minilesson in second grade on inside/outside views — what’s happening objectively (on the outside) vs. emotions (on the inside).  The terms are a good starting point for helping young students distinguish between facts and opinions.

Philanthropy and Literacy: Wrap-Up

In this second video in a two-part series, Beth Honeycutt and Rita Schaeffer help their eighth-grade students understand the concept of philanthropy.

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