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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.

Mentor Text Craft Guides

Melanie Meehan helps students see the craft moves in mentor texts by tucking brief guides into many of her favorite children’s books in the classroom library.

Reinforcing Workshop Norms

In this quick video, Dana Murphy shows how she leads her fifth graders with a kinesthetic reminder of these norms before beginning independent work.

Fifth-Grade Small Group: Paragraphs

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to help students develop paragraphing skills, using a peer’s mentor text.

Mastering Conventions

Even eight-year-olds are expected to master a dozen or more conventions. Melanie Meehan shares a process for helping students focus on the small steps needed to master any convention with peer support.

Writing Endings Minilesson in Fifth Grade

A classic anchor text for many teachers is Charlotte’s Web. In this week’s video, Dana Murphy seamlessly integrates a brief excerpt from it into a writing minilesson on endings in her fifth-grade classroom.

When Learning Gets Tricky, Go Back to the Pigs

Whenever a tricky literary concept comes up, Tammy Mulligan finds herself returning to a favorite mentor text to guide students. She explains the value of shared simple stories for understanding complicated literary elements.

Helping Students Understand What Works for Them

Want students to become more independent? Melanie Meehan recommends you take each student through a reflective process to figure out what learning processes and habits work for them.

Whole-Class Reflection in Middle School

Mark Levine explains why whole-class reflection is an essential component of his middle school workshops.

Managing Independent Projects (SHORTS)

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills continue their series on independent projects with nuts and bolts advice on management.

Building a Professional Library from Scratch (SHORTS)

There are so many new professional books available for literacy leaders to purchase…and so little funding to buy them. Shari Frost gives the details of how one coach surveyed colleagues, assessed needs, and rooted out bargains before spending the precious $500 allocated for stocking the professional book library.

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.

Strategic Seating

Mark Levine finds that good seating design in middle school isn’t just about where you place furniture—it’s about negotiating with students.

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.

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