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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.

Literacy Room for Teachers Tour

In this four-minute video tour, Jennifer Allen describes how she arranges and displays materials in the “Literacy Room,” the space that has become invaluable in supporting teachers’ professional development in literacy instruction.

Under, Over and Beyond Words: Strategies for Observing Talk in Classrooms

This article offers possibilities for observing classrooms focused on talk as an alternative to traditional observation notes.

Creative Literacy Events for Families

Brenda Power suggests formats for events that build stronger home-school connections.

Tools to Redesign Your Classroom (TEMPLATES)

Whether it’s time to set up a classroom space from scratch or reorganize space that isn’t meeting needs, The Sisters have the tools you need.

Adjectives to Anecdotes: Writing Better Report Card Comments

Brenda Power helps report card comment writers pack a punch in a few lines with positivity, honesty and some time-saving tips.

Alphabet Books for English Language Learners

Ruth Shagoury lists a variety of books with languages and scripts far beyond the ABCs to connect school and home languages.

Reorganizing the Classroom Library

In this time-lapse video, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser help Carrie, a second-year teacher, begin to organize her classroom library according to themes and traffic patterns in the classroom.

Lighting Redesign from the Sisters

In this five-minute time-lapse video, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser redesign the lighting in their colleague Ahnsaly’s literacy meeting area.

Shopping With Ana: Expanding Our Definition of “Just Right” Books in Grades K-2

Franki Sibberson learns from her daughter about emerging readers and book choice.

Puzzle Kids: Observing and Analyzing Challenging Students (E-GUIDE)

This E-Guide provides teachers with a tool to analyze children who need additional observation and analysis to create successful learning opportunities.

Conferring with Yourself: A Tool for Anticipating Response (TEMPLATE)

Take time for this quick write and Brenda Power will have you conferring with yourself, considering new viewpoints and thoughtfully preparing for your "yeah but" colleagues.

Launching Teacher Study Groups: Guidelines and Resources

Jennifer Allen’s years of experience with teacher study groups has led her to best practices that make it “safe and easy” for teachers to learn from each other.

Comprehending Graphic Novels: A Primer for Teachers

Mary Lee Hahn provides a quick primer for teachers new to graphic novels, as well as suggestions for using these novels to teach comprehension.

Numbering and Arranging Classroom Library Bins

In this video, “The Sisters” (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser) help experienced teacher Kelly create a numbering system for her classroom library.

The Sisters Redesign a New Teacher’s Storage Area

The Sisters help a new teacher, Amy, sort through junk she inherited from previous occupants of her classroom. The video uses time-lapse videography to show how the coat, storage, and book area is transformed in the process of winnowing down these materials.

Literacy Coach Confidential: What Can I Do About Poor Attendance at My Study Group?

When attendance drops in study groups, here are some ways to get it back on track (or take a new direction entirely).

Writing to Reflect: Quotes for Quick Writing, Reflection, and Discussion (E-GUIDE)

This e-guide includes ten different quotes from a range of educators, activists, authors, and innovators for reflection at all times of the year.

What Are the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies?

Terms like thinking or comprehension strategies get thrown around a lot, but what do we really mean? Brenda Power helps define seven strategies to build common language and understanding.

Two-Column Notes (E-GUIDE)

The Two-Column Notes eGuide has 18 different options for notes in professional development settings.  These templates are helpful to use in staff meetings and study groups while watching videos, or to focus observations during classroom visits

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