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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.

Pausing for Renewal Throughout the Day

Stella Villalba shares three strategies teachers and literacy coaches can use to pause, re-center, and renew themselves throughout busy stressful days in schools.

Choice Literacy Writing Guidelines

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

Using Humor to Teach Parts of Speech

Teaching parts of speech is viewed as dreary work for most teachers. Melanie Meehan shares how you can infuse some fun into it with a little bit of humor.

Supporting Students as They Exit Intervention with Series Books

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills write about the power of series books in helping young readers build skills and independence as they exit intervention programs.

Engaging Students with Humor

Mark Levine finds humor is the “secret sauce” in engaging middle school students and including introverts in the classroom community.

First-Grade Reading Conference: Coaxing and Supporting

Bitsy Parks helps first grader Sophia tackle the tough job of making meaning and decoding words early in the year with lots of encouragement and good humor.

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.

Literary Analysis in Eighth Grade: Conferring

Christy Rush-Levine helps Alyssa draft her literary analysis essay.

Navigating the Interpretation Process

Tammy Mulligan shares how she introduces students to the process of interpreting literature at different grade and developmental levels.

Student Ownership of Literary Analysis

Christy Rush-Levine shares the strategies she uses to help her middle school students take ownership of their literary analysis essays.

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.

Getting Students in the Learning Zone

The zone of proximal development (or ZPD) is the sweet spot for learning—just enough challenge with just enough support to take on the challenge. Melanie Meehan shares how teachers can create scaffolds in their classrooms that help students find their own ZPDs.

Fifth-Grade Reading Conference: Previewing

Dana Murphy confers with Krisha over her reading, talking about the value of using the back cover for previewing.

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.

Reading Conference: Connections to Home

In this conference in Christy Rush-Levine’s eighth-grade classroom, Jaden is reading a book that mixes math with basketball, an activity he enjoys at home.

Keeping Parent Communication Open in Middle School

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find that they have to change the way they think about connecting with families once students reach middle school.

Second-Grade Conference: Illustrations and Frames

Ruth Ayres confers with second grader Reagan about writing she is revising for publication about a class trip to the zoo that included her grandmother. Ruth introduces her to the concept of frames in illustrations, using an example from a picture book.

Making Our Writing Public

Jennifer Allen shares a project student writers complete with support from a local college to make writing public and widen the net for feedback.

Observing Skilled Readers

Mark Levine wonders why his most some of his most skilled readers take the most time to get through texts. So he asks them, and gets some fascinating answers he uses to assist struggling students.

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.

Family Literacy Breakfasts

Jennifer Allen explains how family literacy breakfasts bring the whole school community together through a special event with published authors.

First-Grade Conference: Repeated Phrases in Writing

Bitsy Parks confers with Michael about his gingerbread man writing. She encourages him to use a repeated phrase in the writing, echoing a whole-class lesson on repeated phrases.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Accountability for Young Writers

Stella Villalba teaches young writers about writer’s craft. So how come evidence of learning from the minilessons isn’t showing up when she confers with her students? She decides to develop a plan to help students link craft lessons with their writing.

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.

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