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Student-Led Conferences from Many Perspectives

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

Conferring over Motivation and Genre

Christy Rush-Levine confers with Griffin over his reading responses. They consider the differences between Dystopian literature, realistic fiction, and what motivates characters.

Building Interest Through Artifacts

Mark Levine has many students who haven’t traveled much more than 100 miles from home. He makes history come to life for them by bringing artifacts into his middle school classroom.

Historical Fiction Background Folders

Tara Smith finds students in book clubs reading historical fiction are often confused because they lack background knowledge. Her solution is to create background folders that include key documents to support the history in the texts.

Interpretation and Comprehension

Teaching comprehension skills can be a complex and overwhelming task. Tammy Mulligan shares a process for expanding and deepening student interpretations of text.

Book Selection for Early and Emergent Readers

Some emergent readers happily browse for books and explore them independently. For others, it’s a struggle. Cathy Mere shares her favorite strategies for helping all readers get comfortable with selecting books on their own.

Fifth-Grade Group: Understanding Characters

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth grades to explore character development in their reading.

Building Primary Writing Skills Through Character Study

Jennifer Allen upends the normal routines in a primary writing workshop to introduce students to a compelling character.

First Graded Guided Group: Reading Practice and Recap

Melissa Atwood leads a first-grade guided reading group. This is the second video in a two-part series.

Making Learning Stick: Learning Progressions and Student-Created Exemplars

Tammy Mulligan explains the process of having students analyze and create models of good writing and analysis for assessing themselves and peers.

Remembering the Big Picture in Reading Assessments

Kate Mills notes her own miscues in reading a bedtime story to her young children, and thinks about what that means for analyzing the running records of readers in primary classrooms.

Can a High-Stakes Assessment Create Readers?

Stephanie Affinito encounters an unexpected byproduct of testing for her son—the uninterrupted reading time waiting for others to finish builds a good habit. She shares how teachers might reclaim ten minutes a day for independent reading.

Teaching Constructed Response Before Exams

Teaching the genre of tests can seem far removed from writing workshop. Matt Renwick explores how to teach constructed response in a way that is integrated with the tenets of good workshop instruction.

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.

First Graded Guided Group: Chunking Words

Melissa Atwood leads a first-grade guided reading group.  The focus at the start of the lesson is on chunking words. This is the first video in a two-part series.

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.

Journals or Writers’ Notebooks?

Journals? Writers’ Notebooks? Shari Frost shares tips and strategies for explaining the difference between the two for teachers, as well as professional development resources.

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.

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