The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size. Gertrude S. Wister
It’s that wonderful week when we get to turn the page in the calendar and celebrate the arrival of spring. We’ve had quite a few weeks of bone-crunching cold this winter in Maine. No matter that the facts are it’s been warmer than usual for much of the season. Mother Nature has plenty of experience at fooling us, and she’s put it to good use this year.
If spring is here, it means that it is time for our annual installment of our favorite articles from the previous year. You’ve voted with your clicks, and all the pieces are open access. Enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
Ruth Ayres gives her best advice for honing your conferring skills with this succinct list of tips for better conferences.
Shari Frost finds that the See-Think-Wonder activity is great to use as a “bell ringer,” as well as throughout the day to promote deeper thinking and engagement.
Christy Rush-Levine explains why she stocks some books in her middle school classroom library that can provoke concerns from families, and how she deals with conflicts.
Melanie Meehan shares five quick tips for increasing student engagement during minilessons.
Tara Barnett and Kate Mills help young writers move away from seeing editing as “adding more details” and toward developing more specific language for the revision process.
Franki Sibberson realizes there are some bad days in literacy workshops that hold no great life lessons for teachers and students, and that is okay.
Gigi McAllister tries student-led discussion groups in her fourth-grade classroom, with disastrous results. She regroups the following year with multiple lessons, anchor charts, and preparation to ensure success.
Stephanie Affinito explains how to use student checklists in literacy intervention.
Bitsy Parks designs her first-grade classroom library for “gradual release” throughout the school year in a way that allows students to build book-browsing skills.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris are rethinking questions used in one-on-one reading conferences.
We hope you’ll make our online course program part of your personal improvement plan this spring. Instructors include Ruth Ayres, Katherine Sokolowski, Dana Murphy and many others. Topics in the self-paced classes include student research projects, smarter reading conferences, and better coaching cycles. Members receive discounts of 20-40% on course fees, and nonmembers receive three-month trial memberships to the website.
That’s all for this week!