Results
Status of the Class: Reflecting on Reading Communities

I have used information from some sort of “status of the class” for most of my teaching years. Asking students at the beginning of reading workshop what they are reading...

A Better Status of the Class

The room was calm and quiet on this Thursday afternoon. Students were settling in to their reading spots and their books. The next 30 minutes would be dedicated to independent...

Releasing the Teaching to Students

I have watched my students grow in many ways since the beginning of the school year. They have picked up various skills, understand the standards and their use more competently,...

Forming Groups Using a Planner

It was late October, and I was feeling great about my one-on-one reading conferences. I was listening more than I was talking, taking succinct but valuable notes, and feeling like...

Don’t Forget to Marvel

“You’re here!” Lora Bieghler said as she bounced into my office. “I’m so glad, because I want you to see this first-grade response to Freckle Juice.” Lora’s arms were full...

Think Small

“Think small” is my new motto. It helps me handle the complicated too-muchness of it all.                                                     Maira Kalman (from And the Pursuit of Happiness) This year, when selecting a...

Secret Reader

I stay modest ’bout it, aye, she elaborate it, aye. —Kendrick Lamar, from “Humble” “I have a secret reader in my class,” Betsy told us at a recent professional development...

Assessing in the Midst: Using Charts and Exit Slips

Melanie Meehan shares some ways teachers can press the pause button in the midst of teaching to assess whether they are teaching the right lesson at the right time. The...

Google It!

“Mom, you’re awesome!” Jordan said as he bounded into the house after wrestling practice. Since Jordan is a teenager, I definitely didn’t let his sweet words go to my head....

Mindful Test-Taking

Have you ever lost yourself in a great book and become unaware of the sounds and events happening around you? Have you ever seen a child so engaged in playing...

Building Habits with Short-Term Goals

During the first two of weeks of writing this school year, we were busy teaching “gathering” minilessons to help students fill their heads and notebooks with writing. Since our first...

Reset

I am spoiled by my DVR. I can sit down and watch my favorite shows whenever I want. I can even skip over commercial breaks. However, every now and then,...

When Students Set Intentions

One of the things my yoga instructor always says at the beginning of class is “Set an intention.” Our intention could be to focus, or maybe to work on a...

Avoiding Flat Tires

This spring, I discovered a colossal flat tire on my bike. Not the kind that an air compressor will help, either—the tire, ripped and frayed, didn’t even adhere to the...

Rethinking Spring Assessments

It’s May, and with that comes an unsettled, uneasy feeling stemming from a whole cluster of things: the culmination of a year’s worth of teaching and learning, a limited amount...

Looking Forward with Students

Remember those first weeks of school? That time when you felt like the current class would never understand the classroom routines, and you went home exhausted from the effort of...

Puppy Chow

My little, old dog: a heartbeat at my feet.                                Edith Wharton One of the most essential teaching moves I make didn’t have a name until Jennifer Gonzalez “verbed” the...

Reimagining Reading Logs

“Henry, are you enjoying Mr. Popper’s Penguins?” Kate asked. She was in a third-grade classroom leading some small groups during a fiction reading unit of study. As she was coaching...

Meaningful Data

As I write this, I am in the season of becoming a runner again. Running is not something that is natural for me—either in inclination or ability. It is also...

Asking Students to Grade Themselves

During a recent field hockey game, my daughter, who is a senior on the team, was constantly on the receiving end of the referee’s whistle. “What was I doing?” she...

Leveraging Reading Assessment Benchmarks

As any primary or upper elementary teacher of reading workshop knows, reading benchmark assessments is incredibly time-consuming, often taking us away from precious conferring time. The importance of administering them...