Results
Short Research Projects in the Intermediate Grades

VIDEO: Katherine Sokolowski meets briefly with a group of fifth-grade girls to go through the notes they are taking for their environmental studies project and talk through next steps. ARTICLE:...

Building Interest Through Artifacts

Far too many of my students have not been out of the town in which they live. If they have, it has been to visit a relative or attend an...

Magic Connections: Young Adult Literature in a Social Studies Class

When my students come into my room at the beginning of the year and all of the introductions are done, school supplies for the year are discussed, and general rules...

Jane Goodall Inquiry: Introducing Expectations

At the start of the school year I like to ease my students into the type of learning we will do throughout the year. In seventh grade we share text,...

A Fresh Take on Persuasive Writing

Can I persuade you to take a fresh look at teaching persuasive writing? This genre has become a pet peeve of mine. It is time to bring it up to...

Reading That Changes Us

This year, inspired by Kelly Gallagher’s “Article of the Week” activity, our seventh graders started reading a weekly nonfiction article. This weekly reading has many benefits, including building background knowledge,...

Readers’ Guides: Helping Students Think About Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.  Teachers are often waging a small...

Content and Context

For years, my tennis partner tried to get me to change the grip on my forehand volley. She’d rotate my hand, we’d hit a few, and then we’d move into...

Group Meeting: Sharing Resources for Animal Study

Katherine Sokolowski helps her fifth-grade students expand their territory for their animal research projects by sharing information sources and peer connections.  

My World Maps

What we do is who we are. I repeat this phrase often as I think about a project I’m starting with first-year teachers in grades 4-6. What we do is...

Building a Next-Read Nonfiction Stack

Katherine Sokolowski helps fifth grader Jack build a next-read stack of nonfiction, highlighting a variety of text features and historical references.  

Literacy and Global Competence

We must build students’ global connectedness as if our lives depended on it.                                             Homa Sabet Tavangar I recently worked with an intermediate student who was upset because, he said,...

Backward Chaining

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working in a fifth-grade classroom throughout a research-based essay unit. My focus has been on a group of six students who were far...

Building Stronger Wordsmiths

Relative location, longitude, scale, prime meridian, cardinal directions. What do all these terms have in common? These words and several more will be the focus of an upcoming fifth-grade social...

More Nonfiction Read Alouds

Every year I plan to read aloud more nonfiction to students. And every year I do—but just a little more. I have worked hard over the last five years to...

Reflecting on the L

Michelle came up to me after reading an article about tenement living in 1890s Chicago in my eighth-grade social studies class and said, “I think I learned from the article,...

Exploring Text Features

Melanie Meehan works with a small group to talk through how nonfiction text features might enhance their informational writing.  

Environment Small Group: Habitat

Katherine Sokolowski leads a small group of fifth graders who have chosen similar topics for their environment projects.

The Ocean Research Project: From Launch to Celebration in 10 Days

For the past few years I have attempted to make it so that research is not a one-and-done endeavor in our fifth-grade reading and writing class. Throughout the year I...

Research Through Picture Books

“Mrs. S, I can’t find anything in this book. Can I just use the iPad?” Blake closed his book in frustration. This is an all-too-common refrain in my classroom during...

Environmental Group Notes

Katherine Sokolowski meets briefly with a group of fifth-grade girls to go through the notes they are taking for their environmental studies project and talk through next steps.