Results
Putting the “Gradual” Back into Gradual Release of Responsibility

You know you have heard a great keynote speech when a few lines stay with you months after the conference has ended. This happened for us recently. Doug Fisher was...

Picking a Partner: Demonstration Lesson and Debrief

In this demonstration lesson from a K-2 classroom, Joan Moser leads students through guided practice in picking a partner.

Listen In: Magnifying a Moment in Writing

Sometimes using a prop can help young students understand a revision strategy. Heather Rader helps second grader Sammi understand how to "magnify" a moment when revising her writing.

Word Nerds

Write down a synonym for the following words or use them in a sentence if you can: 1.  girn 2.  fug 3.  hircine 4.  yerd 5. sesamoid Did you try...

Just-Right Poetry and Individualizing Instruction

One of the challenges of teaching is finding the right books and materials to address specific instructional goals. Once a teacher has found the perfect book to help his or...

Peer Conferring: The Release Phase

Last summer I read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. If you ran into me at the pool up the road, at a professional development class, or even at the...

Thank You For Arguing

Often when I consider a fun, fresh way to connect students to a new strategy or subject matter, my own children are a great frame of reference because they love...

Word Count

At the beginning of the year, one of the physical education teachers in my school district was training for a 100-mile race.  At the same time I was returning to...

I Love a Good Argument

It’s been interesting to watch the genesis of teachers’ relationships with opinion and argumentative writing this year. For many of the intermediate teachers I work with, it began with distinguishing...

Peer Conferring: The “Try It On” Phase

Mercy Watson is always causing trouble, but I don’t think she means to. She doesn’t always know what she’s doing.                                                                      Abby, age 6 “I love Roald Dahl books,...

Staying Child-Centered When You Work with Adults

A hesitation can be a teachable moment. Occasionally my daughter asks me if I miss teaching kindergarten students. My answer is always the same: I pause, gaze off in the...

Peer Conferring: The Modeling Phase

Lucy Calkins makes no bones about it: “Research is really clear that even just five minutes of conversation about books ramps up comprehension.” It’s those three words ramps up comprehension...

Conferring for Conventions (Conventions Series Part 5)

Take your age and subtract five. That’s approximately the number of years you’ve been working with conventions in your writing. For me that number is 35. For 35 years I’ve...

Staying Focused in Literacy Workshops

Clare Landrigan meets with a group of four 5th graders to talk about goal setting in reading workshop. Each student leaves with a specific goal for their reading.

Aligning the Common Core and Conventions Instruction (Conventions Series Part 4)

Our group of three intermediate teachers was making clear progress in our plans for convention instruction. Meg, a first-year teacher, was growing in her confidence to notice what was “working...

Between Inquiry and Instruction (Conventions Series Part 3)

I’ve been working with a team of intermediate teachers to develop a plan for teaching conventions. It’s a small but diverse group, and we’ve already worked together to find time...

Concise, Conversational, and Consistent: Explaining the Work of Literacy Coaches

I get asked questions about my job in a variety of ways: “So you’re a teacher?” “I heard you’re a coach. What sport?” And my recent favorite: “Then you get...

Finding a Fit (The Power of Conventions Series)

While students whizzed through fill-in-the-blanks worksheets and circled the correct number of nouns in a sentence, when the opportunity came for students to apply what they learned to their drafts...

Coaching in Kindergarten: Conferring

What's in a name? For kindergartner Maria, it's the start of learning how letters and sounds work. In this coaching session, Joan Moser of "The Sisters" helps Daniel understand how to use a child's name as a beginning point for teaching letters and sounds.

Listen In: About the Author

Heather Rader confers with second grader Myia over the “About the Author” piece she’s started on her own. Together they study mentor texts and generate attributes of good author biographies to lift the quality of Myia’s writing.

Introducing the Writing Common Core Standards: Planning for Professional Development

When I began to plan for how introducing the Common Core State Standards in Writing with a key group of leaders in our district, I kept these words of wisdom...