Big Question Minilesson

Katherine Sokolowski models how readers make choices as questions arise while reading independently, and demonstrates how she moves between a novel and Web resources.    

Keeping Minilessons Short

Ten minutes go by fast when I’m doing a minilesson. Therefore, I’m always excited when I come up with a strategy that gets students off the rug and to their...

The Importance of Context Minilesson

Christy Rush-Levine shares a vivid anecdote with her middle school students to highlight the importance of context in literary analysis.  

Quick-Write with a Video Prompt

Katherine Sokolowski refreshes the quick-write routine in her fifth-grade classroom by using a video as a prompt.    

Planning for a Narrative Writing Unit of Study

When we take a vacation to Disney World, our family has almost as much fun planning the trip as we do going on it. Once we decide how we’ll get...

First-Grade Minilesson: Reading Like Writers

Bitsy Parks teaches her first graders early in the year how to read like writers, highlighting examples from favorite mentor texts.  

Minilesson: Writing a Mentor Text

In this minilesson, Gigi McAllister uses her own writing as a model for adding character traits to a draft.  

Teaching Students to Start at the Right Place

I read a lot of student writing. Somehow, no matter how many years students have heard about small moments, they fall into the trap of making stories longer by making...

Minilesson on Facts and Sources

Katherine Sokolowski presents a minilesson to fifth graders on ferreting out facts while completing independent research projects.

Increasing Student Engagement During Minilessons

It can be challenging to engage children in our minilessons. Sometimes those challenges arise because of behavior issues—there’s the syndrome when as soon as you address one student’s behavior, another...

Celebrating Completed Books and Presenting New Ones

Gigi McAllister shares a quick daily routine of asking students to celebrate books they have finished reading before she introduces a new book to her fourth-grade class.  

Teaching Revision Strategies: Introduction and Modeling

Heather Rader introduces a strategy for peer conferring over revision in fifth grade in this first installment of a two-part video series.    

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.

Debating How to Begin Stories

Last week, I read Eli’s piece over his shoulder. He had the classic beginning: It was a beautiful November day at the zipline park. He continued his piece with this:...

Understanding Character Traits: Part 2

Jason DiCarlo leads a lesson in a third-grade classroom about understanding character traits. He continues the lesson with a read-aloud of the book Henry’s Freedom Box. This is the second...

Understanding Character Traits Lesson

Jason DiCarlo leads a lesson in a third-grade classroom about understanding character traits. He begins with a discussion of decisions characters make. This is the first video in a three-part...

Engaging a Room Full of Third Graders

In one of the classrooms, whenever I teach, and whenever I observe, and whenever their teacher and I teach together, we have a room full of quiet, compliant kids. But...

Ways into Personal Narratives

I’ve always picked personal narratives as our first big writing piece in fifth grade. My students are typically familiar enough with what a narrative is that I can dive in...

Understanding Fiction and Nonfiction in First Grade

This is a demonstration lesson in a first-grade classroom on understanding the difference between fiction and nonfiction led by Erin Quealy. It is the first video in a three-part series....

Choices for Paragraphs

Over the last month, I have been working with a third-grade teacher to help her students understand the concept of paragraphing. They have been working within an opinion unit, so...

Launching a Punctuation Study in Second Grade

Linda Karamatic begins a punctuation study with her second graders, sharing mentor texts, starting an anchor chart, and engaging students in punctuation inquiry partnerships.