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.

Big Idea: First-Grade Lesson

Bitsy Parks introduces her first graders to the concept of theme.    

Shared Writing in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek guides her kindergartners through a shared-writing activity.  

Read Aloud: Vocabulary and Retelling Strategies

Stella Villalba scaffolds the language development of her first- and second-grade English language learners during read-aloud by highlighting vocabulary and providing a tool to assist with a partner retelling activity.

Giving Students a Notebook Tour

I don’t remember ever having a writer’s notebook in elementary school. Sometimes, I look at our students and my daughters with their writer’s notebooks and I wish I had a...

Organizing Craft Minilessons

Harvesting minilesson ideas from children’s books is valuable for instruction during a writing conference or for whole-group minilessons. Over the years, I’ve developed a system for keeping track of writer’s...

Integrating Short Videos into Minilessons

Our classroom was quiet and dark. The students who had started our minilesson by being spread out and relaxed had pulled closer to the screen and were leaning in. I...

How to Notice: Mining Children’s Books for Craft Minilessons

The library is a favorite place of mine, where books are everywhere. A gold mine of minilessons waits to be found. I love to dig into the words, carefully searching...

Finding Craft Minilessons in the Children’s Books You Love

I remember when I first learned about writing workshop. The philosophy of allowing children to grow in their writing by choosing their own topics, creating text with an inner purpose,...

Making Space: Entering Lessons Mindfully

If you enter a physical space, such as your home, with your right foot (literally), the act of pausing, deliberating, focusing—even if just for a few seconds—helps you focus on...

Introducing Onomatopoeia Minilesson

Christi Overman introduces onomatopoeia to her second graders in this brief minilesson.

Understanding Study: Noticing Pictures

On a warm afternoon in late September, it was time to begin our first unit in writing workshop. I was a little nervous that my first graders might not be...

Endings Minilesson with Second Graders

Cathy Laker uses her own writing as a mentor text with her second-grade students to demonstrate options for endings.  

Manipulating Time: Fourth-Grade Writing Minilesson

Tony Keefer uses his writing as a mentor text in this fourth-grade minilesson on manipulating time in personal narratives.

Owl Research Word Study

Andrea Smith links vocabulary learning with content study in her owl research unit with fourth graders.  

Expanding the Literacy Classroom with Flipped Minilessons

When I first heard about the “flipped” classroom learning model, I was absolutely against it. I could not wrap my mind around the idea that watching a video at home...

Word Observations

I am racing down the highway, traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to San Diego, California.  Jagged mountain peaks, desert fauna, the Mexico/California border fence and periodically a town provide a backdrop...

Bridge to Comprehension Minilesson

Deb Gaby uses images of a bridge to help second graders understand the importance of pausing and reflecting while reading.

“Article of the Week” Activity in Fourth Grade

Tony Keefer demonstrates how the article-of-the-week activity adapted from the work of Kelly Gallagher is a powerful tool for building skills and community in his fourth-grade classroom.

Rereading and Retelling to Inferring: Part 2

Linda Karamatic uses texts her second graders already know to build their inferring skills as they construct a chart together.  

Exploring Inferring with Second Graders: Part 1

Linda Karamatic uses read alouds to begin the process of building an inferring chart with her second-grade students.