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Words Chart Minilesson

Ruth Ayres introduces a word chart to help students monitor their spelling strategies in this second-grade minilesson.  

Modeling Annotation in 8th Grade

Katie Baydo-Reed models how to annotate text for her eighth graders.  

Second-Grade Minilesson on Capital Letters

Ruth Ayres gives a brief minilesson on the use of capital letters to a class of second graders.

Finding Topics in Writer’s Notebooks Minilesson

Sean Moore shares the importance of using a writer’s notebook to discover topics in this minilesson with his second-grade students from early in the year.  

Thinking About Theme

“So WHY did I read that story? What was its purpose? What was its meaning?” These were the bigger questions that were difficult for my students to answer at times,...

Using Wonderopolis in Classrooms

Franki Sibberson uses the website Wonderopolis with her fourth-grade students. By modeling how to navigate the site, she encourages her students to use the web in more thoughtful ways.

Two Lessons for Teaching Theme

I want students to know how to find theme in any fiction they are reading, and to be aware of the critical devices authors use to tell their story and...

The Art of the Book Talk

Book talks are a big part of our classroom and a critical part of our independent reading program. It is through book talks that I have created a frenzy over...

Whole-Class Research Planning

Andrea Smith leads her fourth graders through brainstorming for their owl research project.  

Writing Leads Minilesson

Karen Terlecky uses mentor texts and an analogy to help students analyze leads in this minilesson from her fifth-grade classroom.

Kindergarten I-Pick Lesson

Mandy Robek presents a two-minute reminder minilesson to her kindergartners on the "I-Pick" strategy for selecting books during independent reading time.

Fourth Grade Writing Workshop Minilesson on Focusing

Franki Sibberson shares some tips and strategies with her fourth graders from the web for focusing and organizing their writing.

The Sponge Summary Lesson: Introduction

Heather Rader teaches a fourth-grade class, using the analogy of a sponge to explain how summaries work. In this video, the students review the four rules used for nonfiction summaries and corresponding kinesthetic movements and brainstorm a list of “what’s important to know about summaries.”

Launching a Fiction Writing Unit with Fifth Graders

Towards the end of the school year my students start to get a little bit antsy. I try to find units to teach in reading and writing that give them...

5th Grade Sentence Observation

Karen Terlecky leads students through a sentence study routine in her 5th grade classroom.

Using Shared Writing to Build Argument Skills

Belinda was feeling rather discouraged. She had just finished reading drafts of her students’ argumentative writing. After several minilessons and conferences, most of her fourth graders were still not supporting...

Subheading Literacy: Nothing “Sub” About It

Subheadings do a lot of work in informational text; they are crucial comprehension touchstones. Similar to chapter headings, white space, and illustrations in narrative text, subheadings alert us to pause,...

Keeping Track of Questions

Questions fill my journals. When my 14-year-old daughter regularly tells me I ask too many questions, my partner nods knowingly. My treks out-of-doors always start with a small spiral notebook...

Shared Reading in the Intermediate Grades

I know what you’re thinking when you hear the words shared reading. Kindergartners are sitting “criss-cross applesauce” on a colorful ABC rug in front of a big book version of...

10 Principles for Planning Reading Minilessons

For a while, minilessons didn’t seem to fit into my bigger goals of the reading workshop. I realized a few years ago that I was often going through the motions...

Kindergarten I-Pick Minilesson

Mandy Robek presents a two-minute reminder minilesson to her kindergartners on the I-Pick strategy for selecting books during independent reading time.