Teacher-as-Writing-Model Minilesson in Fourth Grade

Beth Lawson shares her writing process, as well as the emotions and struggles writers face, with her fourth-grade students.  

Poetry and Fluency Minilesson in Second Grade

Sean Moore uses poetry for a short minilesson on fluency, and then follows with a partner share and vocabulary discussion. The poem Sean reads with the children is The Busy...

Beyond Text Features in Nonfiction Instruction

When I think back to my past teaching connected to nonfiction reading, I often (no matter the grade) did a unit on nonfiction text features. We worked for a few...

Transitions Are Like Underwear

“I don’t need you to confirm or deny this, but I’m pretty sure you are all wearing underwear right now.” The fifth-grade students looked up from their journals quickly. “We...

Using Comics in Literacy Workshops

Franki Sibberson works with her 3rd and 4th graders to use comics in the literacy workshop. Students study a variety of comics and list common attributes in small- and whole-group settings.

Touchy Topics for Opinion/Argumentative Writing

Many teachers have asked me for lists of arguable topics that appeal to kids. While I have some personal favorites, I offer this scaffolding to plan so they develop something...

A Graphic Novels Unit in 5th Grade

I recently tried a new unit in my classroom. I had read Terry Thompson’s Adventures in Graphica last summer. While I have always celebrated graphic novels and encouraged my students...

Previewing and Picture Walks with Fiction Texts

If nothing else, children should leave school with a sense that if they act, and act strategically, they can accomplish their goals.  I call this feeling a sense of agency....

Helping Students Develop Independent Previewing Skills

Franki Sibberson leads a group of 15 of her fourth graders in a lesson on finding books using Web-based resources.    

A Picture Walk in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.  

Just Write More

I’m a word counter.  I don’t count the number of words my students write, but I love watching the word counter at the bottom of my document as I write...

Teaching the Rule of Three to Writers

There are some stories that are easy to remember — we pass them on to our children and grandchildren from memory.  I’m not sure I ever read The Three Little...

Second-Grade Writing: Adding Details and Descriptive Language

In this first video from a four-part series, Sean Moore leads a writing workshop focused on adding more details and descriptive language to writing. He begins with the classic Charlotte’s...

Quick Sketch Practice

Linda Karamatic uses quick sketches to teach her second graders about sensory images in reading. This is the second installment in a two-part series.  

Quick Sketch Sensory Images Read Aloud: Introduction

Linda Karamatic uses quick sketches to teach her second graders about sensory images in reading. This is the first installment in a two-part series.  

Picture Reading in First Grade

In this read-aloud lesson from Katie DiCesare's first-grade classroom, Katie demonstrates the importance of picture reading using the picture book The Zoo by Suzy Lee. Because the students need the pictures to help understand the characters, setting and events, they are able to see how pictures help us “think in the story” and “figure out the words.”

Writing Workshop: Preparing for Publication

Beth Lawson helps her fourth-grade students work through a checklist of items to prepare for publishing early in the fall.  

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.  

The Blank Page and Better Teaching

I would be a better teacher if. . .      Have you ever thought these words? I would be a better teacher if . . . I’m sure everyone has...

Interactive Read Alouds to Support Struggling Readers

Do you remember using a kickboard when you were learning how to swim? The kickboard kept you afloat and allowed you to concentrate on your kicking. You didn’t have to...

Writing, Graphic Organizers, and Mentor Texts

In this video from Sean Moore’s second-grade classroom, Sean demonstrates how to use a graphic organizer with his own writing as the mentor text.