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Reading and Thinking Aloud in Middle School

I was walking around my classroom as my eighth-grade students were taking turns reading parts of a secondary-source historical piece on the aftereffects of the French and Indian War. I...

The Third (or More) Time Is the Charm

Remember the Where’s Waldo? books you used to look at as a kid? Do you think you’d be able to find Waldo—let alone take in all the other details—if you...

Student Notes: Slow Down and Think

Fifth-grader Orion uses sticky notes to make questions and predictions at the end of each chapter.    

Student Notes: Reading for Writing

Reagan, a fifth grader in Franki Sibberson's class, explains how she uses sticky notes to flag examples of writer's craft she could use in her own writing.  

Splashing Around to Find Themes

I discovered by accident a new approach to teaching students how to determine the theme of a text. After the study of any story or poem, I was accustomed to...

Student Notes: Reminders for Later

In this installment of our note-taking series from Franki Sibberson's fifth-grade classroom, Sarah marks important elements early in the mystery she is reading, so she can easily refer to them...

Student Notes: Keeping Track of Many Characters

Tre uses lots of sticky notes to sort through and keep track of characters in The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, a book with a whole classroom full of...

Student Notes: Experimenting with Two Strategies

Ally explains how she tested two different ways to take notes during independent reading.

Conferring: Establishing a Setting in a Novel

Aimee Buckner confers with Chad, a fourth grader who has a dilemma: how to figure out the setting in a historical fiction novel when there are no pictures.

Revising Thinking Through Multiple Readings

Sara’s hand flies into the air, waving frantically as she calls out, “Oh, I know! Maybe everyone in Miss Strangeworth’s family wrote mean letters, so she has to carry on...

Fostering More Rereading in Classrooms

Do you ever find yourself reading an email quickly to capture the gist and then putting it away in a folder, only to find yourself pulling it out again to...

Using Read Alouds to Build Fluency

Early in the year, as we’re getting into our routine of setting weekly goals, we’re sure to mention to our fourth-grade students that we find that reading in our head...

Envisioning Writing in First Grade

In this minilesson, Katie DiCesare helps her first-grade students "envision" their writing drafts. The lesson focuses on creating mental images to conjure up stronger verbs and adjectives while writing.

Flexible Groups: Moving Beyond Levels to Assess Reading Needs

Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (“The Sisters”) discuss how their thinking has evolved when it comes to flexible groups. The video excerpt shows Joan working with a group of kindergartners....

The Power of Picture Book Conversations

I remember reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Scoot a few years ago. I was intrigued but overwhelmed by the medical jargon. I had passages marked to...

Teaching Stamina Strategies to First Graders

Tammy Mulligan works with two seven-year-olds to teach them strategies for building reading stamina.

Inferring and Synthesis: Conferring Over Series Books

Beth Lawson shows how to get the most from a conference about series books in third grade. Inferring and synthesis are discussed, as well as the use of written notes for making meaning from texts.

Thinking About Fluency

As a reading teacher, I used to joke that it was important to spend time teaching fluency as a matter of sanity. That’s being a bit flip, but fluency is...

Concepts of Print in Kindergarten: Small Group

Clare Landrigan leads a "quick and frequent" small group that integrates phonemic-awareness activities with assessment.

Prompting and Support

Mandy Robek demonstrates the strategies of teach, prompt, and reinforce when conferring with kindergartner Jeri.

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...