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Using Picture Books for Rhetorical Analysis

It was ninth period, the end of the day, but the energy in the room was running high. Twelve 11th graders were sitting in a circle, each clutching a picture...

Response to Read Aloud

Tammy Mulligan enhances the quality of the class read aloud and student discussions with the use of a whole-class response notebook.  Franki Sibberson shares how she integrates student choice and...

Flipping Literature Discussions

One of my fondest memories of literature classes in college is of our sitting in a circle and working through a difficult poem as a group, discussing and making meaning...

Lessons and Minilessons: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between a lesson and a mini lesson? Minilessons are responsive to students by design. They can be planned for many purposes, to meet a variety of...

Varying Workshop Structures to Meet Student Needs

I just feel like I have so many students who need help. I end up sitting with just a few students and never see the rest.  There’s never time for...

First Grade Minilesson: Connections

Melissa Atwood leads her first-grade class with a minilesson early in the school year on making connections to text.

Picture Books for Persona Poems

It was a Tuesday evening, and I was trying to get some writing done as I sat in the back of my daughter’s dance class. I had my notebook propped...

Interpretation and Comprehension

Teaching comprehension can be overwhelming. It seems as if there are so many skills for kids to learn and there’s so much jargon: drawing conclusions, determining the main ideas, putting...

First-Grade Guided Group: Reading Practice and Recap

Melissa Atwood leads a first-grade guided reading group. This is the second video in a two-part series.

First Graded Guided Group: Chunking Words

Melissa Atwood leads a first-grade guided reading group.  The focus at the start of the lesson is on chunking words. This is the first video in a two-part series.

Exploring Author’s Craft in Graphic Novels

I have noticed that my eighth graders can easily be divided into two groups: those who read graphic novels and those who don’t. In fact, these categories also work for...

30-Second Pair Share

Sean Moore leads his second graders in a quick pair-share to help everyone reflect on what they learned during independent reading.  

Reading Mats Build Confidence

There have been times in my life when I wasn’t confident—when I first learned to drive a stick shift, when I started a new job, or when I carried my...

It’s All in the Details

Details matter. Look for them. Collect them. Notice repetition. Notice patterns. Ask questions. If an author includes it, it serves a purpose. This is advice we give to our seventh-grade...

Teaching Theme Before the Holidays

Around the holidays last year, we came across several articles about the political incorrectness of the movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other holiday classics of our childhood. We were...

Comparing Authors Minilesson

Jen Court helps second graders compare favorite author styles in this minilesson.

Text Set Resources

I’ll always remember Jonas. Most of us have had students like him. Jonas was a fourth-grade absentminded-professor kind of student. Given a topic, he’d go off to find information, and...

Conferring to Connect: First Grade Reading

Bitsy Parks confers with first grader Ella about a book series, and then listens to Ella read. She closes the conference by encouraging Ella to make more personal connections to...

Text Sets: Reading Beyond Just Facts

In this world of online searching, skimming, and scanning, I want my students to experience the power of digging deeper into a subject. I want them all to read beyond...

Textual Lineage

A text that becomes a part of the student long after he reads it and leads him to think and act differently as a result of the text becomes part...

Moving from Interactive Read Alouds to Book Clubs

The first time I met with my neighborhood book club, I was nervous. I wondered, Should I bring notes? Will my ideas be “literary” enough to share with the group?...