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Student-Led Minilesson: Annotating Reading with Sticky Notes

Reagan from Franki Sibberson’s fifth-grade classroom presents a minilesson on annotating reading with sticky notes.

Scaffolding Revision with a Mentor Text

“I’m finished,” Hayden says, waving his arm, clearly proud of his accomplishment. We smile and let Hayden and our other “finished” students place their writing in the basket before we...

Revising Literary Analysis Essays: Supporting Claims

Christy Rush-Levine uses an analogy about putting furniture together to present a minilesson to her eighth-grade students about revising their literary analysis essays.    

Revising Dialogue in Narrative Writing

The more I teach young writers, the more I can predict the challenges they’ll have within various genres. Although some children benefit and learn from mentor texts that are more...

Practical Revision Strategies

We started a recent conference with Kyra by asking a typical question: “What are you working on in your writing?” Kyra pointed to her memoir and responded, “I’m revising for...

5 Strategies for Engaging Boy Writers

I was ashamed. I have spent a good too many years since—too many, I think—being ashamed about what I write.                                                                                                         ...

Analyzing Voice: Conferring with Griffin

Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Griffin reengage with his writing by pointing out some of the unique qualities of voice and style in his piece.    

The Importance of Correct Examples

I have not had many struggles with spelling and conventions in my life. That being said, there are a couple of words I know are hard for me. Embarrass is...

Practical Advice for Dealing with Messy Handwriting

Do struggles with handwriting matter? They do when a student can’t even decipher his own words. Katherine Sokolowski confers with fifth grader Sauvi to help him find solutions to the...

Building Habits with Short-Term Goals

During the first two of weeks of writing this school year, we were busy teaching “gathering” minilessons to help students fill their heads and notebooks with writing. Since our first...

When Students Set Intentions

One of the things my yoga instructor always says at the beginning of class is “Set an intention.” Our intention could be to focus, or maybe to work on a...

First-Grade Writing Conference: Celebrations to Suggestions

Katrina Edwards begins her conference with first grader Allen by celebrating all he is doing well in his writing. She highlights his language and details in writing before moving on...

Sharing Writing in a Class Celebration

Does celebration matter? Is celebration essential to the business of developing meaningful, conventional, and powerful writers? When there is more to teach and meeting all the needs of students as...

The Power of Similes

Write a good simile for me. Go ahead; I’ll wait. Not so easy, right? You can come up with a bad simile in a minute or two or rattle off...

Past Midnight

                                    —remembering Eva         she rides a river of words  like a floater in a rip tide.  Rogue waves strain for space  outside the breaking zone.  ...

Hidden Treasures

Bruce Howdle was an unofficial ambassador for our small city of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. A local artist and university instructor, he was often seen walking up and down our main...

Being a Teacher Writer Is More Than Being a Teacher Who Writes

I began writing alongside students so I could experience the work as a writer. I was doing the writing work because I needed it for the thing I cared about...

Evidence Claims in a Middle School Small Group

Christy Ruth-Levine leads a small group of eighth graders as they explore how to include textual evidence in their literary analysis essays.    

Readers’ Guides: Helping Students Think About Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.  Teachers are often waging a small...

Teaching Tone: Deal Me In

Supply List for AP Literature: Sticky Notes Binder Composition Notebook Deck of Cards I’m sure that many of my students were surprised to see a deck of cards on their...

Planning a Student-Led Minilesson

Franki Sibberson helps Lucas plan his minilesson for his fifth-grade classmates on how to connect words and facts from two different sources.