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First Grade Guided Writing Group: Goldilocks and the 3 Writers

  In this video of a first-grade guided writing group, Katie DiCesare works with three girls on spelling issues that have emerged in their writing. By grouping the students together,...

5th Grade Sentence Observation

This past summer, I spent a lot of time thinking about all the components of my writing workshop. I intended to make it a focus of study for myself throughout...

4th Grade Small Group: Writing Paragraphs

In this video, Aimee Buckner uses a mentor text to demonstrate how writers construct lively nonfiction paragraphs. The small group has been pulled together because the students need more practice...

4th Grade Small-Group Lesson: Dialogue

One of the challenges of working with intermediate writers is helping them understand how and when to use dialogue in their writing. In this video of a small-group lesson, Aimee...

Coaching in Kindergarten: Conferring

What’s in a name? For kindergartner Maria, it’s the start of learning how letters and sounds work. In this coaching session, Joan Moser of “The Sisters” helps Daniel understand how...

Old Elm Speaks: Connecting Poetry, Observation, and Reading

In this first installment of a three-part video series, Aimee Buckner shows how observation skills, poetry, and reading instruction come together with the mentor text Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems...

Old Elm Speaks Day 2: Connecting Poetry, Observation, and Reading

In this second installment of a three-part video series, Aimee Buckner shows how observation skills, poetry, and reading instruction come together with the mentor text Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems...

Writing Comics: Introducing the Activity

In this lesson from a 4th grade classroom, Sarah Thibault introduces students to a writing activity. Students will be creating their own comic books, after extensive preparation and experience with...

Conferring with Leonela: A Two-Day Progression

Leonela is a six-year-old student whose first language is Spanish. In these videos of conferences with Ruth Shagoury filmed over two days, she makes connections between her drawing, writing, and...

Rule of 3: Writer’s Craft Whole-Class Lesson

The “Rule of 3” is well known among writers. From “The Three Little Bears” to sets of three adjectives in descriptions, authors know clusters of three are a powerful tool...

Rule of 3: Mini-Group After Whole-Class Lesson

I often ask students who might want a little more information or help after a whole-class lesson to stay for a small group. These “mini-groups” are an important part of...

Rule of 3: Conferring

In this final video of a three-part series showing my teaching progression for Rule of 3, I confer with individual students during writing workshop, checking in to see how they...

Conferring with Eddie

Eddie is a six-year-old student who speaks Cantonese as his first language. In this conference with Ruth Shagoury, little English is spoken, and yet there is much communication through gestures...

Listing Strategy: Minilesson

Aimee Buckner confers with students after a listing strategy minilesson in writing workshop using the book This Is the Tree.    

Crafting Characters in Writer’s Workshop

In this lesson from writer’s workshop with grades 3 and 4 students, Franki Sibberson helps students analyze character traits through whole-class and partner work with the lead to The Secret...

From Compliments to Naming the Craft: Fifth-Grade Writing Workshop Share Session

This whole-class share session in Lesley Fowler’s fifth-grade classroom is the culmination of a nonfiction writing unit. Over the course of the year, we moved from having students compliment their...

Inviting Students to Organize Books and Materials

Are you always looking for something in your classroom? Maybe it’s that special pair of scissors, your attendance/grade book, or the long overdue library copy of Cynthia Rylant’s The Journey: Stories...

Tips from the Pros on Starting Your Own Writer’s Notebook or Teaching Journal

Your writer’s notebook gives you a safe place to ask: What really matters? What haunts me? What in my life, in this world, do I never want to forget? Your...

Planning for a Year of Author Studies (TEMPLATE)

I plan author studies for my students at the start of the year. I think about the range of authors we might study, what authors work best at different times...

Creating Anchor Charts with Sticky Note Responses from Young Readers

Learners who focus on comprehension strategies rely on different tools. One of the most popular is the three by three inch sticky note. High school teachers like Cris Tovani and...

Up Gross and Personal: Dealing with Dicey Topics in Writing Workshops

Teachers have a high tolerance for the disgusting. We scrub down the mysterious puddle on the rug after a literature discussion, we endure the dead mouse passed around during recess,...