Beth Lawson

Beth Lawson worked for over a decade as a grades 3 and 4 teacher in the Evergreen (Washington) School District. She is currently a literacy coach.

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Restarting a Writing Draft in Fourth Grade

Beth Lawson confers with Michael, a fourth-grade writer who struggles with focus and basic conventions.

Dictation in Fourth Grade: Conferring with Donovan

Beth Lawson helps fourth grader Donovan focus his many ideas for writing through some dictation in a writing conference.

Visualizing Plot Points: The Roller Coaster Conference

Beth Lawson helps a child visualize a mystery story he is writing as a roller coaster with ups and downs, and twists and turns.

Conferring About the Author

Beth Lawson confers with a fourth grader about her “about the author” blurb, a great chance to learn more about students’ home passions.

Independence in Writing Workshop

Beth Lawson uses an LCD, whiteboard, and magnetic clips in a clever way during the transition from minilessons to independent writing in writing workshop. Students tag whether they will be working on drafts or conferring with peers as Beth completes her status of the class on the board.

Finding a Writing Buddy

Beth Lawson helps her fourth graders sort through what makes peer collaboration work during writing buddy time.

Research Book Clubs for Struggling Readers

Beth Lawson finds that a nonfiction research book club is just the grouping structure needed for a group of struggling readers in her fourth-grade classroom.

Grateful Journals

Beth Lawson began her own gratitude journal as a troubled teen, and finds the daily routine of Grateful Journals is a powerful tool for reflection and building community in the intermediate grades.

Teacher-as-Writing-Model Minilesson in Fourth Grade

Beth Lawson models her process as a writer for her fourth-grade students, describing her emotions as well as creating a draft.

Looking for the Open Door

Midyear is a wonderful time for taking conferences to the next level, now that you know your students well and they trust you.  Beth Lawson gently challenges a young writer in her fourth-grade classroom to reach his full potential.

Writing Workshop: Preparing for Publication

Beth Lawson helps her 4th grade students work through a checklist of items to prepare for publishing early in the fall.

Book Club Meetings in 3rd Grade

Beth Lawson explains how she sets up book clubs in her 3rd grade classroom.

Over the Top: Mystery Writing with Fourth Graders

Helping students navigate the boundaries between realistic fiction and fantasy can be tricky, especially when it comes to mystery writing. In this lesson from Beth Lawson’s fourth-grade classroom, Beth uses a top hat graphic to help students think through when writing is “over the top” in mysteries.

Essay Writing: Thesis Statements and Supporting Details Minilesson

Beth Lawson works with her 4th graders to develop essays with strong thesis statements and supporting details, using a folder organization system to highlight different thesis statements for each child. This is the first video in a series.

Essay Writing: Teacher Modeling

Beth Lawson works with her fourth graders to develop essays with strong thesis statements and supporting details, using a folder organization system to highlight different thesis statements for each child. This is the second video in a series.

Conferring About Thesis Statements

In this conference with a 4th grader, Beth Lawson talks about supporting details for thesis statements. This is part of the video series from Beth’s room on essay writing.

Stuck on a Thesis: Conferring

In this conference with a 4th grader, Beth Lawson works with a student who has chosen a challenging essay topic and is struggling to develop his thesis.

Sticky Notes to Determine Importance

In this conference from Beth Lawson’s third-grade classroom, the focus is on the skill of determining importance in texts. Beth helps Sephina integrate sticky notes into her strategic reading of the book The Blues Singers.

Inferring and Synthesis: Conferring Over Series Books

Beth Lawson shows how to get the most from a conference about series books in 3rd grade. Inferring and synthesis are discussed, as well as the use of written notes for making meaning from texts.

Synthesis in Reading and the Reading Notebook

Beth Lawson helps one of her 3rd grade students write in response to a complex text he is reading, talking through how the writing might help him synthesize the plot of the story.

Mentor Texts for Nonfiction Writing

Beth Lawson and Heather Rader meet to plan and share mentor texts for nonfiction writing in Beth’s fourth-grade classroom.

Second-Grade Punctuation Conference

Beth Lawson confers with a second grader, assisting as she works on her punctuation skills.

Status of the Class and Monitoring Behavior

In this early year video from Beth Lawson’s 2nd grade classroom, Beth uses a writing status of the class time to help students monitor their behavior, using peers as role models.

Conferring: Stretching Words

In this conference with a second grader, Beth Lawson uses a visual aid and a hand motion to help a young English language learner understand the concept of stretching words in writing.

Graphic Organizer for Mystery Writing

Beth Lawson talks with her 4th graders about the elements of a good mystery, and shares a graphic organizer to help them develop realistic characters and themes.

Connecting Students, Wall Charts, and Reading

In this conference with third-grade student Jeffrey, Beth Lawson helps this young reader think through the importance of developing stamina to get through the first 50 pages of a book.

Book Clubs: Setting the Stage with Conferring

We want students to discuss books in thoughtful, sophisticated ways in book clubs, but those skills don’t always come naturally.  (Wait – do those skills ever come naturally?) Beth Lawson explains how she confers with individual children in her third-grade classroom to prepare them for independent book clubs with peers.

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