Karen Terlecky

Karen Terlecky has been been teaching for over 3o years. She has worked in many different roles during her educational career. She started as a middle school learning disabilities / behavior disorders teacher, then transitioned to teaching a developmentally handicapped class in an elementary school for six years, and worked with students with hearing impairments as well.

All Content
No Substitute for Owning the Learning

Karen Terlecky finds herself in a fitness class with a bunch of angry participants. The experience causes her to reflect on the disconnect between coach and teacher expectations when coaches think their role is to fix classroom issues.

From Strengths to Revision: Conferring with Connor

Karen Terlecky confers with fifth-grade Connor about his writing, demonstrating the routine of celebrating strengths first, and then making suggestions of new techniques to try.

Adding Dialogue to Writing: Conferring with Sam

Karen Terlecky confers with Sam about adding dialogue to writing in her fifth-grade classroom.

Book Shopping as a Literacy Coach

Karen Terlecky shops for books in new ways now that she is moving from a classroom to a literacy coaching position.

Using Summer Reading as Bookends for the School Year

Karen Terlecky has advice for using summer reading for launching and closing the school year to build community and enduring connections with students.

Planning for Instruction: Sea Glass

Karen Terlecky uses sea glass as a metaphor for the assessments she completes to launch the year, and data analysis all year long.

Conferring About Independent Reading

Karen Terlecky confers with Alex, a fifth grader who needs help choosing books for independent reading.

Thinking About Theme

Karen Terlecky explains how she designs instruction and uses mentor texts to teach theme, and includes a video example of a minilesson.

Writing Leads Minilesson

A writing lead is a door — readers will either want to walk through it or shut it and move on to something else. That's the analogy Karen Terlecky uses in this video of a fifth-grade writing workshop minilesson.

Fireflies and Background Knowledge

Karen Terlecky writes about the importance of building understanding before more complex read alouds.

Assessment to Grouping: Fifth-Grade Group on Character Traits

Karen Terlecky meets with two fifth graders who both share the same need identified on a recent formative assessment, inferring character traits.

Guidance and Choice in a 5th Grade Conference

Karen Terlecky confers with fifth grader Jillian, the day after she has selected two books Jillian might enjoy reading during workshop.

Highlighting Language in a Writing Conference

Karen Terlecky confers with fifth grader Nora about her evocative language during writing workshop.

The Power of Read-Aloud Notebooks

Karen Terlecky shares the process of launching and sustaining read-aloud notebooks with fifth graders.

Helping Richard Revise

Karen Terlecky coaxes Richard to cut extraneous material from his writing by highlighting the strengths of his writing first in this video from her fifth grade classroom.

Catching Up with Tommy

Karen Terlecky meets with Tommy, a boy who has flown under the radar for a few weeks in her fifth-grade reading workshop.

Rethinking Mrs. T Letters

Karen Terlecky reconsiders one of her favorite writing assignments.

Do They Care? Empathy Book Clubs

Do they care? That’s the question Karen Terlecky asks herself as she sets up book clubs in her fifth-grade classroom with a focus on empathy.

Reaching Evan with Read Alouds in the Intermediate Grades

Karen Terlecky reflects on the power of read alouds in the intermediate grades for welcoming older students who struggle with reading into the “club” of kids who love books.

Inferring Small Group in 5th Grade

Karen Terlecky meets with a small group in her 5th grade class to discuss the strategy of inferring.

Getting Started with Sentence Observations

Karen Terlecky details the assessments and preparation that goes into the design of her sentence observation program.

Reading Conferences in 5th Grade

Karen Terlecky confers with her 5th graders during reading workshop.

Pitching My Lesson Plans for a Day of Peace and Poetry

Seizing an unexpected learning opportunity may be the best way to remember why you became a teacher in the first place. Karen Terlecky celebrates one of these serendipitous moments.

Reading Preferences: Social, Pleasurable, and Sometimes Awkward

Karen Terlecky connects an honest appraisal of her reading habits with an unvarnished look at her 5th grade students.

Getting Started with a Teacher Blog

Karen Terlecky shares practical tips for starting a teacher blog.

Reflections on a Year of Read Alouds

Karen Terlecky mulls over a year of read alouds in her 5th grade classroom as she makes plans for the coming year.

Choosing 5th Grade Read Alouds for the New Year

So many wonderful choices, so little time! Karen Terlecky makes her selections for a year of 5th grade read alouds.

Planning to Teach with Mentor Texts: Two Examples

Once you’ve found a text you love, how do you plan lessons from it?   Karen Terlecky takes teachers through the process of selecting and designing instruction with two favorite texts.

The Importance of Book Clubs for Learners of Any Age

Karen Terlecky brings lessons from her adult book club to her structure of book clubs in her 5th grade classroom.  The article includes launching and management tips.

Thinking About 5th Grade Read Alouds

Karen Terlecky develops a plan for read alouds with her 5th grade students.  She explains her choices, comparing selections to last year's list.

Great Books to Share When Studying the Ecosystem (BOOKLIST)

Karen Terlecky shares books for studying the ecosystem in our this booklist.

Dear Mrs. T: Moving Students from Summaries to Rich Response

Karen Terlecky shares how student letter writing about books has evolved over the years.  The secret? Karen uses student letters from previous years as mentor texts for moving her 5th graders from summaries to more sophisticated responses.

A Tornado of Books

By upending the classroom library and asking students to sort and reorganize it, Karen Terlecky gets insight every year into the ways students categorize texts, as well as their emerging understanding of genre.

Fifth-Grade Word Study Homework

Karen Terlecky’s fifth-grade students share what they learned from their word study homework.

5th Grade Sentence Observation

Karen Terlecky explains the sentence observation routine in her 5th grade classroom, and provides a video example of students in action analyzing sentences.

5th Grade Room Tour

Karen Terlecky’s classroom tour focuses on the anchor charts and wall displays she uses to promote literacy with her 5th grade students.

Main Ideas in Nonfiction

In this whole-class lesson, 5th grade teacher Karen Terlecky and her students consider how main ideas work in nonfiction texts.

5th Grade Strategy Group on Summarizing

In this strategy group, Karen Terlecky brings together three of her 5th graders to reread a nonfiction article shared with the whole class. They discuss main ideas, and do a writing activity together to build summarizing skills.

Loading...