Katie Doherty is an avid reader and writer. And who better to read and write with than a gaggle of 6th graders in Portland, Oregon? Through reading and writing workshops in her 6th grade language arts classroom, Katie and her students work to build the essential community they need to thrive as readers, writers, learners, and thinkers. Together, they all learn to take risks.
The choice between whole-class novels or independent reading can be a false one in many middle school classrooms. Katie Doherty’s sixth graders discuss their reading together of a novel in verse, and Katie explains how some shared whole-class texts can support independent reading.
Katie Doherty confers with boys in her sixth-grade reading workshop. This is the second installment in a two-part video series.
Katie Doherty circulates among sixth-grade boys in her reading workshop. These quick conferences and conferring tips are the first installment in a two-part series.
Katie Doherty finds read alouds are a valuable tool for developing middle school writers.
Katie Doherty Czerwinski tackles the challenging issue of helping a student catch up in book clubs and reading workshop when they have missed a lot of class time.
Katie Doherty helps students make choices for independent reading.
Katie Doherty uses nonfiction graffiti walls as a tool for building response skills and community with her sixth-grade students.
Katie Doherty has design tips for creating cozy reading spaces in middle school classrooms where there is no space or budget for a whole-class rug area.
Katie Doherty explains how reading gutters, an inexpensive design feature, dress up her middle school classroom and build community at the same time.
When middle school students have choice and independence in book clubs they lead themselves, how do you assess their learning and thinking? Katie Doherty provides a variety of question prompts she uses with groups to spark reflection on learning.
Katie Doherty shares many ways to make vocabulary learning fun in middle school, beginning with students working together to select words to study each week.
Katie Doherty works with a small group of sixth graders who need extra support as they read the poem “Aspects of Autumn.”
This reading conference from Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom builds on the whole-class lesson, and demonstrates the value of partner reading for older students.
In this video quick take, Katie Doherty explains why she finds a timer helpful in her middle school writing workshop.
In this video from Katie Doherty’s sixth-grade classroom, Katie confers with a student who has returned to a series book she had previously rejected. Katie weaves in talk about strategies, particularly inferring (a focus of whole-class minilessons).
In this conference from a 6th grade classroom, Katie Doherty confers with a boy who is reading a book from a series she is unfamiliar with – watch how she engages the child to learn about the series and refocus the discussion on skills and goals.
Katie Doherty finds poetry is a powerful tool for helping her middle school students understand the value of schema while reading.
Katie Doherty confers with sixth grader Kristina during reading workshop. Kristina is new to the classroom, and Katie demonstrates how to gently move a student from retelling to more thoughtful responses to literature with a few simple and carefully worded questions.
Katie Doherty explains why she has book clubs with her 6th grade students.
Students have different response options in Katie Doherty’s sixth grade book clubs.
Katie Doherty talks about the links between strategy lessons and book club work in her 6th grade classroom. Katie also sits in on a book club discussion.
Katie Doherty demonstrates for her middle school students how quotes can lift the quality of writing, using student and literary examples in this 11-minute video.
Katie Doherty confers with Nastia, a 6th grade English language learner who is working on her inferring skills.
What do you do about those book clubs that just don’t gel in your middle school classroom? Katie Doherty demonstrates how she guides a struggling group of sixth graders, helping them reflect and converse together.
Katie Doherty turns her middle school students into lead investigators – an activity that is a terrific combination of mentor texts, group work, and connections to student writing.
Katie Doherty knows how to pick the right text to move from whole-class conversations to writing.
In this 12-minute video, Katie Doherty leads her sixth-grade students as they try the prompt “I am the one who . . .” during writing workshop. This is an excellent activity for building classroom community.
Something bad was happening in Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom—it was time to rebuild the class community with a reality check.
How do teachers bring new students up to speed with ongoing assignments? In this video from Katie Doherty’s middle school classroom, Katie presents the latest “Literary Letters” assignment to her 6th graders. It is early spring, and all but two of the students have experience with this writing assignment.
In this first video in a three-part series, Katie Doherty leads her 6th graders through a response activity. The text they are reading was written by a middle school student over a decade ago, and its themes of popularity and belonging still ring true for students.
In this second video in a three-part series, Katie Doherty leads her 6th graders through a response activity. In this installment, the students respond orally and share some of their writing, making links to pop culture and other books from reading workshop.
In this third video in a three-part series, Katie Doherty leads her 6th graders through a response activity. The text they are reading was written by a middle school student over a decade ago, and its themes of popularity and belonging still ring true for students. In this installment, Katie debriefs with students about the value of the writing activity.
In this first video in a two-part series, Katie Doherty meets with her sixth-grade students who will be sharing their book recommendations with the class.
In this second video in a two-part series, Katie Doherty's sixth-grade students share their book recommendations with the class. Students work from a template provided by Katie to ensure their presentations are brief, thoughtful, and connected to reading workshop.
In this two-minute Quick Take video, Katie Doherty explains the choices students have in her sixth-grade reading workshop.
There's so much to do during the first weeks of school, but it's important not to skip the most important thing – building a sense of community with your students.
Want to get your middle school students’ attention on the first day of school? Read a book about how to ruin it for them.
Katie Doherty works closely with a student who has an unusual request – he wants to take home a basal anthology for "pleasure reading." She puts a different text in his hands, and uses what she learns from the experience to design a for lesson her 6th grade students.
Are your students getting bored with vocabulary routines? Katie Doherty invents a quick and fun game, Vocabrity, to help her middle school students learn words.
Katie Doherty and Ruth Shagoury present a fun way to launch (or close) the year with middle schoolers and discover the best-loved books of students from previous years. This project can be adapted for any age level.
Katie Doherty's 6th graders take charge of the classroom library, with an activity designed to build an understanding of genre at the same time.
Katie Doherty faces daunting challenges as a grade-level team leader in her middle school. A simple notetaking form works wonders in elevating the conversations and collaboration.
Katie Doherty finds surveys of student reading habits and preferences are really useful in the winter, after she knows her students and they’ve settled into a routine.
In this first of a three-part video series, Katie Doherty and her sixth grade students begin the Weekend Headlines activity. Each Monday, students listen to Katie share some of the headlines from the local newspaper and then share their "headlines" from the weekend.
In this second part of a three-part video series, Katie Doherty and her sixth grade students continue the Weekend Headlines activity. In this installment, Katie sets up a peer response procedure.
In this final installment of a three-part video series, Katie Doherty and her sixth-grade students continue the Weekend Headlines activity. In this installment, students share their writing with the whole class and respond.
In this one-minute quick take video, Katie Doherty has advice for middle school teachers who are thinking of launching a reading workshop in their classrooms.
Katie Doherty shares how she has organized her 6th grade classroom to support students at her bustling middle school.
Katie Doherty demonstrates how she uses picture books to teach inferring strategies to her sixth graders in this video series. Part I is a presentation of the book to students.
Katie Doherty’s 6th grade students discuss the read-aloud through partner shares.