Mandy Robek

Mandy Robek has been teaching for over 20 years.  She has taught first, second, and third grade, and currently teaches kindergarten where she finds guiding emerging readers and writers fascinating.  Mandy has degrees from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and The Ohio State University.  You can follow Mandy at her blog Enjoy and Embrace Learning.

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What Writers Need

Mandy Robek commits to two weeks of focused daily writing, and then translates what she learns about what writers need to classroom practice.

Poetry Read-Alouds During Transitions

Mandy Robek finds quick poetry read-alouds are a great way to transition between activities in her second-grade classroom and build a love of poems.

Adjusting the Classroom Library for Student Needs

Mandy Robek realizes her classroom library isn't working for her second graders, in part because many of the books are still too difficult for students early in the year. She explains her process of sorting and stowing books for later use.

Kindergarten Reading Conference: Building Confidence

Mandy Robek finds kindergartner Mikey is lost in knowing how to use his time well during reading workshop. Her conference moves him from deflated to inspired.

Conferring with Jeri in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek demonstrates the strategies of teach, prompt, and reinforce when conferring with kindergartner Jeri.

Quick Take: Starting an Anchor Chart in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek begins an anchor chart with her kindergartners and explains the value of shared writing for creating charts about reading strategies and behaviors.

Shared Writing in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek leads a shared writing session in kindergarten.

Science Observations in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek helps her kindergarten students complete science observations.

Books for Brain Breaks

Mandy Robek compiles a list of her favorite books for brain breaks with young learners.

Room Tour: Mandy Robek’s Kindergarten Classroom

Mandy Robek gives a tour of her kindergarten classroom, highlighting literacy spaces that build relationships and independence for her young learners.

Launching Writing Workshop: Mentor Texts

Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts for building understanding early in the year of writing workshop with young writers. These books are ideal for launching discussions about how writers find ideas.

Launching Reading Workshop: Mentor Texts

Mandy Robek shares her favorite texts to use early in the year with young students to introduce them to everything from places to read to how to handle books.

Book Choice Conference in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek has a book choice conference with Drew. This is the first installment in her kindergarten conferring series.
 

Adding to a Word Wall in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek introduces a new word to her kindergartners for their word wall.

Teaching Syllable Breaks in Kindergarten

In kindergarten, table groups are a natural and informal way to help groups of students learn new skills through eavesdropping. In this short video from Mandy Robek's kindergarten class, Mandy targets the same skill of defining syllables during individual conferences at the table so that the learning is reinforced for all.

Kindergarten I-Pick Minilesson

It’s never too early to help students learn to make wise choices for independent reading. Mandy Robek reviews the I-Pick strategy for choosing appropriate books with her kindergarten students.

Letter Practice Transition in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek “warms up” her kindergartners brains for literacy work with a simple one-minute alphabet activity.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Reading and Community in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek leads her kindergartners in a shared reading and performance of the classic tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

A Picture Walk in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek takes her kindergartners through a picture walk using Mrs. Wishy Washy as the text.

Interactive Writing and Formative Assessment in Kindergarten

Not content to use assessments designed for older students, Mandy Robek combines interactive writing and formative assessments in her kindergarten classroom.

Unpacking the Kindergarten Common Core Standards

Mandy Robek shares five tips that can help teachers at any grade level develop strategies for tackling the Common Core.

Revising My Recording Form for Writing Conferences

Mandy Robek shares how she has revised the records she keeps during writing conferences.

More Conferring and Fewer Groups in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek finds she needs fewer reading groups and more conferring with the emergent readers in her kindergarten class. She shares how she structures her brief time with students and a conferring form.

Spring Reading Interviews (TEMPLATE)

Kindergartners may be too young for reading interviews early in the fall, but Mandy Robek finds spring reading interviews are an excellent bridge to families and summer reading suggestions.

Using Jackdaws to Build Community in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek gives us the how-to as she revises a community-building project to make it a better fit for Kindergarten students.

Mentor Texts to Help Students Monitor Their Actions

Mandy Robek has a delightful list of books that help students reflect upon and monitor their behavior in the classroom.

Creating a Kindergarten Classroom Library

Mandy Robek finds herself overwhelmed when moving from a 3rd grade to kindergarten classroom. Her therapy? Rolling up her sleeves and designing a kindergarten classroom library.

Redesigning a Classroom: Putting Students First (and Technology in Its Place)

Mandy Robek faces the challenge of creating a warm and inviting classroom environment which still includes some cold, hard computers for student use.

Guiding Readers in Kindergarten: A Planning and Assessment Template

If you’re considering guided reading groups in your kindergarten classroom, you’ll want to read Mandy Robek’s advice for getting started and keeping track with a simple planning and assessment form.

Young Learners and Martin Luther King Day (BOOKLIST)

Teachers of young learners face special challenges in honoring Martin Luther King and dealing with the violent nature of his death at the same time. Mandy Robek offers some insights into how to celebrate King's life with even the youngest students.

Punctuation Study with Third Graders

Mandy Robek finds a punctuation unit study with her third graders is a fun alternative to yet another genre study. Her essay includes booklists of children's literature and professional texts.

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature

Mandy Robek shares some of her favorite children’s books for teaching economics.

Rethinking Reading at Home

What's the value of reading at home? Mandy Robek ponders the home/school connection.

Questions and Answers about Home Reading Logs

Readers enjoyed Mandy Robek's explanation of her move to home reading logs in a calendar format, and some wrote in with additional questions about the program. Mandy provides a follow-up article in a question and answer format, addressing issues raised by readers.

Literacy Builds Community: The Jackdaw Project

"School is not summer camp" – this quote reminds Mandy Robek that there are many challenges to building a strong classroom community in the midst of demands for achievement and accountability early in the year. Her "literacy jackdaw" project is a terrific vehicle for classmates to learn about each other, and hone their listening, speaking, and writing skills in the process.

Teaching Punctuation Through Shared Reading in Kindergarten

Mandy Robek explains with a video example how “interruptions” from students can deepen the shared reading experience. In this case, her kindergarten class is exploring punctuation.

Prompting and Support: Understanding the Language of the Common Core in Kindergarten

The words prompting and support appear often in the kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Mandy Robek analyzes what prompting and support looks and sounds like in her kindergarten classroom by using a video example.

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