Mary Lee Hahn

Mary Lee Hahn has been teaching 4th or 5th graders for more than 20 years. She is the author of Reconsidering Read-Aloud (Stenhouse Publishers). Mary Lee and her colleague Franki Sibberson blog about their reading lives at A Year of Reading.

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Reaction and Intention: Rethinking the Library in Early Winter

Mary Lee Hahn finds some of her fifth-grade readers are stuck in ruts by early winter. Her solution involves some radical changes to her classroom library over winter break.

Giving Graphic Organizers a Go

Mary Lee Hahn is skeptical about how her fifth-grade students might use graphic organizers. But once she tries them alongside students, she begins to see their utility.

Super Teacher Reading Workshop

Mary Lee Hahn tries to be super teacher while she confers — juggling goals, assessments, notices and notes . . . and then it all comes crashing down. She shares what she learns from trying to do too much at once and failing.

Dabbling: Reviving a Focus on Play

Mary Lee Hahn finds a focus on play and "dabbling" renews student writers during a unit on narrative nonfiction.

The Riskiest Writing

Mary Lee Hahn tackles the riskiest writing of all — in front of students and improvised with no advance drafting or planning.

An Identity of Success

Mary Lee Hahn is a bit flummoxed when a parent asks about her management system at an open house. The experience sparks reflection on what makes a classroom community gel.

Hot Glue Guns

Mary Lee Hahn considers the use of Hot Glue Guns in her classroom, and moves from exasperation to appreciating the learning happening when we think kids are just messing around with peers and the tools we've given them.

What’s a Great Workshop Day?

Mary Lee Hahn  considers how the success of any day has to integrate observations from conferring, lessons, and share sessions.

Planning and the Tuesday Effect

Mary Lee Hahn realizes how much a workshop approach has changed her planning process and comfort level with the unexpected.

“Giving Ourselves Hard Problems”: Rethinking Math Workshop

Mary Lee Hahn rethinks her math workshop structure to more closely align with the choice and problem solving in her reading and writing workshops.

What Difference Does Difference Make?

Mary Lee Hahn begins the year with honest and open discussions with her fifth-grade students about diversity.

The Weird Wonders of Genius Hour

Mary Lee Hahn explains how Genius Hour fosters the language of risk, exploration, and uncertainty with her fifth graders all year long.

Book Clubs Then and Now: Change Is the Constant

Mary Lee Hahn considers how book clubs have changed over time in her fifth-grade classroom.

Anchor Chart Changes

Mary Lee Hahn finds midyear is the perfect time for refreshing anchor charts.

Getting Traction When There Is Nothing to Write About

Mary Lee Hahn finds herself stuck with nothing to write about at a writing retreat. She explores tools and strategies to get unstuck, and finds they are the same ones that work with writers of any age in classrooms.

Odd Habits

Mary Lee Hahn surveys Choice Literacy contributors about Odd Habits as they share truths and lies about their writing routines. This is a fun icebreaker for summer or fall orientation get-togethers.

Bracketology

Mary Lee Hahn uses bracketology to help her fifth-grade students explore determining importance in short texts and close reading.

Making the Most of Short Texts

Mary Lee Hahn melds short texts with the Common Core in this first article in a two-part series.

15 Minutes on Friday: Writing on Demand with Students

Mary Lee Hahn finds 15 minutes of writing on Friday builds fluency and confidence in her fifth-grade students, and gives her a wealth of formative assessment data at the same time.

The Shape of Stories

Mary Lee Hahn explores story structure with her fifth-grade students. This is a terrific activity for helping older students understand increasingly complex story structures as they move through the intermediate grades.

Poetry Minute: Forms and How to Teach Them

Mary Lee Hahn's "Poetry Minute" includes tips and resources for poetry instruction. This month's Poetry Minute focuses on poetry forms and mentor texts to teach them.

Poetry Friday in the Computer Lab

Mary Lee Hahn provides a wealth of web resources and practical suggestions for using technology for poetry instruction.

Trust

Mary Lee Hahn reminds herself (and us!) of the qualities we have that inspire trust in ourselves and our ability to teach well.

Matching Students to Nonfiction Texts in Grades 3-6 (BOOKLIST)

In this booklist, Mary Lee Hahn offers creative categories for considering readers in new ways.

Standards and Magic: Digging Deep and Being Spontaneous with Infographics

If you’ve ever had 15 minutes or less to plan for a session with kids, you can appreciate the blend of panic and improvisation the experience inspires. Mary Lee Hahn devises an activity with an infographic for the 4th and 5th grade environmental science club at the last minute, and finds students exhibit many surprising literacy skills during the session.

Poetry Fridays (and So Much More) for Students and Staff

 Mary Lee Hahn finds Poetry Fridays are about so much more than poetry, or even a pleasant end to the week.  She shares how this activity is a wonderful way to bring together colleagues and students.

5 Easy Steps to Becoming Active in the Blog Community

If you are beginning to involve yourself more in online networks, you might enjoy these suggestions from Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson.

5 Easy Steps for Starting a Blog

Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson share tips for launching and maintaining a blog, as well as a wealth of reasons why it’s a valuable use of your time

The Joy of Letter Writing: An Integrated Unit for Intermediate Students

Letter writing isn't a lost art in Mary Lee Hahn's 4th grade classroom. This unit has timeless appeal for students of all ages.

Free Rice: Tools for Web-Based Vocabulary Learning

Mary Lee Hahn shares how she uses Free Rice in her classroom, as well as other online vocabulary learning tools.

Swimming and Learning

Mary Lee Hahn uses her experience as a swimmer to take another look at standards.

Community First: Using Read Alouds to Strengthen Classroom Connections

Mary Lee Hahn plans her read alouds for double duty, using them to build the community and a love of reading.

Comprehending Graphic Novels: A Primer for Teachers

Mary Lee Hahn provides a quick primer for teachers new to graphic novels, as well as suggestions for using these novels to teach comprehension.

Company-Ready Teaching

Mary Lee Hahn prepares for classroom visitors, and the process of viewing her room with fresh eyes makes her question routines and wall displays.

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