Max’s teaching experience includes work in urban classrooms and the suburbs throughout central Ohio. He has worked at all grades at the elementary level (except 4th), and as Reading Recovery Teacher and Teacher Leader for the Ohio State Literacy Collaborative. Max is the author of two books, Word Savvy and Practical Fluency for Stenhouse Publishers.
Max Brand uses the “big table” in his kindergarten classroom as a communal spot for writing. You can see how he interrupts students naturally to make quick suggestions, and allows some interruptions of his own writing as he works with his students.
Max Brand demonstrates basic drawing strategies early in the year, and then has his kindergartners attempt similar pictures. He explains how the exercise builds basic skills both in literacy and hand/eye coordination.
Max Brand challenges himself to let a student take more of the lead during a writing tutoring session.
Max Brand tutors a struggling fourth grader who produces very little writing.
Max Brand uses written blind word sorts to build student word learning skills.
Max Brand brings a mother into the assessment process and teaches her what to observe as her child reads.
Helping parents learn to talk with their children about what’s going on in the classroom may be more valuable than any homework teachers assign. Max Brand shares some practical tips and prompts he gives to families to launch conversations at the dinner table or in the car.
Max Brand explains the basics of word work, including a list of reflective questions teachers can ask themselves and students.
Launching a sort with primary students early in the year begins not with words, but with leaves for Max Brand.
Max Brand continues his new tutoring series. In this installment, he designs a creative intake assessment for Ruth, a first grader who struggles with following directions.
Max works with Esther, a third grader who takes pride in being a rapid reader and rarely pauses to make sense of the text.
Max Brand describes how word observations can work as powerful minilessons in elementary classrooms.
Max Brand has developed templates for grades K-2 and 3-5 to use for formative spelling assessments.
Max Brand developed Spelling Cycles as an alternative to weekly spelling tests. He explains how they work with an example from a third-grade class.
Max Brand finds standard assessments don’t always give him the information he needs when working with kindergarten English language learners, so he develops his own tool for analyzing book handling skills.
Max Brand develops a "Swiss army knife" booklist of texts that he can't live without when teaching young learners.
Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners.
Max Brand explains how movement activities in classrooms with young learners can be so much more than a brain break or “getting the wiggles out”: movement can forge potent connections between mind, body, and story. The essay includes two video examples.
Max Brand describes why wipe-off boards are such a valuable tool for work with young English language learners in small groups. The article includes a video demonstration.
Max Brand takes two kindergarten English language learners from reading a familiar book to exploring a new text, and explains in the debrief how he targets specific reading skills.
Max Brand explains how daily student grouping can be both planned and spontaneous.
Max Brand considers how rereading helps students understand and enjoy texts.