Dana Murphy

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Dana Murphy has been an educator for 17 years in Illinois. She was an elementary teacher for eight years and coached for nine. Dana is now in a fifth-grade classroom.  Dana wrote for the Two Writing Teachers blog for many years.

Most Recent Content
Balancing Conferences and Small Groups

Balancing small groups and conferences is essential for transferring learning from lessons and units, and it’s one of the trickiest tasks for teachers. Dana Murphy explains how she works toward balance in her classroom, weighing everything from the timeline of the unit to the intensity of the minilesson.

Fifth-Grade Reading Conference: Previewing

Dana Murphy confers with Krisha over her reading, talking about the value of using a book’s back cover for previewing.

Fifth-Grade Group: Understanding Characters

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to explore character development in their reading.

Minilesson: Revising Writing

Dana Murphy leads a minilesson in fifth grade on revising narrative writing.

Fifth-Grade Vocabulary Group

Dana Murphy meets with a group of fifth graders to work on strategies for understanding unknown words.

Writing Partners

Partner work is an essential component of many literacy workshops. Dana Murphy explains how she is intentional in building thoughtful routines and expectations for partner work in her fifth-grade classroom.

Building Conversation Skills in Book Clubs

Fifth graders use a visual tool to help them build on each other’s ideas in book clubs. They are applying a strategy demonstrated in an earlier minilesson.

Minilesson: Building Conversations in Book Clubs

Dana Murphy leads a minilesson on book club conversations, using a fishbowl strategy and building blocks to support more sophisticated conversations.


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