craft · grammar · phonics · reading · spelling

Shared reading as a writing tool? Go for it!

Teachers always seem to be searching for extra minutes. Cycles of shared reading represent one way to thoughtfully reimagine how to make the most of each minute. When we thoughtfully (and playfully) integrate literacy, everyone wins!

Amping up Agency Blog Series · picture book · Read Aloud

Five Read Aloud Books for an Agency Study: Amping up Agency Blog Series

I’ve put together a text set of newer picture books to explore the concept of agency with kids. Imagine how it might look across a week to read these books aloud, co-creating an anchor chart with similarities between the actions of the main characters. What might we anticipate writers noticing? What connections might kids make to writing workshop? How might these characters serve as mentors as we collectively build our writing workshop, ensuring it is a place where each writer is encouraged and challenged to make decisions, to initiate the action they need to move their writing work forward?

checklists · conventions · goals · grammar · inquiry · interactive writing · minilesson · Read Aloud · shared writing · spelling

Minilesson Alternatives: Considering OTHER Ways to Kick Off Workshop

If you have ever felt that you were going through the motions of a minilesson, know that there are plenty of other ways you can choose to gather as a community and launch writing time. Here are ten alternatives for beginning a writing workshop session - - with joy, intention, and inspiration.

agency · Read Aloud · small group · word study · writing workshop

Small Groups, Big Engagement: Expanding the Possibilities and Potential 

Here are some fresh approaches from Melanie Meehan and guest authors Julie Wright, Pam Koutrakos, and Maria Walther. In this post, we reimagine when and why small groups come together and expand your small group repertoire. 

cultural relevance · early childhood · Read Aloud · reading-writing connections · storytelling · writer identity

Fostering Authorship, Identity, and Agency in the Early Childhood Classroom Through Storytelling

As the storytelling culture is developed in the classroom, children are likely to begin to see themselves as authors and to use their voices in braver ways to share their ideas and who they are with their peers.

literacy · professional books · Read Aloud · reading workshop · reading-writing connections · writing workshop

Layers of Learning: A Review and Giveaway

Our instructional minutes count more than ever this year. Read on to discover a new professional book that will help you maximize your teaching in reading and writing while helping your students grow in character and mindset. JoEllen McCarthy's new professional book, Layers of Learning, is a must read! Comment on the post for a chance to win your own copy.

character development · COVID-19 · gratitude · Read Aloud · vocabulary

Exploring Character Traits with Reflective Journal Prompts

A back to school 2020 problem for those of us teaching in person- what do you do during masks breaks? A reflective journal that connects to character traits was my solution! Read on for resources I am sharing that match character traits with read alouds and reflective journal prompts.

picture book · Read Aloud · writing

Writing on a Snow Day

Matthew Cordell's new picture book provides inspiration for kids to CHOOSE to write when they're snowed-in during the winter. Read through my Q&A with Cordell to start thinking about how you could encourage your students to decide to write when they're homebound this winter.
After you read the Q&A, leave a comment on this blog post for the chance to win a copy of King Alice.

mentor texts · picture book · Read Aloud

Books to Begin the School Year

Add six new picture books to your back-to-school read alouds and to your mentor text collection this fall.
After you read through this post, be sure to leave a comment about how you'd use these books in your classroom for a chance to win all six of them.

picture book · Read Aloud · September 11th · september 11th tribute

Remembrance Ideas for the September 11th Anniversary

Educators from around the country share the ways in which they teach about September 11th to their students. This post includes programming and writing ideas, as well as links to videos and picture books you can read aloud.