Category Archive: reading

Writing on a Snow Day

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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.

Books to Begin the School Year

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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 Books in Secondary Classrooms

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Picture books are short, visual, and engaging, which makes them perfect for using as mentor texts with elementary AND secondary students.

Remembrance Ideas for the September 11th Anniversary

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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.

Teaching the Four Types of Writing Through Texts

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Janiel Wagstaff’s books will help you teach primary writers about the four types of writing in an engaging way. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her series of Stella books.

Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10

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Today is the annual Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10, hosted by Cathy Mere from Reflect and Refine, Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge. This is my fourth year participating in this event, which provides me with a chance to share ten nonfiction picture books I have been using as mentor texts with elementary school writers.

Waving the White Flag on Valentine’s Day!

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There are some days in an elementary school teacher’s life where the white flag must be waved. Halloween. The day before holiday break. Pajama Day. Crazy Hat Day. And, of course, Valentine’s Day…

Lessons from Characters Who Are Writers: Discovering the Writer’s Life

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Kids often feel as though that they are the only ones who have ever been stuck for ideas, or been laughed at, or had a story rejected (by a teacher, or friend). No matter where you live, no matter what you write, there is no need to discover every writing problem all on your own. That’s where characters in books come in. Why not learn from them?

Quality Reading Instruction Leads to Better Writing: A Review of Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment 

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When I tested Jennifer Serravallo’s Independent Reading Assessment (Scholastic), I was an immediate believer. Finally, here is a reading assessment that gives rich, clear information about upper grade readers, using an authentic reading… Continue reading

A Tale of Teachers: Collaboration, Community, Connection

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Once upon a time, there was a teacher who became a better teacher by connecting with other passionate educators…

A Virtual Publishing Celebration

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It’s hard to have a publishing celebration for people who live miles apart from you. Therefore, a virtual publishing party is the best I can do for Anna and Beth today. Please stop by to leave a congratulatory comment for them since their books have been published.

Black History Month & Beyond – My #NF10for10 + 10 Book Giveaways

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Today is the annual Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10, hosted by Cathy Mere from Reflect and Refine, Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge.… Continue reading

Tuck Everlasting: 40th Anniversary Blog Tour #Tuck40th

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I miss many things about being a classroom teacher. I miss the camaraderie with the students, the collegiality with the staff, and the sense that what I’m doing really matters. I miss the… Continue reading

Reading Fuels Writing

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Need some inspiration to write? Fall into a great book and read like a writer!

Five on Friday: Picture Books Edition

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Find out which five, NEW picture books I’m fawning over this Friday.

Writing about reading: offering students choice in reading responses

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When I first began teaching, Nancie Atwell’s In The Middle was my go to PD book for all things to do with reading and writing workshop.  I modeled so many of my teaching… Continue reading

Book Talkin’

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The very fist student day of school, Deb Gaby (the reading coach in my school district) and I stumbled upon a meeting between 5th and 6th grade language arts teachers. They were discussing… Continue reading

Dream Big…Read Big…Write Big

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Each year Deb Gaby helps select a reading theme for the school year at Milford Elementary School. This year, to kick off the BIG reading year, we hosted a carnival. Kids made book… Continue reading

Investing in Reading Lives {Nerdy Book Club Guest Post}

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I’m so excited to be guest posting at The Nerdy Book Club today. Here’s the start and then head over there to read the rest. “Mom, I’ve decided to start a reading club,”… Continue reading

Author & Illustrators as Mentors

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It is important to say the name of the author and the illustrator when you read a picture book.