Many teachers are frustrated with how spelling is traditionally taught and finding the time to support young spellers with explicit strategy instruction. Author Mark Weakland developed Super Spellers: Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction, an approach to teaching spelling in a way that is research-based and tied to authentic reading and writing.
Super Spellers helps teachers understand what their students need through frequent formative assessments. The book focuses on the scope of spelling instruction and teaching spelling strategies to increase students’ word-solving skills. Once kids are comfortable and competent spellers they become super readers and writers, too.
In addition to step-by-step guidance, each chapter features an “If you only have 10 minutes” lesson plan segment. The appendix contains word inventories, a sample scope and sequence, examples of spelling list transformation, and word ladder activities.
Allison Hintz and Antony T. Smith:::100160
Mathematizing Children's Literature
Many teachers use traditional counting and shape books in math class. But what would happen if we approached any story with a math lens? How might mathematizing children's literature give learners space to ask their own questions, and make connections between stories, their lives, and the world around them? These are the questions authors Allison Hintz and Antony T. Smith set out to explore in Mathematizing Children’s Literature: Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion as they invite us to consider fresh ways of using interactive read-alouds to nurture students as both readers and mathematicians.
Inside Mathematizing Children’s Literature, you'll learn how to do the following:
Select picture books according to the goals of the read aloud experience
Plan and facilitate three styles of read aloud discussions – Open Notice and Wonder, Math Lens, and Story Explore
Utilize Idea Investigations - experiences that invite students to pursue literacy and math-focused ideas beyond the pages of the read aloud
Connect with students' families and communities through stories
Along the way, Hintz and Smith provide a wide range of picture book suggestions and appendices that include ready-to-use lesson planning templates, a form for notes, and a bookmark of guiding questions. Mathematizing Children’s Literature is a practical resource you'll find yourself referring to frequently.
Linda J. Dorn and Carla Soffos:::100311
The Comprehensive Intervention Model
The Comprehensive Intervention Model: Fostering Self-Regulated Readers Through Responsive Teaching by Linda Dorn, Carla Soffos, and Adria Klein introduces educators to an innovative intervention model that puts theory to practice then gives that practice a framework. When implemented with fidelity, the framework has the potential to close the gap between low-progress readers and their grade-level peers.
The Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) organizes essential educational theory and effective instructional practices under a complete, layered intervention model. CIM includes both a professional book and resource manual that correlates the intent behind the Response to Intervention (RTI) movement. This well-researched and practical resource begins by laying the theoretical foundation for its methodology before describing its multi-tiered system of instruction across a range of components. The book concludes with a collection of examples that show the model in action.
A seamless assessment system at an individual and system level
School-embedded professional learning for increasing teacher efficacy and building capacity in schools
Beyond boxed programs and quick-fix options, the authors outline and advocate for an intervention approach that includes a commitment to systemic reflection, teacher development, precise assessments, and data-driven, responsive instruction—all centering on student needs.
The resource manual provides administrators, coaches, and teachers with the tools needed to implement the CIM with fidelity including planners, guide sheets, observation forms, data collection forms, phonics and word learning guides, and more. Use these two books together to support a Response to Intervention (RTI) method for closing the gap between low-progress readers and their grade-level peers.
Layers of Learning
What could happen if we viewed every read aloud as an invitation to learn more about literacy and ourselves? In Layers of Learning: Using Read Alouds to Connect Literacy and Caring Conversations, author JoEllen McCarthy explores read aloud strategies designed to enhance your reading and writing standards by capitalizing on the way literature can impact caring communities.
Layers of Learning is structured around four key elements: Community, Agency, Respect, and Empowerment, or CARE. The book provides tools necessary to emphasize reading and writing connections, character education, and culturally responsive teaching, all while championing the power of read alouds. Inside you’ll find:
Over 200 picture book suggestions introducing the Heartprint Framework, which demonstrates how you can layer literacy with life lessons
60 read aloud based connections that support caring classroom conversations, lesson planning, and extensions
Instructional opportunities for nurturing readers and writers during workshop time, small-group gatherings, or individual conferring sessions
Literacy Snapshot photo essays with ideas on how to adopt or adapt
Continuing connections with additional resources and invitations for further learning
Layers of Learning pulls together the ideas that the books we share not only serve an academic purpose, but also convey big, affective messages. This can lead to richer and more meaningful classroom conversations.
Why Do I Have to Read This?
“Why do I have to read this?”
What teacher doesn’t dread this question? It usually comes from our most disengaged students a student who cries of boredom, or one who is angry or apathetic. When we don’t know what else to try, it’s easy to become frustrated and give up on these challenging learners. Author Cris Tovani has spent her career figuring out how to entice challenging students back into the process of learning.
In Why Do I Have to Read This?: Literacy Strategies to Engage our Most Reluctant Students Tovani shares her best secrets, lessons learned from big fails, and her most effective literacy and planning strategies that hook these hard to get learners.
You will meet many of Tovani's students inside this book. As she describes some of her favorites, you may even recognize a few of your own. You will laugh at her stories and take comfort in her easily adaptable strategies that help students remove their masks of disengagement. She shows teachers how to plan by anticipating students’ needs. Her Curriculum You Anticipate structures of Topic, Task, Targets, Text, Tend to me, and Time will help you anticipate your curriculum.
Inside Why Do I Have to Read This? readers will find:
Literacy strategies for all content areas that support and engage a wide range of learners so they can read and write a variety of complex text
Reference charts packed with small bites of instructional shifts that coaches and teachers can use to quickly adjust instruction to re-engage students
Planning strategies that show teachers how to connect day-to-day instruction so that no day lives in isolation
Versatile think sheets that are reproducible and adaptable to different grade levels, content areas, and disciplines
Above all, Tovani gives teachers energy to get back into the classroom and face students who wear masks of disengagement. She reminds us of the importance of connecting students to compelling topics, rich text, useful targets, and worthy tasks. Teachers must tend to students’ basic needs and helps us consider how to best structure instructional time.
After reading this book, teachers will have new ways to connect with students in a deep, authentic way. Written in a humorous, compassionate, and wise voice, Why Do I Have to Read This?will provide answers to the pressing questions we have when we try to teach and reach all of our students.
Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines, 2nd edition
Being literate in an academic discipline is more than being able to read and comprehend text; you can think, speak, and write as a historian, scientist, mathematician, or artist. Author Doug Buehl strips away the one-size-fits-all approach to content area literacy and presents an instructional model for disciplinary literacy, which honors the discipline and helps students learn within that area.
In this revised second edition, Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines shows how to help students adjust their thinking to comprehend a range of complex texts that fall outside their reading comfort zones. Inside you’ll find:
Instructional tools that adapt generic literacy practices to discipline-specific variations
Strategies for frontloading instruction to activate and build background knowledge
New approaches for encouraging inquiry around disciplinary texts
In-depth exploration of the role of argumentation in informational text
Numerous examples from science, mathematics, history and social studies, English/language arts, and related arts to show you what vibrant learning looks like in various classroom settings
Designed to be a natural companion to Buehl’s Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning, Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines introduces teachers from all disciplines to new kinds of thinking and, ultimately, teaching that helps students achieve new levels of understanding.
Little Readers, Big Thinkers
Young learners are full of questions and wonderings, so much so that sometimes they need a guide for their curiosity. Author Amy Stewart brings her manageable approach to close reading in Little Readers, Big Thinkers: Teaching Close Reading in the Primary Grades. With Stewart guiding, you’ll be able to harness the big thinking we know is inside their inquisitive minds. She showcases ways that close reading can teach even the youngest students new ways to enjoy texts, think about them critically, and share that thinking with peers and adults.
With its description of the pillars of close reading, multiple lesson sequences for grades K-2, and real-life classroom scenarios, Little Readers, Big Thinkers offers a trove of insights:
What close reading is (and is not)
How to encourage students to “read like detectives”
Ways to weave close reading practices into your lessons
How to cultivate real reading, organic thinking, and deep conversation
Which books invite amazing learning and thinking experiences
By giving young minds a great foundation, close reading will become a stepping stone to a lifelong love of reading.
"…in reading Jeff's book, I learned something invaluable: how to actually create that 'context' we have all heard so much about, how to make editorial instruction meaningful, engaging, and understandable, even for students who struggle."
—Vicki Spandel (from the foreword)
Some teachers love grammar and some hate it, but nearly all struggle to find ways of making the mechanics of English meaningful to kids. As a middle school teacher, Jeff Anderson also discovered that his students were not grasping the basics, and that it was preventing them from reaching their potential as writers. Jeff readily admits, “I am not a grammarian, nor am I punctilious about anything,” so he began researching and testing the ideas of scores of grammar experts in his classroom, gradually finding successful ways of integrating grammar instruction into writer's workshop.
Mechanically Inclined is the culmination of years of experimentation that merges the best of writer's workshop elements with relevant theory about how and why skills should be taught. It connects theory about using grammar in context with practical instructional strategies, explains why kids often don't understand or apply grammar and mechanics correctly, focuses on attending to the “high payoff,” or most common errors in student writing, and shows how to carefully construct a workshop environment that can best support grammar and mechanics concepts. Jeff emphasizes four key elements in his teaching:
short daily instruction in grammar and mechanics within writer's workshop;
using high-quality mentor texts to teach grammar and mechanics in context;
visual scaffolds, including wall charts, and visual cues that can be pasted into writer's notebooks;
regular, short routines, like “express-lane edits,” that help students spot and correct errors automatically.
Comprising an overview of the research-based context for grammar instruction, a series of over thirty detailed lessons, and an appendix of helpful forms and instructional tools, Mechanically Inclined is a boon to teachers regardless of their level of grammar-phobia. It shifts the negative, rule-plagued emphasis of much grammar instruction into one which celebrates the power and beauty these tools have in shaping all forms of writing.
Jan Burkins and Melody M. Croft:::100175
Preventing Misguided Reading
With over 50 years of collective reading experience, authors Jan Burkins and Melody Croft bring their expertise to Preventing Misguided Reading: Next Generation Guided Reading Strategies. The authors present personal clarifications, adaptations, and supports that have helped them work through the tricky parts as they guide readers in the classroom.
Inside, each of the six chapters clarifies a misunderstanding about guided reading instruction in the following areas:
Teacher's Role and Gradual Release of Responsibility
Instructional Reading Level
With 27 strategies, Burkins and Croft will help you reframe your way of thinking about teaching reading and act on "revisioning" strategically.
Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes:::100243
Text Sets in Action
Finding ways to organize your classroom instruction for knowledge building and literacy learning can be challenging. How can you incorporate more nonfiction and informational text in your content area curriculum while expanding and deepening representation with diverse texts? What can motivate student learning while providing equity and access for different learning styles and needs? Text sets are the answer!
In Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy, authors Erika Thulin Dawes and Mary Ann Cappiello demonstrate how text sets offer students the opportunity to build critical thinking skills and informational literacy while generating interest and engagement across the content areas. Put your students in the center of the meaning-making in your classroom with multimodal multi-genre text sets in action.
In Text Sets in Action, the authors:
Model how text sets build foundational skills and metacognitive strategies as students experience a carefully scaffolded and sequenced exploration of ideas, academic, and content vocabulary
Explain how text sets encourage classroom discussion by having students ask questions about what they read, debate different perspectives, and relate the texts to their own personal experiences and the changes they would like to see in the world
Show how children’s literature and multimodal, multi-genre texts can serve as mentor texts for student writing and inspire creativity and advocacy
Demonstrate how to curate text sets that can introduce diverse and underrepresented voices into the classroom, fostering appreciation for different points of view and generate deeper critical thinking
Provide resources and suggestions for designing text sets – a multimodal, multi-genre text set can include children’s literature of all genres, as well as digital texts, YouTube videos, news articles, podcasts, and more
Text Sets in Action will help you create a collection of text sets that can be added to or edited over the years to align with your lesson plan goals. Teachers who have adopted this approach saw greater student reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. By introducing a multitude of text, teachers will ignite a spirit of inquiry and engagement for lifelong learning.
Kate Roth and Joan Dabrowski:::100197
Interactive Writing Across Grades
When done on a regular basis, interactive writing has the potential to improve independent writing. Authors Kate Roth and Joan Dabrowski detail how this systemic approach can be applied in Interactive Writing Across Grades: A Small Practice with Big Results, PreK-5. Interactive writing harnesses the natural interactions teachers have with their students as they compose a writing piece. It allows for real-time differentiation and tailored scaffolding. This method fits within any basal writing curriculum and can be adapted to your classroom’s technology levels.
This book acts as a how-to guide that unpacks this powerful method, going step-by-step and grade-by-grade to figure out where and how interactive writing fits within your literacy framework. Inside you’ll find:
A complete overview of the interactive writing method and how it fits into your balanced literacy program
Concrete ways to launch interactive writing in your classroom to support both process and craft instruction
Step-by-step guidance to implement the method with students of all ages
Student examples of writing from grades Pre-K through 5 to show what to expect at each phase of the process
“Listen in on a Lesson” vignettes that demonstrate the type of scaffolding you can offer during interactive writing lessons
Discover what makes interactive writing a particularly effective teaching practice that can support both emergent and fluent writers. Interactive Writing Across Grades can help put this method to work in the classroom immediately.
How do you choose mentor texts for your students? How do you mine them for the craft lessons you want your students to learn?
In Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts, Stacey Shubitz, co-founder of the Two Writing Teachers website, uses twenty recently published picture books to create more than 180 lessons to teach various craft moves that will help your students become better writers. Each of the 184 lessons in the book includes a publisher’s summary, a rationale or explanation of the craft move demonstrated in the book, and a procedure that takes teachers and students back into the mentor text to deepen their understanding of the selected craft move. A step-by-step guide demonstrates how to analyze a picture book for multiple craft moves.
Shubitz introduces picture books as teaching tools and offers ways to integrate them into your curriculum and classroom discussions. She then shares different routines and classroom procedures designed to help students focus on their writing during the writer's workshop as well as focusing how teachers can prepare for small group instruction. Using picture books as mentor texts will help your students not only read as writers and write with joy but also become writers who can effectively communicate meaning, structure their writing, write with detail, and give their writing their own unique voice.
Shifting the Balance, Grades 3–5
In this much anticipated follow-up to their groundbreaking book, Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom, authors Jan Burkins and Kari Yates, together with co-author Katie Cunningham, extend the conversation in Shifting the Balance, Grades 3-5: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom. This new text is built in mind specifically for grades 3-5 teachers around best practices for the intermediate classroom.
Shifting the Balance, Grades 3-5 introduces six more shifts across individual chapters that:
Zoom in on a common (but not-as helpful-as-we-had-hoped) practice to reconsider
Untangle a number of “misunderstandings” that have likely contributed to the use of the common practice
Propose a more science-aligned shift to the current practice
Provide solid scientific research to support the revised practice
Offer a collection of high-leverage, easy-to-implement instructional routines to support the shift to more brain-friendly instruction
The authors offer a refreshing approach that is respectful, accessible, and practical – grounded in an earnest commitment to building a bridge between research and classroom practice. As with the first Shifting the Balance, they aim to keep students at the forefront of reading instruction.
Next Steps with Academic Conversations
Dr. Jeff Zwiers, an educational researcher at Stanford University, has spent the last 15 years analyzing classroom conversations to see how they can be better used and improved in classroom settings. Teachers who have worked with him report significant growth in students’ engagement, content learning, language, creativity, and sense of agency.
Zweirs introduced his initial vision for classroom conversations in Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding. His follow-up book, Next Steps with Academic Conversations: New Ideas for Improving Learning Through Classroom Talk, expands the first book with updated classroom strategies and practices. In this new version, teachers will discover:
How to introduce buildable ideas and teach students how to develop and support them
Equitable classroom discussions and how diverse backgrounds conversing can benefit social skills and emotional intelligence
Highlights of new research-based theories on classroom conversation
Ways to develop students' confidence in conversation and how classroom skills can apply to real world interactions
This resource is the product of his extensive research, co-teaching, and collaborating with a wide range of educators. It was written for busy teachers who want a practical guide for strengthening the quality and quantity of productive conversations in their lessons.
Growing Independent Learners
Debbie Diller has revolutionized literacy instruction in countless classrooms over the years, demonstrating how to effectively use literacy workstations to engage students in critical literacy learning. In Growing Independent Learners: From Literacy Standards to Stations, K-3, she provides a comprehensive guide to help you plan instruction focused on literacy standards, organize your classroom for maximum benefit, and lead your students to independence through whole-group lessons, small-group focus, and partner learning at literacy stations.
The first four chapters lay the foundation with planning, organizing, and instruction that are essential for success with literacy workstations. From creating a model classroom and developing planning tools to using anchor charts, Diller gives you creative ideas for making the most of your classroom environment to support student independence.
Later chapters focus on standards-based instruction built around key reading, writing, and foundational skills as well as speaking, listening, and language standards. Each of these chapters provides the following:
Detailed explanations of each standard’s importance and real-world application examples
Planning tools including academic vocabulary, modifiable lesson plans for whole group instruction, and suggestions for literacy workstations
Mentor texts to use during whole group, small group, or stations
Over 400 full-color photos demonstrating workstations in action
Ways to connect lessons into other areas of daily instruction, including independent reading time, small-group instruction, and workstations
Growing Independent Learners will help you create a vibrant classroom filled with independent learners. This book will quickly become an essential resource for any teacher who believes that all children can learn to work independently in a classroom that’s well organized and mindfully planned.
"Introducing a spelling test to a student by saying, 'Let's see how many words you know,' is different from saying, 'Let's see how many words you know already.' It is only one word, but the already suggests that any words the child knows are ahead of expectation and, most important, that there is nothing permanent about what is known and not known." — Peter Johnston
Grounded in research, Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Livesshows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional and moral development. Make no mistake: words have the power to open minds – or close them.
Following up his groundbreaking book, Choice Words, author Peter Johnston continues to demonstrate how the things teachers say (and don’t say) have surprising consequences for the literate lives of students. In this new book, Johnston shows how the words teachers choose can affect the worlds students inhabit in the classroom. He explains how to engage children with more productive talk and how to create classrooms that support students’ intellectual development, as well as their development as human beings.
Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford:::100141
Conversing with others has given insights to different perspectives, helped build ideas, and solve problems. Academic conversations push students to think and learn in lasting ways. Academic conversations are back-and-forth dialogues in which students focus on a topic and explore it by building, challenging, and negotiating relevant ideas.
In Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings authors Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford address the challenges teachers face when trying to bring thoughtful, respectful, and focused conversations into the classroom. They identify five core communications skills needed to help students hold productive academic conversation across content areas:
Elaborating and Clarifying
Supporting Ideas with Evidence
Building On and/or Challenging Ideas
This book shows teachers how to weave the cultivation of academic conversation skills and conversations into current teaching approaches. More specifically, it describes how to use conversations to build the following:
Academic vocabulary and grammar
Critical thinking skills such as persuasion, interpretation, consideration of multiple perspectives, evaluation, and application
Literacy skills such as questioning, predicting, connecting to prior knowledge, and summarizing
An academic classroom environment brimming with respect for others' ideas, equity of voice, engagement, and mutual support
The ideas in this book stem from many hours of classroom practice, research, and video analysis across grade levels and content areas. Readers will find numerous practical activities for working on each conversation skill, crafting conversation-worthy tasks, and using conversations to teach and assess. Academic Conversations offers an in-depth approach to helping students develop into the future parents, teachers, and leaders who will collaborate to build a better world.
Super Spellers Starter Sets
With Super Spellers Starter Sets, you have everything you need to bring to life the wisdom of Super Spellers: Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction. Building on his research-based approach, Mark Weakland provides lesson plans and tools to create spelling centers and teach spelling strategies.
This teacher resource provides a wealth of material, all adaptable to match the needs of your students:
Seven spelling strategy lessons every student needs to know
More than 20 lessons for different grade levels
Pointers, differentiated word lists, sorting masters and correlating word ladders
Six must-have spelling centers for nurturing independent practice
A resource-rich appendix
With these resources, your students will notice and remember spelling patterns and words while making connections between spelling and their reading and writing lives.
Becoming a Literacy Leader, 2nd edition
In this second edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change, author Jennifer Allen reflects on her work as a literacy specialist and how the role has evolved in the decade since she wrote the first edition. Her experiences can apply to all school leaders including principals, coaches, teachers, support staff, and office administrators. Allen focuses on three ideas to describe her work:
Layered Leadership, the multitude of supports in place for teachers to encourage learning and change within schools
Shared experiences that develop community and develop common understanding of practices, curriculum, and assessment
Importance of “rowing in the same direction” in that literacy coaches and leaders stay interconnected and aligned to the goals of the school
Allen knows the challenges of teachers face and advocates literacy coaches implement these layers of support within a school, including in-class support, curriculum support and assessment, study group facilitation, and the cultivation of teacher leadership. In Becoming a Literacy Leader, she provides an explicit framework for implementing these layers of coaching and explains how administrators can use the literacy leader position to build and sustain change within their schools.
This book will be the road map for how literacy leaders and coaches approach their work with purpose and intention. Online videos that accompany the book bring the text alive by showing readers what coaching looks and sounds like.
No matter where students’ lives lead after graduation, one of the most essential tools we can teach them is how to comprehend, analyze, and respond to arguments. Students need to know how writers’ and speakers’ choices are shaped by elements of the rhetorical situation, including audience, occasion, and purpose. In Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response, Jennifer Fletcher provides teachers with engaging classroom activities, writing prompts, graphic organizers, and student samples to help students at all levels read, write, listen, speak, and think rhetorically.
Fletcher believes that, with appropriate scaffolding and encouragement, all students can learn a rhetorical approach to argument and gain access to rigorous academic content. Teaching Arguments opens the door and helps them pay closer attention to the acts of meaning around them, to notice persuasive strategies that might not be apparent at first glance. When we analyze and develop arguments, we have to consider more than just the printed words on the page. We have to evaluate multiple perspectives; the tension between belief and doubt; the interplay of reason, character, and emotion; the dynamics of occasion, audience, and purpose; and how our own identities shape what we read and write. Rhetoric teaches us how to do these things.
Teaching Arguments will help students learn to move beyond a superficial response to texts so they can analyze and craft sophisticated, persuasive arguments—a major cornerstone for being not just college-and career-ready but ready for the challenges of the world.
Kathleen Fay, Christine Moritz, and Suzanne Whaley:::100039
Powerful Book Introductions
Effective book introductions during guided reading set the stage for young readers to navigate new texts independently and successfully and often shape the outcome of small-group lessons. Many teachers struggle with decisions about what these introductions should address, what they should include, and how to conduct them.
In Powerful Book Introductions: Leading with Meaning for Deeper Thinking literacy leaders Kathleen Fay, Chrisie Moritz, and Suzanne Whaley speak to these concerns by taking a close look at the purposeful planning that goes into preparing for this small but vital part of today’s guided reading lessons. Through relatable classroom examples and the wisdom of their shared teaching experiences, the authors show you how to:
Select texts for your small-group lessons specifically based on your students’ needs
Amplify meaning-making from the first moments of your guided reading book introductions and maintain this emphasis
Introduce visual and structural information to support your readers in meaning-making
No matter where you are in your understanding of guided reading, Powerful Book Introductions will help you as you learn to craft student-centered, meaning-driven book introductions that prepare your readers for success.
Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith:::100150
Word mastery comes from intimate knowledge of language. In Word Nerds:Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary, authors Leslie Montgomery and Margot Holmes Smith take you inside classrooms where they implement creative, flexible vocabulary instruction that improves their students’ word knowledge and confidence. With support from literacy specialist Brenda Overturf, the authors developed a five-part plan to teach all students to learn vocabulary:
Introducing new words in context
Adding related synonyms and antonyms
Engaging in several days of active learning
Celebrating new words
Assessing vocabulary development
This easy-to-read reference explains how to plan, teach, and assess based on the latest research in vocabulary instruction and learning. After incorporating the authors’ plan, you can be a Word Nerd too!
When Writers Drive the Workshop
With increasing school mandates and pressure to perform well on standardized tests, writing instruction has shifted to more accountability, taking the focus away from the writer. In his engaging book, When Writers Drive the Workshop: Honoring Young Voices and Bold Choices, author Brian Kissel asks teachers to go back to the roots of the writing workshop and let the students lead the conference. What happens when students, not tests, determine what they learned through reflection and self-evaluation?
In When Writers Drive the Workshop, you’ll find practical ideas, guiding beliefs, FAQs, and Digital Diversions to help visualize digital possibilities in the classroom. Written in an engaging, teacher-to-teacher style, this book focuses on four key components of writing workshop:
Student-led conferring sessions where the teachers are the listeners
“The Author’s Chair”, where students set the agenda and gather feedback
Structured reflection time for students to set goals and expectations for themselves
Mini lessons that allow for detours based on students’ needs, not teacher or curricula goals
All students have the powerful, shared need to be heard; when they choose their writing topics, they can see their lives unfold on the page. Teachers are educated by the bold choices of these young voices.
Katrin L Blamey:::100144
Starting Strong: Evidence-Based Early Literacy Practices shows teachers how to use four proven instructional approaches—standards based, evidenced based, assessment based, and student based—to improve their teaching practice in all areas of early literacy.
Authors Katrin Blamey and Katherine Beauchat draw on their years of experience and early literacy expertise to guide you in figuring out what to teach and how to find the most instructionally sound method to teach it. They help you determine the instructional needs of your classroom and take full advantage of what you know about your students so you can engage them in learning.
With chapters on oral language, vocabulary, phonological awareness, word recognition, comprehension, and writing skills, this comprehensive book explains each skill and provides research-based strategies for targeting each area. Supported by evidence-based research and aligned to key tenets of the Common Core, the book also includes classroom-tested activities and children’s literature suggestions for each area of literacy. Starting Strongis an essential resource that any early literacy teacher or coach using a balanced literacy approach can use to build a solid foundation for their students.
Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers
In her moving and personal book Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers, Ruth Ayres weaves together her experience as a mother, teacher, and writer. She explores the power of stories to heal children from troubled backgrounds and offers up strategies for helping students discover and write about their own stories of strength and survival. She shares her own struggles and triumphs and hard-earned lessons from raising a family of four adopted children. Her experience is invaluable to any teacher who’s met children living in poverty, in unstable households, or in fear of abuse.
Ayres explores brain research and the ways trauma can change the brain and how encouraging all students to write can help offset some of these effects. She believes that all students benefit from revealing their stories, by communicating information and opinion that allows darkness to turn to light in the lives of children. In the last part of her book she offers up practical suggestions for enticing all writers, regardless of their struggles. Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers invites you on a journey to become a teacher who refuses to give up on any student, who helps children believe that they can have a positive impact on the world, and who—in some cases—becomes the last hope for a child to heal.
Black Ants and Buddhists
What would a classroom look like if understanding and respecting differences in race, culture, beliefs, and opinions were at its heart? If you were inspired to become a teacher because you wanted to develop young minds, but now find yourself limited by "teach to the test" pressures and state standards, Mary Cowhey's book Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades will reignite the passion and remind you that educators provide more than test prep.
Starting her career as a community activist, Cowhey shares her roots and how they influenced her Peace Class, where she asks her students to think critically, learn through activism and discussion, and view the entire curriculum through the framework of understanding the world, and what they can do to make it a better place.
Woven through the book is Mary's unflinching and humorous account of her own roots as well as lessons from her heroes: Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Jr, and others. Her students learn to make connections between their lives, the books they read, the community leaders they meet, and the larger world.
Black Ants and Buddhists offers no easy answers, but it does include starting points for conversations about diversity and controversy in your classroom, as well as in the larger community. Students and teachers investigate problems and issues together, in a multicultural, antiracist classroom.
Editing is often seen as one item on a list of steps in the writing process—usually put somewhere near the end, and often completely crowded out of writer's workshop. Too many times daily editing lessons happen in a vacuum, with no relationship to what students are writing.
In Everyday Editing, Jeff Anderson asks teachers to reflect on what sort of message this approach sends to students. Does it tell them that editing and revision are meaningful parts of the writing process, or just a hunt for errors with a 50/50 chance of getting it right—comma or no comma?
Instead of rehearsing errors and drilling students on what's wrong with a sentence, Jeff invites students to look carefully at their writing along with mentor texts, and to think about how punctuation, grammar, and style can be best used to hone and communicate meaning.
Written in Jeff's characteristically witty style, this refreshing and practical guide offers an overview of his approach to editing within the writing workshop as well as ten detailed sets of lessons covering everything from apostrophes to serial commas. These lessons can be used throughout the year to replace Daily Oral Language or error-based editing strategies with a more effective method for improving student writing.
Teacher's Toolkit for Independent Reading, Grade 3
Creating strong, independent readers with conferring requires thoughtful planning, active listening, accurate tracking, and personalized follow-up. Many teachers don’t know where to start; planning effective conferring conversations and selecting the right tools can seem daunting. Teachers Gravity Goldberg and Renée Houser understand how overwhelming conferring can be, so they developed the Teacher’s Toolkit for Independent Reading, Grade 3.
Designed especially for Grade 3 students, the Teacher’s Toolkit provides an all-in-one conferring system to help teachers:
Access ready-to-use teaching texts, a curriculum guide with grade-level specifics for teaching with focus, and tools to engage students in their individual reading process and progress
Learn and model essential independent reading skills for their students
Build the confidence to focus on responsive, personalized discussions with students
Organize and easily access teaching materials and student progress notes in one place
Gain ready access to expert conferring advice provided in the professional book, online videos, and Facebook community
Each Toolkit includes: Grade-Level Specific Teaching Materials
Supporting Independent Readers: 25 Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Conferring professional book, Grades 3-5
Grade-level specific Your Everyday Guide to Conferring, Grade 3
Teacher's Reading Notebook, Grades 3-5
Teaching Texts booklet, Grade 3
Conferring Organizer and Management System
3-ring binder with 32 rewriteable tabs and 5-pocket accordion storage area
Teacher and student-specific sticky notes
Convenient zippered binder pouch for storage
Companion Website Access
20-30 videos for sustained professional development and learning
Video viewing guide
Downloadable tools from Your Everyday Guide to Conferring, Grade 3
With Teacher's Toolkit for Independent Reading, Grade 3, teachers will have everything they need to prepare, model, track, and manage effective, student-centered conferring sessions with confidence.
Teacher's Toolkit for Independent Reading, Grade 4 and Teacher's Toolkit for Independent Reading, Grade 5 are also available.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion