Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources for Literacy Instruction

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a fabulous first week back with your students! The start of a new year is the perfect time to look at our schedules and reflect on how we use our time. Two of the best ways to use our reading time are independent reading with individual conferences and read aloud. This week I'm sharing some reading resources to support reading workshop.

Happy Reading!


Mock Caldecott

On Monday, January 23, the next Caledcott Medal winning book will be announced! Here's an outstanding Mock Caledcott unit for the upper grades that incorporates opinion writing with reasons and evidence. In the primary grades, it would be fun to share a few top contenders and have your students vote for their favorite. I'm looking forward to the announcement of this year's winner!

Top Caledcott Contenders from Mr. Schu Many of the books on this list are available in the Atwood Primary Library, the Oakland Public Library or my personal picture book collection! I'm exciting to see if the winner is on this list!

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Here's an awesome Mock Caldecott display from Michelle Knott!

Best Books of 2016

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I am a huge fan of the Nerdy Book Club! Each year they post a collection of the best books of the year. Here are the lists for 2016! Any of these books would be a great addition to your classroom library!

Best Nonfiction Picture Books

Best Early Readers and Chapter Books

Best Poetry and Novels in Verse

Best Middle Grade Fiction

Rethinking Reading Instruction in the New Year

Research shows that one of the very best ways to increase reading achievement is to make sure that students are spending uninterrupted time each day reading. I know we've shared the image of the difference between students who only read 5 minutes a day compared to 20 minutes per day. We can't control the amount of time students read at home, but we can make sure they are reading at least twenty minutes a day at school. You may have an hour reading workshop block, but one of the most important questions you can ask yourself this new year is how much of that time do students spend actually reading books or short texts compared to centers or reading assignments?

The Secret to Engaging Reluctant Readers

I recently shared this article at a WES staff meeting. Having individual student conference isn't just the secret to engaging reluctant readers; it's one of the best ways to engage all readers! Making time for reading conferences during your reading workshop is a great goal for the new year.

Supporting Independent Readers and Independent Reading

Great blog post from Jennifer Serravallo on the best ways to support students during independent reading.

Jennifer Serravallo's The Reading Strategies Book is an outstanding resource for mini lessons and individual conferences. Let me know if you would like to check it out! I hope to share it with you during our spring team days!

You can also check out this link to some YouTube videos of reading conferences with Jennifer Serravallo.

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Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School