Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Spring Edition

Vacation is the perfect time to read, relax and recharge. I've collected book recommendations, blog posts and instructional ideas that you may want to check out this spring! Happy Reading!

31 Teaching Truths

During the month of March, Mary Lee Hahn (from one of my favorite blogs, A Year of Reading) wrote a daily post with a teaching truth. We can all relate to many of these truths about our profession. #31 may be my favorite: Believe in Magic.

31. Believe in magic.
Because teaching and learning are magic, aren't they? Building a classroom community from scratch every year; meeting the ever-changing, ever-shifting needs of a diverse group of learners to the very best of your ability day after day; making a kid's day; making a colleague's day; learning to be a better teacher years or decades into your's all magic. And without these strong threads of magic that we weave in our classrooms, the fabric of our nation...of our democracy...would fray and shred and dissolve.

I hope you all have a fantastic vacation! I'm looking forward to watching you create magic this spring!


Every Month Can Be Poetry Month!

New Poetry Titles Recommended by NCTE

Here are some new poetry recommendations to add to your collection!

Immersion Into Poetry With Centers

Check out this blog post with great ideas for poetry centers to add to your reading workshop this spring!

New Book Recommendations

Ideas for Reading Workshop

Reading Magic

Primary teachers will appreciate this blog post about the importance of looking beyond a DRA level and celebrating the magnificent work of our young readers.

Chapter Book Read Aloud Recommendations for Primary Grades

Teachers in grades K-3... If you are looking for a new read aloud for this spring, check out these great recommendations from Michele Knott!

Incredible Collection of Reading Workshop Articles and Blogposts to Stretch Your Thinking

Take a minute to skim through this incredible list of posts and articles on a variety of topics related to reading workshop!

Books to Spark Empathy

I love all of the books on Pernille's collection of books to spark empathy. Check them out! I have a few titles that you can borrow for your read alouds.

Helping Readers Self Select Better Books

If you have students who have trouble self-selecting the right book, check out these great tips from Pernille Ripp!

Small Group Writing Instruction

Urgent Small Groups

In this blogpost, Lanny Ball recommends this loose rule to planning writing instruction:

  • If 80% or more of students in the class need the lesson, then we teach it as a 10-12 minute minilesson to the whole class.
  • If, say between 30% (a third or so) and 70% (three quarters or so or a little less) need the lesson, then we consider teaching it in small groups.
  • If just a few kids need the lesson, then we plan some intentional partnership conferences or individual conferences.

I would highly recommend reading the suggestion in this post about how to use writing samples to determine needs for small group instruction.

Big picture
Here's my vacation To Be Read stack. I'm not sure how far I will get, but I hope to dive into many of these books this week. Happy reading to you!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Williams Elementary School

Atwood Primary School