Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Resources for Literacy, Classroom Libraries and Language

This week I spent a lot of my time in classrooms during reading workshop in both schools. I was able to lead a few CAFE lessons (using spoons!) and confer with readers during Read to Self or independent reading time. As always, thank you for sharing your students with me. I am so grateful for the way all of you have welcomed me into your classrooms!

Since most of you are working on launching your reading workshop and matching books to readers, I thought you might enjoy this beautiful blog post by author Cynthia Lord about the power of choice. It made me reflect on the words I use as a parent and as a teacher. I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to read it ~ I think you all may love it as much as I do!

Happy Reading,


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Wonderopolis is an fabulous resource for any classroom! If you have never checked it out, this website posts a Wonder of the Day. If it's been a while since you have visited the site, it has some new features. For each daily wonder, you will find:

*Have you ever wondered... questions,

*A video related to the question,

*Wonder Words (which is vocabulary from the passage) with a link to a Wonder Word Challenge where students match a few words and definitions,

*Did You Get It?, which is a knowledge quiz to use after reading the passage,

*A link at the bottom of the page where you can print a copy of the passage for your students to use (possibly for close reading), and

*Try It Out activities related to the Wonder of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Wonderopolis offers a search option where you can look for wonders related to a unit of study. You could also choose to have a daily or weekly time for your class to visit Wonderopolis. In the upper grades, Wonderopolis could be a station for students to read and explore informational text.

The National Center for Families Learning has created an outstanding Educator's Guide for using Wonderopolis! There are ideas in the guide that can be applied to classrooms K-12!

For kindergarten teachers, this is a great blog post on Ideas for using Wonderopolis in kindergarten.

Ideas for Wonder Walls

12 Steps to Creating a Language Rich Environment

This blog post from Scholastic has excellent recommendations for creating a Language Rich Environment that can apply to any grade level or content area. You may be doing many of the things the author recommends, but I thought there were some new ideas that teachers may want to try out! I enjoyed her suggestions of anchor charts and collecting examples of awesome language with students as a way to support all learners, especially those who struggle with language and vocabulary.

Classroom Library

The First Days of School: What Do Our Classroom Libraries Say to Young Readers?

Cathy Mere shares a list of messages our classroom libraries (regardless of age) should convey to our students. Her list includes the following messages as well as Pinterest boards with awesome book titles for each message!

You're welcome here.

All readers matter.

I already know you.

Books are valued here.

We'll grow this together.

Come read with me.

How to organize a classroom library: 20 points to consider

Even if you feel that your classroom library is well organized for you and your students, I still recommend checking out this recent post by Carrie Gelson! She has some great suggestions for reflecting on your classroom library!

My classroom library: Beyond the books, 10 important features

Carrie Gelson shares great ideas for organizing your classroom library. I love how she posts key vocabulary on book jackets to display for students! I also love that she has a bin of Favorite Read Alouds that kids can visit to reread favorite read aloud books.

Great Early Elementary Read Alouds

All summaries for these books came from If you are interested in borrowing any of these books, let me know! Marty McGuire and Dory Fantasmagory can be found in the Atwood Primary Library. Thank you to Amy Grener for recommending Dory to me! Grace may now be her biggest fan! Jacob highly recommends Shelter Pet Squad!

Great Upper Elementary Read Alouds

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Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach

Grades K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School