Tag Archives: Lucy Calkins

Developing Robust If…Then… Units in Reading, K-5

Developing Robust If/Then Units in Reading K-5

Written By Anna Gratz Cockerille

The Units of Study in Reading is a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide a years’ worth of instruction in reading. Each kit contains four fully fleshed-out units that together provide a balance of foundational skills, nonfiction and fiction. Each unit represents about six to eight weeks of instruction, so there is space for some additional teaching to round out a school year. Hence, the If…Then…Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction book that is part of every kit. 

Continue reading

Supporting Best Practices in Phonics Instruction (Including Sneak Peeks into the New Phonics Program TCRWP is Developing) K-2

Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille

When it comes to teaching young students to read and write, no curriculum for the primary grades would be complete without an emphasis on word study. Emergent readers and writers must understand how letters, sounds, and words work to form the building blocks of language. A good word study curriculum supports students not only in knowing sounds and letters, but in becoming problem-solvers and detectives, confident enough in their word-solving skills that they can tackle inevitable trouble. 

Continue reading

Ways to Support All Readers in Our Classrooms K-8

calkclasslib611px21Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille

Because of its deliberately simple and predictable structure, reading workshop allows teachers to adapt their instruction to meet students’ needs in the most responsive of ways. There are few topics that matter more than responsive teaching. Certainly, no two learners are the same, so no one curriculum could possibly meet all learners’ needs. Nowhere in the curriculum is this more true than in reading.

Continue reading

Positive Approaches to Supporting All Learners in Writing Workshop K-5

Units_PC_Brewster_DSC09949Written by by Anna Gratz Cockerille

The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project works in schools that are brimful with all kinds of learners – learners who are new to English, learners with Individualized Education Programs, learners who are new to writing workshop, learners categorized as gifted and talented, and many, many others. The TCRWP staff think deeply about ways to adjust the writing workshop to meet the needs of all learners. Fortunately, the predicable, flexible nature of writing workshop makes it an ideal curriculum to support differentiation. All writers can participate in the writing workshop, regardless of how their writing compares to their peers. 

Continue reading

How to Plan for Book Clubs in Middle School

historical fiction book club option

The following is an excerpt from pages 74-75 of A Guide to the Teachers
College Reading and Writing Project Classroom Libraries, Grades 6–8
by Lucy Calkins and Mary Ehrenworth

What is a book club?

Simply put, a book club is a group of readers, usually three or four, who read books roughly in sync with each other. Usually clubs read the same book, but sometimes clubs may read books by the same author, or read a series of books together that share a common genre—mystery, historical fiction, fantasy—or they may read a collection of disparate books with a common lens—thinking about interpretation, learning about shared social issues across the book.

Continue reading

Tools Don’t Teach, Teachers Do! Using Tools to Support Our Teaching & Teach to Independence

Teachers Toolkits

Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille

Building a strong workshop practice is similar to building a house. Doing it successfully takes expertise, patience, foresight, flexibility, and, of course, the right tools. Having an arsenal of resources to draw upon, in minilessons and in conferences and small groups, is key when you need to teach on your feet, reflexively and quickly meeting the needs of a range of students. 

Just as no two teachers are the same, and no two groups of students are the same, so must teachers’ toolkits be varied, personalized by the teacher and set up to best support the teachers' current group. A toolkit might be a binder filled with text samples and checklists, or it might be a digital toolkit filled with resources available at the touch of a button. A toolkit’s mode of delivery is far less important than its usability and connection to students’ needs. However you decide to store your teaching toolkit, digitally or in a good, old-fashioned binder, here are some tips for its organization and development.

Continue reading