Literacy Links – Volume 71

literacy links, professional resources, reading


I have a lot of antiracist work to do. I’ve donated money, I’m starting a summer book club on the book, How to Be Antiracist, for any interested staff, and I plan on attending both of the Kidlit sessions above (the link is the first one below). Let’s learn and unlearn together.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 70

creating, literacy links, online learning, professional resources, reading, summer, writing

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Summer reading is a passion of mine. I’ve developed a summer reading launch unit for teachers to use in the past, so I adapted it for quaranteaching. The goal of the units, one for primary and another for intermediate, is to set up students for success for summer reading: figuring out their best reading routines, sharing book talks, and setting a summer reading goal. There are lots of accompanying resources: an info session video and accompanying presentation for families, book lists from trusted sources, and a collection of themed, digital Bitmoji libaries curated by Center teachers! I want summer 2020 reading to be our most successful ever!

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:


Literacy Links – Volume 68

book clubs, creating, online learning, professional resources, reading, writing

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This week, the second grade team at my school asked for online book club info, so I rounded up my go-to resources in my free version of Padlet (I maxed out my Padlets, and I refuse to pay $8 per month right now): videos of book clubs in action for students to analyze and infer, some organizational tools, accountable talk stems, Learning Progressions from the Units of Study, discussion prompts, and my favorite assessment tools. The only grade-level specific tool is the Learning Progressions: I find them SO helpful in providing a focus for a reading unit. Choose 3-5 different topics from the Learning Progressions and your minilessons will have more focus and potency. It’s definitely a work in progress, so check later for more resources!

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 67

book list, literacy links, online learning, professional resources, writing

Bitmoji Virtual Library - Caring for the Earth

Two weeks ago, I shared my first iteration of a virtual library. Since then, I’ve seen lots of other versions pop up online so I expanded my repertoire and created my first Bitmoji virtual library. I couldn’t love it more! The collection’s focus is Caring for the Earth. All you or your students and families need to do is click on the image above, and then click on a book cover you want to read. You will be led to a read aloud or read along of the book! So fun, right? I learned all sorts of tricks to make this virtual library: how to make my first Bitmoji (I know, 4 years too late!), how to find images without background (Tip: Include “transparent” in the search box!), and how to remove backgrounds (Tip: Go to!). This teacher’s tutorial was SO helpful. Maybe I’ll run a fun PD for teachers where we create a BUNCH of virtual libraries covering all sorts of topics. We could promote them for summer reading! Now my juices are flowing!!!

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Writing Clinic #6: Shared and Interactive Writing

professional resources, writing

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My sixth Writing Clinic’s focus was shared and interactive writing, and if you are an LPS employee, you can access it HERE. This is the second Writing Clinic to occur during quarantine, so it’s another online, on-demand PD that I pre-recorded. I confess that I’m disappointed to not have the live discussions, but giving teachers ANOTHER Zoom meeting to attend doesn’t feel right. So the flexibility of a pre-recorded, on-demand format won! Take a look at the general outline of the workshop below, and happy writing!

Book Talk

I love choosing books to share with teachers and students, and for my past THREE PD sessions, I’ve looked to poetry. My selection this time was Dictionary for a Better World, which is also available on Epic. What a gorgeous, useful book for the world!


My minilesson definitely ignored one of my biggest rules of teaching because I *assumed* that teachers were familiar with shared and interactive writing. I very briefly described what shared and interactive writing were, and instead spent most of my fifteen-minute minilesson discussing WHY and HOW TO do it.

Tinker Time

The options for teachers’ tinker time were:

  • creating a shared/interactive writing toolkit
  • brainstorming shared/interactive writing opportunities
  • reading professional resources


After doing some work, teachers have the opportunity to share on my Writing Clinics Padlet.

There’s just one more Writing Clinic this year, and it will be more of a reflection and conversation about next steps with writing. Can’t wait!

Literacy Links – Volume 65

book list, literacy links, online learning, professional resources, science, writing

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 9.11.34 AMSince we’re officially continuing remote learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, my new goal is to begin each forthcoming Literacy Links post with a remote learning instructional resource. I’ll make a video lesson and include all of the necessary resources to share with students. WOO HOO! This week’s lesson is for science: How to Make a Scientific Illustration. It comes with a video lesson, anchor chart, and virtual classroom library. I was so inspired by Clare Landrigan’s Virtual Classroom Library idea that I created a virtual bin around the theme “Think Like a Scientist”.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

PD – “History in the Making” Journals

professional resources, writing

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As a coach, I’ve struggled with finding my role in remote learning. Normally, I support teachers, but with the unfamiliar expectations and pressures teachers are facing right now, would my support be overwhelming? This article from Gravity Goldberg helped me reflect on the ways I could best contribute to my school community. One of the ways I could help most was by continuing my professional development.

After doing several Zooms with TCRWP staff, I decided that one of my major contributions would be to continue offering PD to my staff. Lucy Calkins talked about having students AND teachers do big, important work during this time, not busy work. Provide some purpose. This PD isn’t compulsory, but it is flexible. Teachers can decide if and when to do the PD. On-demand PD allows for choice and availability during this unpredictable time.

The question became: What will I teach? I’ve been posting on my social media accounts about kids keeping journals during this historic crisis, and I recently realized that ADULTS could benefit from keeping a journal right now, too: for our mental health and for ideas to use with students. So I created a PD opportunity for any interested staff: “‘History in the Making’ Journals”. It’s a flipped PD, which means teachers will explore the resources I’ve gathered and tinker with their journals on their own. Then we’ll share our experiences (NOT our journals) in a Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 3:15. Piktochart came to my rescue again by providing an easy-to-use infographic template for my workshop:

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Here’s the breakdown of the PD:


To build teachers’ background knowledge, I shared an article from the LA Times, “Journaling the coronavirus pandemic”. I copied the article to a Google Doc so that my colleagues could track their thinking with comments. I love doing this for a couple reasons. First, making others’ thinking visible is fascinating and helpful. I usually learn as much from my peers’ comments than I do from the text! Second, it models a task that teachers could replicate with their students.


I gathered resources for the minilesson in a Padlet: more background info, examples of journals, prompts/sentence starters, and minilessons. Basically anything that could inspire journal work. I especially love the journal examples, most of which I took from the LA Times article. A graphic journal? I’d never considered it. Writing a note in my phone? Pretty handy. These resources could also be used with students. Seeing all of the options gave me all sorts of ideas.

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Tinker Time

Tinker time is what I call the middle section of the workshop when writers and readers get the bulk of time to practice the skill or strategy taught in the minilesson independently. For teachers’ tinker time in this workshop, they’re going to work on their journals. They might tinker with a different structure each day until they find a “just right” fit for them, or they might do something different every day based on what they want to express. As teachers work through this process, I hope that they have some moments of genius about how they could adapt this work with students or supports students might need.


I scheduled a Zoom for Wednesday, April 1st at 3:15 for anyone to attend, whether they did journal work or not. Since journals are intimate and private, we won’t be sharing journal pages. Instead, we’ll share our experiences with the process and reflect on ways to do this work with students. I’m really looking forward to the conversation.

I’ve started brainstorming other on-demand PD ideas to lead during quarantine. Do you have any requests? Let me know!

Literacy Links – Volume 61

grammar/conventions, literacy links, online learning, poetry, professional resources, writing

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What does a literacy coach do in quarantine? Reformat PD for teachers so they can access them on-demand and remotely! The first remote learning PD I developed was Writing Clinic #5: Demo Pieces. I decided to gather all of the Writing Clinics on a Padlet in case teachers had time to explore previous Writing Clinics. My latest quarantine PD is “History in the Making” Journals. It’s a flipped PD, which means teachers will explore the resources I’ve gathered and tinker with their journals on their own. Then we’ll share our experiences (NOT journals) in a Zoom on Wednesday, April 1 at 3:15. I’m really excited about continuing to offer PD online. 🙂

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Literacy Links – Volume 60

Harry Potter, literacy links, online learning, professional resources, writing

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Hope everyone reading this and your families are doing ok.

Teaching and learning look very different right now. Although I am personally hoping that the only literacy work that students are doing is reading and keeping a journal, I think we can support that work by doing book talks and offering writing ideas and reminders, like tips for making books at home or capitalizing first word in a sentence (only accessible through LPS Google accounts). Students have a lot of unique experiences and feelings right now, so encourage them to document them as much as possible.

Here is this week’s roundup of literacy links for some quick inspiration, tips, and refreshment:

Writing Clinic #5 – Demo Pieces

professional resources, writing

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Writing Clinic #5 – Demo Pieces has been planned for a while, but the quarantine demanded a different format. Since I always use a workshop structure (book talk, minilesson, tinker time, and share), I knew that part would be the same. I just needed to find the right delivery platform. SO MANY new (to me!) platforms have been shared over the past several weeks that I have to admit: They’ve all BLURRED together. Even if they hadn’t, though, I don’t think I currently have the head space for another new thing. So I decided to keep it simple by using a Google Doc file.

First, I divided it into the workshop sections, plus a message from me and more info sections. Then I recorded my minilesson in Quicktime and didn’t even think about editing or reshooting it because ain’t nobody homeschooling AND working from home got time for that. The only new thing I learned how to do was how to add a hyperlink to an image, which was so simple I didn’t even have to Google it. Finally I added in all of the text and hyperlinks that teachers would need to navigate this on-demand PD. I’m eager to hear how it goes!