Category Archives: Online PD

PLC Series: The Language We Can Gather from Reading More Widely

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at the creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection.

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”

—William Faulkner

By Katherine Bomer

The secret to teaching how to write is to read, but that doesn't mean standing in front of the How to Write section in Barnes & Noble and picking a book by an author you’ve never heard of. Instead read what you’re passionate about and then try to widen the scope of that passion, reading different genres, so that you can say you’re passionate about good writing with the confidence that you know what good writing is regardless of genre. Trust in your own responses as a reader—good writing excites you, moves you, gives you clarity, makes you laugh, and makes you realize how deliciously complicated life really is.

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PLC Series: Write-Alouds


Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection. 

During read aloud, we have the opportunity to share the oral beauty of language, model comprehension processes by thinking aloud, and engage with our students through a variety of texts. What are the possibilities for write-alouds?

Write-alouds can help teachers to model—and students to practice—orally using the language we wish to put on the page. In her article, available for download below from the Heinemann Digital Library, author and literacy consultant Leah Mermelstein talks about the role of write-aloud in the classroom, where it might fit, and how this is different from shared or interactive writing. Leah notes that when we can “say it well, we can write it well”.

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PLC Series: Connections Between Writing and Reading


Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we look closely at creating opportunities for ourselves and our students to consider the power of the reading-writing connection. 

What if the first step in learning a new writing skill is not taken by… writing?

Roz Linder, author of The Big Book of Details, shares her thinking in the video blog below about how we need to engage students in a skill in the real world first—then model it and transfer this knowledge over to the writing on the page. She notes that “reading and writing are about communicating” and the more we experience it before putting the pencil to the page, the more success students will have with the transfer of knowledge. Take a look.

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PLC Series: April Round-Up

Welcome the PLC Series April Round Up! This month, we reflected upon building lifelong literacy habits for all, from honoring the work of our smallest readers to our reflecting on our own practices as adults. 

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PLC Series: Building a Reading Identity

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we discuss building lifelong literacy habits for all, from honoring the work of our smallest readers to our reflecting on our own practices as adults. 

Why is it that, when asked to read, some young children will do so right away and others announce that they cannot read? 

Children are doing important, strategic work long before decoding. By noticing, naming and honoring this, we can encourage our littlest readers to engage in different ways with books, helping them to build positive reading identities before they even decode print. 

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PLC Series: Using Charts…Smarter!

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

“No matter what area of the curriculum, we found that clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts were the key to helping children gain independence and agency in their learning. The more we charted, the less repeating we did and more teaching was possible.”          

 -Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli in Smarter Charts for Math,          Science and Social Studies.

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