Category Archives: Literacy Strategies from Class

Reading Conferences

Reading conferences are… used to offer the students the opportunity to:

-share their thoughts about what they have read

-set goals for future reading

-receive feedback

it gives the teacher the opportunity to:

-monitor student reading

-provide formative data about the student’s progress

-monitor their level of reflection and engagement

It benefits the students by providing time to practice:




-comprehension strategy

-critical thinking

How it works…

  1. The teacher will have prepared what they want to discuss with the student during the conference
  2. Set up the class so that the students are independently reading
  3. The teacher will pull an individual student aside and conference (for approx. 10 minutes)
  4. The student will read a section of the text aloud from their reading material
  5. The teacher and the student discuss what is going on and what understanding they have gained so far
  6. The teacher and student will discuss the student’s reading goals
  7. The student will return to reading and another student will conference with the teacher

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are… used to help students simplify information and assist in stimulating their thinking skills. It is a visual representation of organized information.

Types of graphic organizers…

-concept maps


-mind maps

-venn diagram

Examples of Graphic Organizers…


Circle Pedagogy

Circle pedagogy is…an opportunity to create a safe environment where students can share their point of view. Everyone is equal and everyone belongs.

Talking circles… create¬†a respectful approach to talking with others providing a sense of communion and interconnectedness that is not often present in the common ways of communicating in the classroom. Everyone has their turn to speak, all voices are heard in a respectful and attentive way, and the learning atmosphere becomes a rich source of information, identity, and interaction.

How it works…

  1. The teacher will have prepared a few topics or talking points for the circle to discuss
  2. Before we enter into the circle the class will establish their guidelines for the circle
  3. An object that will be passed around will be chosen.
  4. The students will be arranged in a circle
  5. The teacher will welcome everyone to the circle
  6. The teacher will introduce a topic for the circle
  7. The object will get passed around from student to student in a clockwise motion.

You can access the lesson that I have created using circle pedagogy here.

How they can look in the classroom…

Adaptation and Accommodation

We as educators we have to plan multiple lessons a day. We often have an idea of how we intend to have the students meet their outcomes but sometimes we have to be prepared to make adaptations and accommodations to our lessons for certain students within the classroom.

Accommodations are…the methods being used within the lesson are adjusted in order to help assist the students to meet the same goal as their peers. When we here the word accommodation we often think of students who struggle in class, however, accommodations can be made for students who excel within the classroom.

Example of accommodations…

-giving a student a computer in the classroom so that they can type out their responses instead of writing them.

-allowing the student access to spellcheck when writing to assist with spelling

-giving extra time for tests and assignments

-chunking information

-providing frequent breaks

Adaptations are… changes that are made to the methods of instruction and the way that assessment is carried out within the classroom. This gives the students an equal opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of a concept.

Examples of adaptations…

-oral tests

-preferred seating

-providing a scribe

-having tests read



Portfolios are… a great tool to help students feel ownership over their work. They also encourage students to be more responsible, allow students to set goals that they are motivated to achieve, and allow students to make connections between learning and assessing.

How it works…

  1. throughout the term, students complete assignments
  2. the students then create criteria for what they will be including in their portfolio
  3. the students then filter through their completed assignments and determine what they will include in their portfolio
  4. Once this is completed, it is often used as an assessment tool at parent-teacher interviews or student lead conferences to show student growth


Morning Message

A morning message… can look different in every classroom. Generally, it is a message written by the teacher to the students to welcome them to the start of a new school day. Many morning messages can be used as an agenda for the day.

How it works…

  1. the teacher prepares the morning message
  2. the students come into the classroom in the morning
  3. As a class, the students will read out the morning message and go over what it is covering
  4. Go about their regular morning routine

What it provides… a form of shared reading. It also allows you to start off the class on a positive note without throwing the students directly into instruction. It allows you as an educator to set the tone that you would like to carry through the rest of the day.

You can include…

  • the date
  • the weather
  • holidays
  • birthdays
  • assignments that could be due
  • things that you are covering in class (today we will be learning about…)

Examples of a morning message…

Reading Logs

Reading logs… are simply put an easy way for educators to keep track of what the students are reading.

How it looks throughout the years…


  • mostly picture books
  • may not see a lot of variety
  • content/ length is not as important
  • may be worked on at home with parents


  • begins to integrate chapter books
  • begins to have a variety of genres
  • themes start to emerge
  • students will do largely independently
  • students can include summaries in heir reading log


  • done independently
  • consists of a variety of text types/ genres
  • students can complete summaries and predictions
  • they can identify themes
  • note important quotes, key details, important moments
  • begin to identify figurative language

For our class, we had to keep a reading log and read 10-14 books throughout the semester to model what this would look like when we introduced the same strategy to our students. It was interesting to see how much of a pain it could be as an assignment when you fell behind. It was, however, a good reflective piece and it was rewarding to see what I had accomplished and learned at the end of the semester.

Some examples of Reading Logs…

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