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Every Minute Matters [Grades K-5] - Book Cover Look Inside

Every Minute Matters [Grades K-5]

40+ Activities for Literacy-Rich Classroom Transitions

By: Molly Katherine Ness

Forty innovative activities designed to replace seatwork include literacy-rich alternatives for classroom transitions presented alongside research, strategies, and suggestions for improving efficiency and maximizing instructional time.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544382449
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 152
  • Publication date: July 28, 2020

Price: $30.95

For Instructors

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Make the most of every instructional minute with engaging literacy activities

Time—or lack thereof—may be the most precious commodity in the classroom. From covering all the necessary curriculum and imparting life skills to attending meetings and answering emails, educators are faced with real challenges when there never seems to be enough time to do it all. Although teachers don’t have the power to create more minutes in the school day, they do have the power to be effective and efficient with the time given.

Molly Ness asks teachers first to examine their use of time in the classroom in order to make more space for literacy. She then introduces 40 innovative activities designed to replace seatwork. These literacy-rich alternatives for classroom transitions are presented alongside

  • Research on instructional time in K–5 classrooms
  • Strategies for how to maximize every minute of instruction
  • Suggestions for improving efficiency to expand independent reading and writing time
  • Reflective practices to help teachers examine how they use the time they have

The instructional day is ripe for redesign with a thoughtful and authentic time audit. Every Minute Matters guides educators through that process by outlining literacy-rich activities to optimize transitional times and minimize lost instructional minutes.



Molly Katherine Ness photo

Molly Katherine Ness

Molly Ness is an associate professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, and earned her PhD in Reading Education from the University of Virginia.  Her research focuses on reading comprehension instruction, the instructional decisions and beliefs of preservice and inservice teachers, and the assessment and diagnosis of struggling readers.  A former Teach For America corps member, she is an experienced classroom teacher.  She is the author of Lessons to Learn: Voices from the Front Lines of Teach For America (Routledge Falmer, 2004).  Her research has been published in national and international peer-reviewed journals including The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, Reading Horizons, Journal of Reading Education, Reading Psychology, and Journal of Research in Childhood Education.  She is an active member of the following professional organizations: Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER), National Council of the Teachers of English (NCTE), Literacy Research Association (LRA), International Reading Association (IRA), Professors of Reading Teacher Educators, Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading, and Phi Delta Kappa.  Her book, The Question is the Answer, was published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Guide to Literacy-Rich Experiences


Introduction: So Much to Do, So Little Time

Activity Walkthrough

PART ONE: Thinking Through Instructional Time

     Time Audits: Why and How

     Maximize Your Routines and Transition Times

     Think Flexibly

PART TWO: Literacy-Rich Experiences at Your Fingertips

     Rotate Your Writing

     Reader’s Notebook Tours

     Library Love

     Be a Book Matchmaker

     “I Wonder” Writing

     Beach Ball Bonanza

     Laughing Through Rereadings

     Read, Record, Reflect

     Book Tasting

     Go Fish


     Lining Up With Literacy

     I Spy

     Category Chain

     Ghost Writing

     Build a Word

     Classroom Charades


     Would You Rather?

     Hink Pinks

     Human Hungry Hippos

     Spelling Connect Four

     Vocabulary Vase

     Book Pass

     Parking Lot

     Sink or Spell



     Letter Formation

     Sight Word Search

     Letter Tile Table

     Tower Tumble


     A to Z About

     Sticky Sort

     Reading Graffiti

     Jot Lot



     Character Cards


     Character Chats

     Blackout Poetry