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A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

https://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/

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My Cat Just Died and It Hurts Like Hell  There are certain truths about cats that are universal. They are cute. We love them. They love us. Unconditionally. FUN Critical Thinking Activities For Students in Any Subject The experts on STAAR, such as the Texas Education Agency, the Lead4Ward team and Regional Service Centers tell us that there are some very specific things that we need to do, and other things we should let go of in order to prepare our students for the state assessment. In addition, these strategies can also deepen and broaden their knowledge. Allow for more collaboration on rich content between students (student-centered)Provide higher level thinking questionsGive ample wait timeIncrease critical thinking through authentic instructionFollow the DETAILS of your TEKSKnow the vertical alignment of your TEKS and collaborate with other grade levels

The 8 Minutes That Matter Most I am an English teacher, so my ears perk up when writers talk about their process. I've found the advice handy for lesson planning, too. That's because both writing and planning deal with craft. In writing, you want your audience to be absorbed. You want them to care about your characters. You want them be delighted by the suspense. The Go To Teacher: Inquiry Circles We have started our Nonfiction Inquiry Unit and I am beside myself! I love, love, LOVE the way the students get so pumped about reading and learning facts!! To start out our reading unit, we used a modification of a Chart Chums chart to look into what it means to be an investigator. We changed Develop Theories into Research to help with our approach to inquiry. After picking research topics, we used our strategy of Questioning to help us guide our research. As the class was grouped off into their own inquiries we also did a class inquiry into space to model thinking and expectations.

The Research Based Classroom Last week I wrote a blog post about using different type of problems with addition and subtraction. You can read it at Busy Bee's Activities. It made me think about writing a post about multiplication and division problem types too, so today I'm blogging for the upper grades. I'm just finishing up a unit on multiplication and division of whole numbers with my fifth grade class. We have focused a lot of time on developing different strategies for problem solving within these operations. Articulating an Impact on Student Learning by Elizabeth Burns, Assistant Professor, School Library Program, Department of Teaching & Learning, Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in December 2015, positions school librarians as Essential Personnel and provides potential dedicated funding to effective school libraries–IF we make them understand why school librarians matter. ESSA falls short, however, of identifying what characterizes an effective school library program. This significant language allows school librarians to voice how their programs make an impact in their schools.

All About Balanced Literacy Shared Reading is a link in helping students become independent readers. It allows the teacher to model and support students using prediction and confirming skills. It allows less confident students the chance to share stories/articles/poetry in a non­threatening situation. It focuses on the meaning, fun, enjoyment, characters and sequence of a story and allows them to relate it back to their own experiences.

5 Reasons to Use Mentor Texts With Big Kids - The Teacher Next Door - Creative Ideas From My Classroom To Yours When I changed grade levels from second grade to 4th/5th, one of the things I really thought I would miss was all of my wonderful picture books. I used to love to read and re-read them to the kids, to gaze at their delightful pictures, and to use them to get kids excited about the magic of reading. Over the years, I loved picture books so much that if you saw my collection, you might have wanted to nominate me for some kind of teaching hoarder show (I had that many)! When we moved across the country and my new teaching job was 4th/5th (scared the dickens out of me at that time), I thought I would have to give up my picture books, pack them into boxes, and store them in my garage. But once I realized how effective they could be with my big kids, I happily unwrapped these picture book treasures and carted them off to school. Now, many of my picture books are key mentor texts...the stars of countless mini-lessons.

Independent Reading: 101 What is Independent Reading, Really? Independent reading is any time carved out of your day in which your students are reading self-selected books that are a "good fit" for them. There are different kinds of reading that may be going on in your room during this time and it will look different from classroom to classroom.The focus of this time is to support, encourage and validate your students as they grow as readers, through all of their ages and stages. Russ on Reading: A Common Core Concern: The Complexity of Text Complexity The December 2014 issue of the Elementary School Journal contains an article that addresses a serious concern with Standard 10 of the Common Core State Standards in ELA. That is the standard dealing with text complexity. The article, “Putting Text Complexity in Context: Refocusing on Comprehension of Complex Text” is by three highly respected literacy researchers, Sheila Valencia, Karen Wixson, and David Pearson. They believe that the text complexity issue is receiving too much attention and that the attention is not well informed. Valencia, Wixson and Pearson believe that the focus of reading instruction should not be on a rudimentary understanding of the complexity of text as determined by a Lexile level, but rather on all the dimensions of reading comprehension.

Note Taking Skills for 21st Century Students Note taking skills aren’t just automatic. We tell students “take notes” but they have no idea what that means. What makes “good notes.” What do they write down? Teaching With a Mountain View: Anchor Chart Tips & Tricks It's no secret that I have a "thing" for anchor charts. My readers know it, my students know it, my colleagues know it, my husband knows it... I can't help it--they have changed my classroom! They have made my walls interactive instead of stagnant. I just LOVE anchor charts. I remember seeing anchor charts begin to pop up on Pinterest and looking at mine in shame.

Launching Your Readers Workshop The key to a successful readers’ workshop is teaching your students the right procedures so that the workshop runs smoothly and effectively. Use these launching lessons to create a more organized and meaningful experience for you and your students. Since many of these lessons build the foundation of your workshop and are more managerial in their intent, many don’t address a common core standard. WARM UP – Most true reading workshops begin with a 10 to 15 minute mini-lesson. However, in intermediate grades some teachers may choose to start with a 5 to 10 minute “warm up” during the transition between subjects (or as students enter the room, if your school has students switching teachers for subjects or if you are departmentalized).

Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom Word study is an approach to spelling instruction that moves away from a focus on memorization. The approach reflects what researchers have discovered about the alphabetic, pattern, and meaning layers of English orthography. Teachers use a variety of hands-on activities, often called word work, to help students actively explore these layers of information. When studying the alphabetic layer, students examine the relationship between letters and sounds. They learn to match single letters and pairs of letters (e.g., ch) to specific sounds and, in doing so, to create words.

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