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. The main components of independent reading are outlined below. When do I find the Time? Independent Reading is an indispensable part of the day in a literacy rich classroom. More Formal/ Larger Chunks of Independent Reading Time Informal (yet super powerful) Reading Times Getting Started: The Nuts & Bolts On Keeping Reading Logs For what purpose? On Use of Reading Levels Watch Donalyn Miller's Keynote via The Educator Collaborative, LLC Sharing my thoughts...
The%20Reading%20Zone A Differentiated Kindergarten: Math Stations Tips (and a Freebie) Linky Party Math Stations! So fun and, yet somehow, so hard to wrap your head around. . . When I first started contemplating math stations, it was shortly after reading Debbie Diller’s fabulous Math Work Stations. There was so much great information in there, but I knew that, ultimately, it had to work with the room-size I had inherited and the number of kids-versus-adults that I would have using them. Organize Them! So even though some of you have heard it all before from me, I am constantly tweaking my stations a bit here and there. Materials are, of course, housed in the nine drawers which are labeled 1-9. The pocket charts hold name tags (When I have students there are names on them. Students with a green name tag would use the materials labeled with a green dot, or bit of green washi tape. Take a look at this flowchart . . . It goes through the different steps I take when tiering an activity to response to my students' readiness levels. Of course I don't do that. Getting Them Going!!!
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. 1) Scour Pinterest for Ideas: Nobody says that all of your anchor charts have to be your 100% original creation, and there are a TON of anchor charts out there already, and more are added every day as teachers create them for their classrooms. 2) Create them WITH your class: Remember in tip number one how I said I don't usually find one that's perfect for my class? *REMEMBER: The purpose of anchor charts is to anchor the learning happening in YOUR classroom. 3) Plan Ahead: Just because I make the charts with my class certainly doesn't mean I don't have a plan of action before I start. 5) Invest in some Mr.
What is Mystery Skype? 8 steps to get started! Mystery Skype is an education game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions. It has totally transformed the way students learn about the world in my school. Before we dig deeper, here is a video showing Mystery Skype in Action: The best part is that it is suitable for all ages and can span whatever curriculum areas you would like. Here are 7 easy to follow steps to get your class / school hooked into learning about the world: Go to education.skype.com/mysteryskype and sign in with your Skype name, Facebook or Twitter. Once you have connected and organised a time to Skype. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop.
Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten: Reading Workshop Ideas & Freebies Wow...March has been a busy month! As a student at TC, I've had the opportunity to attend all of the workshops offered by the Reading and Writing Project for free (though if you account for the insane tuition, I wouldn't exactly call it free)! The staff developers - Lucy Calkins, Kathy Collins, Rebecca Cronin, Amanda Hartman, Natalie Louis, Christine Holley - are ALL absolutely fabulous and I'm learning so much from them. I feel so lucky to be learning directly from the masters themselves! Reading Goals & Assessment Running records provide us with important data about where each child is and where we need to take them next. One quick and easy way to assess comprehension is to use "stop and jot" or "stop and sketch." Another tool I loved was this Reading Stamina Rubric. Readers Make a Plan Buddy Reading Folders: When students are reading with partners, it is important that they have meaningful work to do and that they know what is expected. Strategies for ELLs That's all for now!
Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom Click the "References" link above to hide these references. Bear, D.R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2000). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bear, D.R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2008). Bear, D.R., & Templeton, S. (1998). Beckham-Hungler, D., & Williams, C. (2003). Brand, M. (2004). Brown, G.D.A., & Ellis, N.C. Cambourne, B. (1995). Clay, M. (1997). Clay, M. (2001). Cunningham, P.M. (1995). Cunningham, P.M., & Hall, D.P. (1996). Dudley-Marling, C. (1997). Ehri, L.C. (1992). Fountas, I.C., & Pinnell, G.S. (1996). Gee, J.P. (2001). Goswami, U.C., & Bryant, P. (1990). Hughes, M., & Searle, D. (1997). Invernizzi, M., & Hayes, L. (2004). Joseph, L.M. (2000). Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). McCarrier, A., Fountas, I.C., & Pinnell, G.S. (2000). Pinnell, G.S., & Fountas, I.C. (1998). Richgels, D.J. (1995). Rogoff, B. (1990). Schulman, M.B., & Payne, C.D. (2000).
6 ways Google Hangouts can make any teacher’s life better As the calendar year changes over, I’ve thought about my most game-changing technology over the last 365 days. I’m thinking about the one I’ve picked up that’s made the most difference. It has to be Google Hangouts, Google’s “video chat but so much more” tool. Google Hangouts often makes me think of the movie “Back to the Future 2″, where protagonist Marty McFly travels — coincidentally — to the far-off year 2015. (By the way, if you’re as big a “Back to the Future” trilogy fan as I am, you might like to see this list of what the movie got right and got wrong about 2015.) Here are some of the top ways that I’ve really used this tool (in my personal and professional life) over the past year: 1. 2. 3. Now, with a minute or so of set-up time, I can record the day’s class and have a link to it on my class website in a couple more minutes. (Check out Google’s “learn more” page about Hangouts on Air here.) 4. 5. 6. For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links: Related
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Normal Child Development in First Grade When it comes to children's behavior, it can be hard to know what is part of normal child development, and what you should be truly concerned about. Brian, normally a free thinker, has started crumpling up his drawings if they are not exactly perfect, saying with frustration, "It's not right!" Easygoing Tatiana has a crying fit when dad wins at a game of Chutes and Ladders. When 6 year old Gabe accidentally knocks a box of crayons to the floor and sees you looking, he yells, "It wasn't me!" Should you be concerned? It's Hard to Be Perfect Your first graders are different kids than they were last year. Out of the many changes that happen this year as a result of normal child development, one of the most significant can be summed up in one word: "rules". First graders are asking themselves who they need to be, how they should act, and what they need to do to be right with the world. Going back to Tatiana's game, let's put ourselves in her shoes for a moment. The Big Picture The Big Picture
Friday Focus Friday, November 7th, 2014 I thought I would try a twist to the traditional "Sunday News" with the Friday Focus. This will be a staff newsletter that will include updates and educator resources that I've collected over the week. Please take time to reflect on our No Worksheet Holiday on the Google Form that I sent you before Monday. I also want to give a big shout out of appreciation for the creativity that continued long after No Worksheet Holiday was over. Have a fabulous weekend! " The positive atmosphere throughout the WHOLE building K-5 boosted enthusiasm for the day (students and adults). "No work sheet holidays rocks, here is why.There are a lot of ways to learn. At a Glance Monday: PD DAY8-10 at FHS10:30-12:30 McIntire Library (bring data team resources)12:30-1:30 Lunch1:30-3:30: Grade level/dept PD Tuesday: Veterans' Day **Due to timing, we will begin our online broadcast at 8:30Staff Meeting 3:45-4:45 in the music room Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Veterans' Day November 11th
Joyful Learning In KC Science Games for 1st Grade & 2nd Grade . Science . Education Try some of these free science games for grades 1 and 2 featuring PBS KIDS characters to boost your child’s early development of science skills and interest in science. Sid the Science Kid: Super Fab Lab Help Sid, May, Gabriela and Gerald play a series of games all about weather, temperature and more!Muscle Memory Learn how to follow directions by clicking on the body part that Sid’s dad tells you to move.Vegetable Patterns Use the vegetables in the baskets to complete the pattern of vegetables on the counter.Super Duper Antibodies! Help Sid use antibodies to fight off the flu virus.I want to be a Scientist! Curious George: The Cat in the Hat: Dinosaur Train: Hungry Hungry herbivore Guide Tank the Triceratops to find yummy plants to eat while keeping him safe with his herd! Sesame Street: A Twiddlebug Tool Adventure Use different tools to help Timmy the bug get home. Arthur: FETCH! Water We Doing? Caillou: Caillou the Paleontologist Help Caillou uncover and rebuild a dinosaur skeleton.
Twitter Tip: Start Your Tweet with a Period Saturday morning someone asked me why some of my tweets start with a period. I was participating in the New Teacher to Twitter (#nt2t) chat. A twitter chat is an hour long conversation on a particular topic.