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Get the Most Out of Your Class’s Literature Studies: Movie Preview Projects-It’s All in the Storyboards

By |2021-04-29T10:30:55-05:00January 30th, 2020|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Technology in the Classroom, Writing Instruction|Tags: , |

Lights! Camera! Dying to inject tech into literature while getting the comprehension Action! you crave for your students? Just as in any film making process, when using movie preview projects to engage your class of readers, you have to keep your own audience in mind. In this article, we’ll review a must for ensuring you get the product quality you demand, and your (student) film crew gets the experience and understanding that makes any literature study project worthwhile.

4 Engaging Strategies to Teach the Alphabet

By |2021-04-30T10:15:18-05:00March 19th, 2019|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Special Education, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: |

Identifying and writing the letters of the alphabet is a foundational step in every learner’s literacy knowledge. There are countless ways to practice these skills and it can be challenging to know which ones are most effective and engaging. We’ve explored hundreds of strategies and decided on our top 4 favorite ones. These engaging activities will give your young learners plenty of opportunities to grow their alphabet knowledge and practice identifying, writing, and using letters in a variety of ways.

Keep in mind as you read, we have also provided a number of great free resources below to help you teach your students the alphabet.  We will discuss each resource in this article, so please take a look at these tools as you read!  So, here we go!

The One-Pager: A Literary Response Activity For Grades 3 – 8

By |2020-01-05T16:15:27-06:00January 29th, 2019|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|

The dreaded book report. Students don’t enjoy writing them, and if we are honest with ourselves, we as teachers don’t enjoy reading them. Yet we still need an effective way to assess our student’s knowledge and depth of understanding when they have completed a novel study. This article will provide you with one simple activity you can use with your students that can be customized based on specific skills you need to assess.

Pre-Reading Strategies: Setting the Stage for Successful Reading

By |2020-01-05T22:00:08-06:00December 13th, 2018|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies|

What is done before a student begins to read a new text is critical to their reading and comprehension success. This article will describe important pre-reading strategies you can use in your classroom to ensure the success of your readers. In reading this article, you will learn how you can you ensure that your students get the most out of their independent reading time. Set the stage for success with practical pre-reading strategies you and your students can implement right away!

Choosing a Skill for Explicit Instruction in Reading

By |2020-01-05T22:08:00-06:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies|

As a classroom teacher, it can be overwhelming to see all of the curriculum standards we are responsible for teaching. Reading instruction in particular ranges from the basics of decoding words to improving oral fluency to deeper comprehension. From time to time, it is critical that we take time to step back, look at the big picture based on data and observations, and refocus our instruction on the skills that are most needed. There are often small groups of students who might not understand a concept when it is taught via whole group instruction, and those students would most likely benefit from explicit instruction that is focused on one particular skill.

How to Support Effective and Engaging Structured Independent Reading Time in Your Classroom

By |2020-01-05T22:24:40-06:00September 11th, 2018|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies|

Independent reading is a student’s reading of a text on his or her own. It can occur anywhere- as part of an activity in a school classroom or at home and includes books that are appropriate for the student’s reading level. Independent reading has shown to be an effective complement to other reading programs in school, not only in helping students practice and develop reading skills but in fostering a greater love for reading that may carry through at home. This article discusses how to foster reading skills and strategies through independent reading.

The San Diego Quick Assessment

By |2020-01-05T22:34:33-06:00August 21st, 2018|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Testing Strategies & Prep|

If you are looking for a quick way to get a general idea of a new student’s reading level, the San Diego Quick Assessment may be the right tool for you!

Some educational diagnostic tools truly stand the test of time! The San Diego Quick Assessment is certainly one of those tools. In 1969, Margaret La Pray and Ramon Ross created 13 lists of 10 words each based on grade level. These lists range from pre-primer and primer through eleventh grade. Originally published in Journal of Reading, these word lists are now available online and can be used by educators as a method to determine a student’s reading level.

Exploring Literature Genres in the Elementary Classroom

By |2020-01-05T22:39:38-06:00September 24th, 2017|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies|

Often, students will find one type of story they enjoy reading, and never take a chance to break out of their reading rut. By exposing your students to different genres of texts, you can open so many new worlds of reading! If that alone is not reason enough to begin a genre study in your classroom, consider how every genre has its own purpose and set of features. If your students are never exposed to traditional literature such as fables and myths, they may never know the wonder of oral storytelling and passing stories on from generation to generation. If they never read biographies, they may not understand the value of telling a story in chronological order. If they don’t read informational texts from an early age, they may struggle later on with research skills and understanding content-specific vocabulary. These are just a few examples of why understanding genre is so important.

How To Analyze The STAAR Reading Test Using Lexile or ATOS

By |2020-06-29T11:21:39-05:00September 10th, 2017|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Testing Strategies & Prep, Writing Instruction|

Have you chosen a passage for your students to read in class but weren’t sure whether the level of complexity was right?  Do you wonder about the real Lexile® level of STAAR passages or other standardized tests?  Or, perhaps you’d like to type up your own sample passages for students, but want to make sure you are writing text at the appropriate level for your students.

This post will review two sources to help you analyze texts more deeply, so that you can provide your students the right level of texts to help move them towards mastery of their grade level standards.

Reading Comprehension Strategy Tools

By |2020-01-05T23:04:40-06:00October 25th, 2016|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|

A Comprehensive Set of Graphic Organizers & Reading Comprehension Tools For Educators & Parents

Use these 7 reading comprehension strategy tools and graphic organizers to guide reading lessons and tutoring sessions with your student(s).  Designed for teachers, parents or students, these tools help build reading comprehension by allowing students to more effectively organize information found within reading passages, in books or on exams.  Feel free to download, print, or share!  If you are interested in more free reading tools, please let us know in the comments section below.

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