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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!

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)

By |2021-04-30T11:41:18-05:00January 29th, 2019|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Science Instruction, STEM & STEAM, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , , |

Have you ever had students respond, “I don’t know. It just did,” when asked to analyze and interpret their classroom lab results? We all want our students to “think like a scientist,” but often they fall short in connecting the dots between the lab results and the science concepts. Claim-Evidence-Reasoning or CER is a writing strategy that can develop a student’s analytical thinking and argumentative writing skills to turn that “I don’t know” into “aha, so that’s why we got those results in the lab.”

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.

The Importance of Planning for an Expository Writing Essay

By |2020-01-05T16:25:42-06:00December 20th, 2018|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Writing Instruction|

Are your students facing an upcoming writing assessment, with a focus on expository writing? Do they struggle with how to begin this style of writing? This article will break down how to teach the skills of analyzing a writing prompt and creating a solid plan that will give your students the confidence to write a well-organized expository essay.

Improving Writing Fluency in Reluctant Writers

By |2020-01-05T16:27:04-06:00December 19th, 2018|Categories: Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|

In a typical classroom of elementary or middle school students, writers can most likely be grouped into three categories. First (and usually the fewest in number) are those students that have a natural affinity for writing. They never have a shortage of ideas and will write for as long as you allow, often wanting more time! Then there are the students who may not love to write, but they can usually do what is required of them without much prompting. Finally, there are the reluctant writers. You know the ones…they complain they can’t decide what to write about, they use every stalling tactic ever tried, and they may even be outright defiant, simply refusing to work. This article will teach you three basic, but key, strategies that you can easily implement into any grade level classroom, which will encourage writing. The strategies include building stamina, writing across the disciplines, and writing for authentic purposes.

Using Text Evidence to Respond to Questions

By |2020-01-05T22:22:18-06:00September 17th, 2018|Categories: Testing Strategies & Prep, Writing Instruction|

I regularly tell my students, “Reading tests are completely manageable. The evidence is right in front of you, you just have to take the time to find it.” So often, students rush through a multiple choice test, not giving much thought to each individual answer and just choosing one that sounds accurate. Or they may have to draft a written response to a short answer question, and instead of pulling specific details from the text, they write a too brief, generic response in very vague terms. If you find this is the case with some of your students, you can teach them specific strategies to use when they are tackling any reading assessment.

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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