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Lesson & Curriculum Planning

29
January
2019

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

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.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

29
January
2019

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)

A Writing Strategy to Help Students Make Connections with Science Concepts and Labs

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.”

Written by: Kimberly Anderson

20
December
2018

The Importance of Planning for an Expository Writing Essay

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.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

17
December
2018

The Value of Rubrics for Assessment

In what year did World War II begin? What type of energy is generated from the sun? How many cookies are in 15 boxes if there are 6 cookies in each box? These types of questions are easy to assess. The student response is either right, or it’s wrong. You can simply assign a point value to each question and easily determine a grade. But what about when your students are sharing an oral presentation and slideshow about an endangered animal they spent an entire week researching? Or if they are writing a personal narrative about a special moment in their life? How about if they are conducting a scientific investigation on the states of matter and submitting a detailed lab report? How do you assess these types of assignments fairly where there is so much room for variation in quality? In these cases, a rubric is exactly what you need.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

17
December
2018

Backwards Design in the Classroom: Planning with the End in Mind

Are you letting your favorite lessons design your unit instead of designing it around student goals?  Are you thinking more about what you want students to do rather than what you want them to learn?  In this article, we will take a look at what it means to plan with the end in mind and the steps needed to make your instruction more meaningful and focused for your students.

Written by: Natalie Brown

13
December
2018

A Glimpse at Project Based Learning in the Classroom

As an educator, you have probably heard of Project Based Learning, or PBL, but might have been overwhelmed by all it seems to encompass. Take a close glimpse of an actual PBL project in action in the classroom to see that it is completely manageable!  After reading this article, you will have a basic understanding of Project Based Learning and what it looks like in the classroom.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

29
August
2018

Learning Objectives: What Are They and How Do I Write Them?

Do you sometimes find yourself using the state standard as your learning objective because you are unsure of how to write one yourself? Or maybe you are just leaving them out all together? Find out what information you should be including in your student learning objectives, as well as how you should be using them in your classroom with this article.

Written by: Natalie Brown

10
September
2017

How To Analyze The STAAR Reading Test Using Lexile or ATOS

Methods for Analyzing Text Complexity of the STAAR and other Reading Passages Using Lexile or ATOS

How To Analyze The STAAR Reading Test Using Lexile or ATOS

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.

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