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How to Use the Frayer Model in Your Classroom

By |May 10th, 2022|Categories: English Language Learners (ELLs), Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , , , , |

The Frayer Model was designed as a graphic organizer to help students learn the meaning of new vocabulary words. The vocabulary word is placed in the center of the page, and the definition, a picture or characteristic, example, and non-example surround the word in separate boxes. This structure allows for a visual representation of the vocabulary word that students are attempting to learn.

Simultaneous Oral Spelling (SOS): A Simple Method to Support and Improve Spelling

By |April 6th, 2022|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Special Education, Teaching Strategies, Uncategorized, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , , , , |

Multi-sensory structured teaching involves the use of visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language we feel) tools that can enhance student learning of language. When students struggle with a language-based skill, for example, children with dyslexia that may struggle with reading, teaching in multi-sensory ways can help improve a child’s skillset in certain areas. For students who struggle with spelling due to dyslexia, ADHD, an auditory or visual processing disability, or other unknown issues, multi-sensory approaches to teaching the phonological skills underlying spelling work can help improve student outcomes. This blog article will teach one method to help students improve their spelling, regardless of the cause of the spelling issue.

Building ELL-Friendly Writing Prompts

By |February 14th, 2022|Categories: English Language Learners (ELLs), Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , , , |

The writing process can be challenging for any student, but English Language Learners tend to need increased support and careful lesson planning by their teachers for the best success in class. English grammar differs greatly from grammar constructs of other languages, and some of our common writing structures, such as a topic sentence followed by supporting details for an organized paragraph, may be unfamiliar to them. ELL students also typically have a limited English vocabulary, making it challenging to write their thoughts. Children need to comprehend many components of the writing process, including the written prompt, the piece they are responding to, or other tasks and instructions. These challenges can lead to great frustration for some students, which can even manifest as a lack of motivation. This blog article will present some considerations for designing ELL-friendly writing prompts to help set your students up for success throughout the writing process.

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)

By |January 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 |January 29th, 2019|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , , , |

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 |December 20th, 2018|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Writing Instruction|Tags: , |

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 |December 19th, 2018|Categories: Teaching Strategies, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , |

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.

The Value of Rubrics for Assessment

By |December 17th, 2018|Categories: Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Testing Strategies & Prep|Tags: , , |

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.

Pre-Reading Strategies: Setting the Stage for Successful Reading

By |December 13th, 2018|Categories: Reading/ELA Instruction, Teaching Strategies|Tags: , |

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!

Using Text Evidence to Respond to Questions

By |September 17th, 2018|Categories: Testing Strategies & Prep, Writing Instruction|Tags: , , |

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.

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