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Create a Valentine's Venn-O-Gram Chart


Considering our class will be on a full day field trip during the unofficial "Valentine's Day" festivities, I thought I would share a quick academic tie-in to the month of love. I combined my love of books and libraries by reading The Librarian Who Measured the Earth and held a discussion on how our libraries differ now compared to 2,000 years ago in Greece. It just made sense to turn the Venn-Diagram into a Valentine Venn-O-Gram instead. Continue reading to view the book I used for this lesson along with a list of books that teach about libraries.

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Test Prep: The Great BamBunyi Method

You have to create a little fun in this high demand job we call teaching. I'd lose my mind if I didn't allow myself to look a little crazy in front of the kids every now and then. So, let's steal a little idea from Johnny Carson to introduce the Great BamBunyi (Bam-Boone-yee) method of successful test prep. You just might enjoy yourself in the process.

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Reading Response: Creating Quality Reflections

Revisiting the Reader's Notebook


My class takes some time each week to reflect on their reading and growth as a reader. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these letters each week. Recently, however, the writing quality has started to deteriorate for a few students. I knew it was time to stop, reflect, and model what meaningful reflections look like with my kids. And although I have posted on the use of a reader's notebook in our classroom, I thought it might be helpful to share how I got our writing "back on track" with a little modeling and review time.

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Reading Strategy Charts and Bulletin Boards


I am always looking for new ideas to teach and support reading strategies to my class. I usually have a pile of four professional books that get browsed while making my lesson plans during the weekend. Sometimes I wish these resources were all combined into one book, as I use them all frequently. Here are some of the charts and bulletin boards I have used from Debbie Miller, Tanny McGregor, and Stephanie Harvey to teach inferring, questioning, metacognition, and nonfiction text features.

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Comprehending vs. Comprehension


For many adults growing up, reading focused on "proving" it after a book was finished. Sort of like an after-thought, "Did you get it?" was found through comprehension questions, book reports, or dioramas.

We are now fortunate to have resources, literature, and methodology to support assessing what a child is comprehending while they are reading. Learn how we can now combine the old with the new by addressing before, during, and after reading strategies.

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Making Reading Real Through Reading Partnerships


My husband and I often find ourselves reading the same book (or shortly following each other). It is quite amusing to hear us debate the plot, meaning, or symbolism behind it all.

I plea, "But what does that mean? Is there really a tiger on the boat? I'm a little confused."

My husband knows more, but he shares what he wants with me. And so goes on a conversation about the book. So often his schema creates a widely different understanding than mine. And I like that. It makes me a stronger reader. So my goal is, how can I create this real-life reading approach for my students?

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Top Five Resources for Incorporating Music in the Upper Grades


Until recently I was jealous of the music resources available to lower grade teachers.  It seemed like the market was limited to this age bracket, and it just seemed unfair.  However, now the tables have turned!  An abundance of resources can be found, purchased, and downloaded for the upper grade crowds. And, to top it off, the music really caters to the tastes of older kids. If you haven't found some of these resources yet, I'd like to share some of my finds with you. Integrating music into lesson plans has never been easier!

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Support Your Budding Writers


Perhaps the hardest thing to hear at the beginning of the year is, "I don't know what to write about!" Every year I am faced with the challenge of creating life-long readers and writers that can self-select books and writing topics on a daily basis. So when we created a class graph of our favorite subjects and writing received one vote (one vote!), I knew I had my work cut out for me.  So where do I begin?  Here are some easy methods to get your writers thinking independently:

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.