Top Teaching > 4 posts categorized "October 2009"

Comments: 4

Halloween Vocabulary Parade

Halloween_groupHave you ever had one of those weeks? Well, that was last week for me. I was out for an entire school week, sick. As you can imagine, I am still feeling like I am catching up. And oh, the emails . . . the emails! So, with all this said, I am hoping my readers from last year will forgive me for posting one of my blogs from "back in the days."

If you are looking for a neat activity to do during Halloween that allows your students to dress up AND learn unique vocabulary words in the process, look no further.

Come back later for a bonus post on math in our classroom. I have some great resources and plans I'd like to share with you. . . . 

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Comments: 92

Reading Workshop: What It Looks Like in My Classroom

P1000945Richard Allington believes that effective elementary literacy instruction incorporates six common features.  He labels them as the Six Ts.

They are time, texts, teaching, talk, tasks, and testing

His many studies make it clear that students need lots of time to read. It's also important that the time spent reading is done in texts that are "just right" for the students. Explicit teaching of reading strategies and skills followed by meaningful tasks are at the heart of what he believes readers need. He also emphasizes the importance of providing time for readers to engage in authentic talk about their books. Finally, he believes testing should not be used to define students but rather to guide a teacher's instruction so that she can help her readers grow. 

I believe wholeheartedly in the philosophy of reading workshop because, if executed effectively, it allows teachers to seamlessly incorporate these Six Ts into their reading instruction on a daily basis. While it has taken me years to feel entirely comfortable with this reading workshop, I can't imagine another way of teaching reading that would as effectively meet the needs of my readers.


Read on to view a VIDEO of a typical day of reading workshop in our classroom, find tips for workshop management, get new ideas for assigning and managing independent reading tasks, and check out links to reading workshop printables.

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Comments: 20

Teaching on a Budget

Mrs. Bunyi's Classroom Last year I shared a story about a teacher that stopped me during an in-service presentation on building, developing, and organizing your classroom library. I had just shared the number of books we should have in our room when this teacher blurted out, "How can you afford that?!?" My response was, "How can you not? They're the tools of our trade." And although I still believe this to be true, I have also reached a point in my teaching career where I cannot afford to spend a lot of money. It's called a budget, and I am being monitored by a friendly spouse who means business and a financial guru named Dave Ramsey. With that said, here are some methods I am using this year to teach on a limited budget.

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Comments: 121

A Virtual Peek Into My Classroom Library

Choosing books A library is an essential part of any elementary classroom. To run an effective Reading Workshop, it is necessary to stock your classroom library with books of a variety of genres, topics, and levels. Teachers who use the workshop method know that readers need lots of books in a single year, as they are given time to read self-selected texts independently on a daily basis. For this reason, it's important to organize your classroom library in a way that allows students to easily find "just right" books that they are interested in reading.


Read on to watch a video about how I organize my classroom library and how I use it as a tool to help my students evaluate their own reading progress throughout the year.  You will also find ideas for collecting more books for your own classroom library, links to download book labels, and additional photos of the library.

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