Top Teaching > 115 posts categorized "Reading"

What Can You Do to Nurture a Classroom of Readers?

IMG_2098Kids have to be allowed to read just for the pleasure of reading. Let them make their own choices on what they want to read as much as you can.

As I began moving my classroom to its new location, I found myself wondering how in the world I had amassed so much "stuff." I have a penchant for borders, colorful objects, and an interesting assortment of things I collected because "I might be able to use them sometime." However, my largest load, by far, was the books I have amassed over the years. It helped me realize what, in teaching, is closest to my heart: reading!

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Comments: 25

Evidence-Based Small Group Literacy Instruction: Measuring Progress and Growth

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It feels great to be back! This is my fourth year writing with Scholastic, and with each year I have written through the lens of a different grade level. My posts have detailed my time as a fourth grade teacher when I freshly transitioned from being a literacy coach, a third grade teacher, which followed my time teaching fifth grade, and now my current role of academic/literacy interventionist for a K-6 school. In this role, I am responsible for small group literacy instruction for select students in kindergarten through 6th grade. With the great responsibility of meeting individual student needs, and quality small group planning and instruction, there is little down time. With up to four small groups per grade level each day, it is possible that I need to create up to 28 lesson plans a day. How does one know what to plan? More importantly, how does one know what is successful? I am finding it critical to utilize evidence-based literacy instruction and assessment to guide instruction, and I'd like to share some tips on making the most of your time with small group work in your classroom. In this post I have included some printable resources and hands-on materials for literacy instruction as well.

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Comments: 8

The Power of Playing with Words

WhatsInTheBag Welcome to my blog! I am so glad you stopped by! I am privileged to share with you some ideas and strategies about literacy which I have used in my own class, focusing on those that are easy to prep, readily available, and customizable. The topics come directly from the 1st and 2nd grade language arts standards and include Fluency & Word Recognition, Vocabulary/Concept Development, and Reading Comprehension. In addition, I also want to know what your needs are. Please post your comments and questions - if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does and blog about it.

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Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Kristy

Mall_Kristy_p_xlg I believe that teachers are some of the most important people in the world! We have the awesome responsibility of shaping the future with every interaction that we have with our students! That, and the fact that I love learning and kids, is what helped me choose to become a teacher. I wanted to leave a “positive footprint” in the world, and what better way to do that than to teach?

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Comments: 14

Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Angela

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Greetings from Tennessee! My name is Angela Bunyi (like Daniel Boone-yee) and this is my 12th year of teaching. Follow me on Top Teaching where you'll find class set-up videos, my classroom and projects in photos, and ideas and resources to use right away.


I grew up in the Los Angeles area, but I'm happy to be living and teaching in a beautiful suburban community outside of Nashville, now. I'm currently the academic/literacy interventionist at Discovery School at Reeves Rogers in Murfreesboro, a school for the gifted/talented and high achieving.

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Greetings From Top Teaching Advisor Andrea

Spillett_Andrea_p_xlg I am thrilled to be back blogging for Scholastic. For those of you who have followed my blog regarding kindergarten ideas and English Language Development strategies, I now have the privilege to share ideas targeted for 1st and 2nd graders about a topic that is near and dear to all of our hearts: literacy. Teaching students how to read and write is incredibly rewarding. There are so many aspects of teaching that I find inspiring, but when a child reads for the first time, now that is monumental. In the past you might have known me as Andrea Spillett. I have since married and will be blogging under my new name, Andrea Maurer. I look forward to collaborating, troubleshooting, and yes, at times commiserating about the trials and tribulations of our wonderful profession.

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Comments: 63

Planning a Productive Summer for You and Your Students

IMG_4263 As a teacher, I am fully aware of the summer reading decline that affects so many students. In his article "Bridging the Summer Reading Gap," Richard Allington states, "Regardless of other activities, the best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer." In this post I will share the ways I encourage my students to reflect on the year's reading achievements and then to use their reflections as motivation to continue reading over the summer.   

But this post is not just about students. Teachers need motivation too!  Every year there are things that I want to change in my classroom or ways that I want to alter my curriculum. The summer is the perfect time to reenergize and make concrete plans for next year. In this post I will offer specific tips and suggestions for making this your most productive summer yet! 

 

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Comments: 4

Gain a New Perspective on Teaching and Learning — Study Abroad This Summer!

PlaneLast week we looked at how we can help students make great summer reading plans. This week it’s all about YOUR plans for the summer. Are you signed up to teach summer school? Or will you take some time off to relax and recharge? Perhaps you’re going to do something really meaningful and volunteer. Or maybe you’re looking to learn a new language and explore a foreign country? I've got a few ideas that include many of these possibilities. Get your bags packed and your passports stamped to study and volunteer abroad!

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Comments: 2

Redwall Day!

IMG_6858On the first day of school, eager 2nd graders ask, "Are we reading Redwall this year?" and beg, “When can we start Redwall?"

Throughout the year, my students continually bring up Redwall by Brian Jacques (pronounced Jakes). I explain they'll need to build listening stamina for long books before we can read Redwall. I want to give my students most of the year to mature. From past experience, I know Redwall will work best with 2nd graders who have become strong listeners and thinkers. I usually start this read-aloud in mid-March, hoping to complete the 300+ page book by the end of the school year. More than just a book, Redwall Day has become part of 2nd grade mythology.

Read on to find out about this book and  celebrating Redwall Day.

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Comments: 3

Finish Off the Year With Amazing Summer Reading Plans

CamilaplansWow! It’s hard to believe that it’s just about time to wrap up the year with summer reading plans. You've taught your students a ton of reading strategies this year and showed them what it means to be a good reader. You'll want to ensure that they keep up their reading stamina by making summer reading plans. With your help, they'll be excited to grab a new book along with their snacks and sunscreen and hit the beach. Let the summer reading plans begin!

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Comments: 23

Effective Classroom Management: Drop the Tokens, Stickers, Stars, and Prizes

KohnWith the year winding down, your thoughts may already be moving forward to changes you'd like to make next year. What worked? What didn't? If you struggled with classroom management, you might be considering a new management system that involves extrinsic rewards — to start the year off on the right foot, you hope. If that is the case, I urge you to reflect on the role of extrinsic rewards in your classroom. In this post, I am including portions of two previous posts on extrinsic rewards, which I hope will help you decide what will work in YOUR classroom. 

 

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Scoring the English Language Arts Assessments

ScoringAfter many months of anticipation and intensive teaching, the English Language Arts (ELA) New York State testing is over and done with. Whoo hoo!! And now, the scoring has officially begun. Who does the scoring? Teachers like you and me! I am really excited to be a part of a scoring team in my district. We've got rubrics to examine, examples of student answers to look over, scoring guides to work with, and many evenings and weekends set aside to get the scoring done. I am confident that because of your amazing guidance and support, the test results will show that your students have met the learning goals for your grade.

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Comments: 2

Encourage Persuasive Writing With Movie Reviews and More!

JesusandJessicaLet a trip to the movies inspire your students to write fantastic reviews that will persuade others to either see the movie — or skip it! African Cats is a great film that celebrates family and fits in perfectly as Mother's Day approaches. Is it too scary for kids to watch? Or does it perfectly balance the beauty of nature and the harsh reality of survival in the African savanna? Plan a trip to see it, and teach your students how to write up a review of it. Can't make it to the movies? No worries! I'll share some other ways to get your writers to express their opinions through persuasive reviews. Grab a tub of popcorn, and let's get started!


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Comments: 3

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

MEXC0001[1] Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, is a Mexican-American holiday celebrated in the southwestern states and in U.S. cities with large Mexican-American populations. It's a much bigger holiday in the United States than in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a surprise victory of the Mexican Army led by Benito Juárez over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Sometimes we confuse this special day with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated throughout Mexico on September 16.

Read on for easy ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at your school.

 

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Comments: 4

Explore Poetry That Turns the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary — Write an Ode!

LenaandgenessiswriteodesDuring the last week of Poetry Month, have some fun creating odes with your students. Take the time to assess, use a mentor text you love, and invite your students to notice strategies poets use. Then it's on to the writing and to providing feedback. Your students will enjoy the revising, editing, and publishing phases and finish up with a powerful poetry reading. Let's get busy turning the ordinary into something extraordinary by writing fantastic odes!

 

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Using Video Clips to Build Bridges and Activate Schema

Clifford 
Students' prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.

Carnegie Mellon’s Learning Principles

When you want to learn how to do something new, where do you go? Chances are you head right for the Internet. More specifically, to videos. There is something about watching a video that explains things better than just reading. The visuals combined with the information, either told or written, helps many people to grasp the concept they need to learn.

Well . . .

Your students are the same! Read on to see how one- to three-minute video clips can assist your students in building the background knowledge necessary for them to learn the content you're teaching.

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A Visit to Bronx Arts

P4130042 This week I visited Bronx Charter School for the Arts in Hunts Point, a Bronx, NY, neighborhood. I was there to attend their Arts Education Conference, which coincided with the school's Arts Week. During our visit, the other conference attendees and I got to see the arts in action.

In this post, read about a few of the discoveries I made at the Arts Education Conference that might interest you, whether you're an arts educator or a classroom teacher. I’ve also included links so you can find out more. 

Photo: Art gallery with aboriginal-style paintings.

 

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Comments: 6

Celebrate Earth Day by Teaching Kids to Make a Difference

DontlitterposterAs we approach Earth Day, this Friday, April 22nd, join me in educating students on the impact we have on our environment with a Promethean flip chart and some powerful photographs of animals in trouble. And get your markers and crayons ready so your students can create posters that will educate others about why we all need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Hooray for Earth Day! 

(I must warn you. Some of the images in this post are heartbreaking and difficult to look at.)

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Comments: 4

Cure Review Boredom With Games Created by IWB-Ready Tools

 
IMG_0705Are your students not enjoying all the review and test prep going on right now? Is it like pulling teeth to make reviewing concepts interesting? Well, this post is for you! Come take a look at some fun and easy online games created using templates. They'll catch your students’ attention and make reviewing an exciting learning opportunity. Whether you are preparing for state testing or just end of the year assessments, these games are just what the doctor ordered for that review boredom.

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Comments: 14

Writing List Poems That Are Better Than OK

JustinbahbinokbookFor the second week of Poetry Month, I’ve got a plan for creating list poems that will allow your students to showcase their creativity as well as the qualities that make them unique. This week's activities involve writing, editing, revising, publishing, and some watercolor painting, so get ready for a busy classroom filled with lots of fun. With the help of one of my favorite authors, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, we’ll get our writers creating poems that are "better than OK”! 

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Big Ideas and New Books! Highlights From the ASCD Conference

ASCD At the ASCD Annual Conference last week in San Francisco, I gained new perspectives on education from educators all over the U.S. and the world — and discovered big ideas and new books. Here are four samples of my newfound knowledge. I hope you’ll read on, post your thoughts, and share your insights.

 

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Comments: 4

April Book Picks!

SpringbooksApril is finally here! We’ve had a cold and snowy winter in NYC, so we are welcoming the spring weather with open arms — April showers and all.

This month’s booklist will help you explore all this month has to offer. We’ll kick off Poetry Month and plan Earth Day activities. Did you know that April is also National Humor Month? Many of my picks will keep your students laughing right along with you. Click on the links to find out more about the authors and illustrators featured this month, and be sure to grab some free resources from their sites. Happy spring! 

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Comments: 25

Reading and Writing Workshop: Virtual Tours of Each Component

Boys_readOver the past four years I have filmed, edited, and posted countless classroom videos, either here on Scholastic.com or on our class site. I recently realized that I have more than twenty videos that deal specifically with Reading and Writing Workshop. In this post, I'm putting them all together to show the various components that make a Reading and Writing Workshop come together.

Watch me teach an entire writing lesson, listen in as I conference with a student about reading and writing, and click on one of the seventeen video links provided in this LOADED post.

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Comments: 6

Digital Poetry — Make Words Zoom and Fly Across the Room!

Bronx New Schoolers recite "Sugar Cookies" by Dominique and Sharlene.All you need is a computer, projector, and an Internet connection to give students the power to make their words larger than life. Digital poetry can turn a typical school poetry slam into a multimedia event. Read on to captivate the most tech-savvy wordsmiths, grab links for your interactive whiteboard, and partake in some 21st century word play.

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Behind the Scenes, Part 4 — Filming Your Movie

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Lights, Camera, ACTION! You’re ready to start filming! This is an exciting time, especially for the students, but there is still a lot of important learning and planning at this stage. Read more and find out how you can prepare your students to film your class movie in a smooth and successful way.

 

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Comments: 8

Five Ways to Make Standardized Test Prep Engaging

TestprepWith state testing quickly approaching, my grade level decided to try out some new ways to review content across the curriculum. One idea that has received rave reviews from both students and parents is our weekly TCAPalon competitions. "TCAPalon" — a play on our state test's name and "triathlon" — allows our classes to compete academically with each other while receiving quality review instruction. Read on to learn how to turn standardized test prep into a team event, and to read about some tried and true test review methods. 

Photo: Students learn how to review using the "Great BamBunyi" method.


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Comments: 47

My March Top Ten List: Nonfiction Reading Resources

IMG_0029Last month I shared my favorite resources for teaching fiction reading, and this month I'm focusing on nonfiction. Students (and teachers) often choose to read fiction texts in the classroom, but it is crucial that we expose our students to nonfiction texts as often as possible.

Nonfiction texts allow children to experience the wonder of the world. Facts come alive when books about animals, people, or objects are read to children. Nonfiction texts build on children's interests and increase vocabulary and background knowledge. When we help our students become proficient readers of nonfiction texts, we help them become successful at school and in the “real world.” Research shows that about 85% of what adults read on a daily basis is nonfiction. Teachers have a great responsibility in teaching students to tackle this genre.

READ ON to check out resources for teaching nonfiction reading concepts, including posters, links to great Web sites and articles, printables, an exciting new way to make current events interactive, and much more!

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Comments: 10

Working Together and Using Technology to Understand What Is Happening in Japan

JapanbeforeandafterDevastating videos, images, and stories are coming out of Japan. Educators are looking for just the right way to teach students about the earthquake and tsunami as well as the growing concerns about the nuclear reactors. We know that covering current events through activities that incorporate listening, speaking, reading, and writing can increase literacy skills in the classroom. But how do we use online resources to tackle difficult topics with sensitivity and heart?

This week I'll share my experiences working with a 3rd grade class to study the events in Japan. Check out images from my flipchart, click on links to online resources, and download activity sheets that will have your students collaborating in groups and using technology to understand the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on the people in Japan.

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Comments: 4

Conducting Interviews to Honor the Amazing Women in Our Lives

BulletinboardwomenshistoryinterviewsIt's mid-March, and our Women's History Month celebrations are in full swing. "March Book Picks!" had us researching big names in history as well as reading books by spectacular authors. This week we'll give students the opportunity to honor the incredible women in their own lives.

Whether they've been inspired by their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, or teachers, this is the time for your students to share the stories of the great women in their lives. In this project, we'll create questions for our interviews and ask these special ladies to give us advice based on their personal experiences. Click on my downloadable templates to get your budding journalists started on an important interview.

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Comments: 4

Getting Ready for Testing Season

Black-boy-writing[1] Good teaching every day, with engaging, standards-based lessons and thought-provoking questions, makes students good test takers. Setting high expectations, demanding quality work, and consistently enforcing rules contribute to positive test results. A calm, well-organized classroom in which you and your students are fully engaged in learning leads to success on tests. Students who value practice and hard work take tests in stride.

Later this month Massachusetts 3rd through 10th graders will begin taking standardized tests, which will stretch from March through May. Read on to find ideas to help you get ready for testing season. 

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March Book Picks!

MarchbooksMarch is a busy month filled with many special dates. This month's booklist will help you collect resources to plan lots of fantastic activities. We kicked off Women's History Month with Ruby Bridges last week and will continue to teach our students what it takes to be successful in the face of adversity. We'll also look at the Mardi Gras celebrations and learn about the Irish traditions we can all participate in on St. Patrick's Day.

Click on the links to find out more about the incredible authors featured this month and to gather downloadable resources to learn what makes March such a special month. We'll look at poetry, nonfiction texts, legends, folktales, and interactive whiteboard activities that will get your students excited about learning and on the search for their very own pot of gold! 

 

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Comments: 2

Ready . . . Set . . . Revolution 2.0 Reporters!


Revolution 2.0 Reporters! My 5th grade students must document a pressing social issue (e.g., bullying, sexism, racism, smoking) using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. For their attempts to change the world through short movies, Microsoft awarded us $10,000. The most difficult aspect of this lesson was not in writing, shooting, or editing, but in helping kids realize their power to sway opinion and prompt positive action. Weeks later, they realized their ability to influence, impact, and organize a community for positive change, to stand up for their rights, to start a movement or even overthrow a tyrant! This lesson was priceless. 

Whether students are buzzing about the myriad protests around the world, American patriots in history class, heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, or teacher rallies in Wisconsin, provide them with ample time and tools to investigate how ordinary people have prevailed in times of upheaval. If you've got a Mac computer and two 40 minute periods, you can EASILY create iReports of protests around the world. iReports force students to condense their retell of confusing world events into coherent 60 second sound bites. Read on for three steps for using simple technology to thoroughly digest and retell these stories of revolution.

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10 Questions for Diane Johnson, Iditarod Dir. of Education


Diane Johnson Since 2005 Diane Johnson has been Director of Education for http://iditarod.com.
Even though it’s her busiest time of the year, Diane graciously answered questions about the Iditarod and her role on the web site.  She talked about teaching the Iditarod, and teaching in general.

Read interview with Diane...

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Comments: 2

March Is Women's History Month! Celebrate With Art, Literature and Ruby Bridges

ArttiashaMake the transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month smooth by revisiting your lessons on Ruby Bridges to learn more about her courage, strength, and impact on education at such a young age. With the teachings from last month set as the groundwork for this lesson, ask your students to step into Ruby's shoes as they paint a scene from her life and give her a voice. Get out the watercolor paints and celebrate this great woman in history!

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Comments: 10

Filmmaking — Stop-Motion to Bring Curriculum to Life

IMG_0652Stop-motion has long been used to entertain children and adults on television and in the movies. Think back to Gumby or the cute Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus. All of those were done by using the stop-motion technique of filming. This year my kindergarten class has been interested in stop-motion. We are currently in the process of creating a stop-motion movie to learn about plants using candy. Click to read more about stop-motion and see some student examples of how this exciting filmmaking technique can be used in the classroom.

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Comments: 53

My January Top Ten List: Writing Lessons and Resources

OliviaWriting Workshop is something my students can count on nearly every day. It is a time when they can develop important ideas and relive small, memorable moments from their lives. It is also a time when there are not a lot of rules, as writing is the most open-ended subject I teach. While my students are asked to write within a specific genre, the freedom to express themselves in their own creative way is often liberating. However, there are always those students who find it difficult to perform when they are not given prescribed directions and are instead asked to come up with ideas on their own. This month’s top ten list includes a variety of writing lessons and resources that will challenge your top writers and motivate your reluctant writers as well.

READ ON to find creative mini-lessons, useful printables and posters, interactive whiteboard resources, ideas for incorporating technology into your Writing Workshop, and links to cool Web sites where students can publish their work and receive tips from published authors.

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The Powerful Pull of Sled Dogs!

4-Husky[1] Not surprisingly, many students are drawn to the Iditarod and become avid Idita-fans because of their interest in sled dogs. Children love animals, and dogs that are born to run are captivating!

This week I’m blogging about the true heroes and athletes of the Iditarod, sled dogs. I’ll share an Adopt-a-Dog Journal, an idea sent in by an Alaska teacher, and explain the Idita-harness, a kinesthetic experience you'll want to share with your students.

Read on to find out more . . .

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Comments: 12

Inspire Families to Read Together — Host a Pajama Party!

YasminsfamilyChildren love being read to, especially right before bedtime. There’s something really special about cuddling up in bed under the covers with a great book. Why not motivate your students to read by creating a class celebration that promotes literacy? Read Across America Day on March 2nd is the perfect date to invite families into your classroom for a reading celebration. Take a look at photos from the last pajama party at my school, and read about sure ways to make your party a hit. Grab a comfortable pair of pj's, and let the reading begin!

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Comments: 9

Finding THE MEssage: Grasping Themes in Literature

IMG_2230With state testing fast approaching, I have found myself carefully analyzing our benchmark assessments for instructional focus. One of our identified areas to address includes identifying the theme of a passage. Being new to the grade level, I wasn't sure if this went beyond my familiar 3rd grade goal of understanding a fable. After some work and research, I'm ready to share how you can teach theme in the upper grades. This post includes SMART Notebook files (also in PDF form), a project idea, and printable graphic organizers and posters.

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Comments: 12

Reading Goes to the Dogs!

Reader's Theater with Beau!Remember the first time you were asked to read aloud in a classroom or at an event?  Perhaps your throat became incredibly dry. Your heart pounded, and your palms became moist with the sweat of anxiety. During Read Across America Day, March 2, and World Read Aloud Day, March 9, many people will talk about the joys of reading aloud and the poetry of the cat in the striped hat. But this year try something different in your classroom — let your students read aloud to a dog. Experts say animals, especially dogs, have a calming, healing effect on humans. Read on to see how you can use the power of pet therapy to help any child become a joyful, confident reader. 

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Comments: 8

Iditarod Excitement Is Building!

Images[5]Every spring my group of excited 2nd graders and their enthusiastic parents prepare for the Iditarod, a 1,100 mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. There’s so much I want to share with you about the Iditarod and what we study and learn that I’m planning to write several posts about the race.

For ten years I've studied the Iditarod with my class as a way to teach standards for media literacy, language arts, and character education. Students learn how to navigate a complex Web site independently and follow links under my supervision. Students write musher profiles and sled dog poetry. Everyone picks a musher to root for and follow for the duration of the race. They graph Alaska’s daily temperature and wind speed and compare Alaska's weather to our own. As students follow mushers’ progress, they learn about perseverance, practice, courage, and hard work. They sing, dance, and shout about the Iditarod. Students even pull one another around the gym on carpet-square "sleds"!

Read on to find out more. . . .   

 

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Comments: 8

Differentiate Instruction With Paper Choice and Get Ready for President's Day

PresidentbooksPresident’s Day is less than a week away. Are you ready to teach your students about great leaders in history? Have you been looking for ways to talk to your students about the protests in Egypt? Let’s use this special day to inspire children to think about what it takes to be a great leader. I'll share my book choices here, as well as downloadable resources and links that will help you scaffold your students’ learning while differentiating instruction. If you think about it, we are educating future leaders! So make the time to plan for these lessons today.

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Comments: 8

Finding the Balance on Teaching Vocabulary

ReadingsaladWith any skill we are entrusted to teach, the issue often becomes finding the best and most efficient route, among all the possibilities, to "getting it in." Helping my students become more strategic in their vocabulary acquisition is a large goal for me each school year. I'd like to share some ideas we have incorporated both this year and in the past. Your students CAN learn up to 4,000 new words this school year. Read on to learn how.

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Comments: 34

My February Top Ten List: Resources and Lessons for Fiction Reading

IMG_0061 While nonfiction, poetry, and author studies are very important components of my curriculum, my 3rd graders still get totally excited about fiction texts. However, as students mature as readers, it is important to move beyond reading fiction just for fun and really encourage them to think more deeply about their fiction texts. Focusing on character development, building comprehension through reading partnerships and book clubs, and weaving in technology can make your fiction genre study very powerful for your students.

READ ON to see highlights of my fiction genre study and to look at reading partnerships and mystery detective clubs. You will find lots of printables, links to useful Web sites, lesson plans, and photos.

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Comments: 9

Planning for Read Across America Day!

Julia Read Across America Day, March 2 (Dr. Seuss's birthday), is less than a month away, so now's a good time to start planning. In researching Read Across America Day I discovered wonderful ideas from dozens of creative teachers and numerous activities, printables, and certificates. Knowing how busy you are, I’ve gathered a bunch of the best resources below, to help you as you plan.

Read on to discover these resources and find out how my class celebrates Read Across America Day.

 

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Comments: 8

A Valentine for Savannah — Hope Is an Open Heart

HopeWith Valentine's Day approaching, we are all making plans to create heart-shaped cards, write thoughtful poems, and teach our students to send messages of love to friends and family. Before the glitter dries, I'm hoping to inspire all of you to send an extra special valentine to an amazing girl named Savannah who is fighting hard to beat a rare type of cancer. Click on the links below to find out more about her as you gather resources to help teach your students about love, understanding, and hope this Valentine's Day.

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Comments: 2

Beat the Clock — Capturing Stories of the American Civil Rights Movement

Our First Civil Rights Interview! The majority of American students do not fully grasp the historical significance of Barack Obama's presidency. How could they? No history text accurately and vividly reveals the pain, power, individual sacrifice, and wisdom of the civil rights movement.

But with today's technology, any student can get firsthand accounts of the movement from local heroes and share those inspirational stories with thousands . . . online. Read on to see how you can help kids capture eyewitness accounts of one of the greatest and most provocative movements in American history. 

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Comments: 4

William Steig Author Study

Theamazingbone[1] When I was a kid, I loved William Steig’s cartoons and covers for the The New Yorker. Much later my own children loved Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and The Amazing Bone, books I read to them dozens of times.

Because I love Steig as an illustrator and author, I read his books with my class. Steig’s stories capture the imaginations of 2nd through 5th graders, who are old enough to appreciate his daffy sense of humor and rich use of language, but young enough to still get drawn into the fantasy adventures.

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Comments: 6

Having Fun With Fluency! Part 2 — Strategies Readers Will Enjoy

FluencystrategieschartLast week, we had the opportunity to learn more about the components of fluency instruction in our reading work, as we watched the replay of Teacher Talks Live Webcast Series: Tim Rasinski on Fluency. This week, I'm excited to share a few of my favorite fluency strategies with you. Download printable resources as well as a new bookmark I created, to help keep your students from sounding like robots! We'll build comprehension and teach our students to become fluent readers while we have some fun. 

 

 

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Comments: 4

Give Your Students a Voice With VoiceThread

Voocethread 

VoiceThread is a Web 2.0 tool for online group conversation, collaboration, and sharing, and it's sure to be a winner in the classroom. This tool is great whether it is used with one computer or many, with advanced students or English language learners. Although I've used VoiceThread for about four years, I continue to come up with new ways to incorporate it into my classroom to enhance or assist with instruction. Come take a look at an example of a VoiceThread created by my kindergarten class and at a video sharing ways I use this tool in my classroom. Plus, get authentic practice by participating in a VoiceThread right here on our blog!

 

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The opinions expressed in Top Teaching are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic Inc.