Saturday, February 9, 2019

Digital Writing -- Iowa Literacy Conference

How would you rate your technology knowledge?




 Click the image below to access the data.


Our students are our future.



Want to increase test scores? Increase students' schema. Remember, students ARE NOT test scores.


Work smarter, not harder. Google Classroom is FREE and organizes everything for you. 


Less is more. It's not about how much technology you use. It's about how you use technology. Download this poster to learn more:  FREE Digital Poster from ISTE. 

If you're familiar with the ideas in the cloud below, I've linked a 2019 website that has 75 ideas.



Technology and Writing:  Review of Research (2019)

75 Digital Tools (2019)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Read Like a Writer -- Transitional Phrase Scavenger Hunt and MORE


How do you teach students to find transitional phrases beyond first, next, then, or finally? Have them look for a series of words at the beginning of a sentence followed by a comma that they think MIGHT be a transitional phrase. Then, have them replace the words with first, next, then, or finally. If it makes sense, it's probably a transitional phrase. :)

The Three Little SUPERPIGS by Claire Evans has lots of wonderful transitional phrases. :) 










Cause/Effect Text Structure Books:  https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/cause-and-effect

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Collective Teacher Efficacy

Quoting John Hattie, "Teachers need to say - I cause learning."

High expectations matter. Teaching is not just about the kids, the resources, the curriculum. We can't just close our doors and teach.  Collective teacher efficacy is part of a big story. It's not a thing just by itself. ~John Hattie

Teachers need to be having collaborative conversations without judgment. We need to bring artifacts and ask each other if this is reasonable growth for 10-12 weeks of learning.

John Hattie does a wonderful job defining collective teacher efficacy in this video.

 I cause learning -- and you do too. What we do matters -- and it matters every single day.

 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Missing Foundational Skills

I've been creating checklists for students in my RtI group.  My district has us give a Words Their Way spelling test that I wasn't all that excited to give at the beginning of the year, but the data it gave me changed my mindset! If you give an assessment and do nothing with the data, it's simply a waste of time. I linked the spelling test in the document below - it's FREE online through Pearson. It also has directions on how to administer it -- well worth the time to read and learn how to grade. If you give this, please don't teach the students how to spell the words on the list. Then, you'll only be grading how well they memorize. Give it COLD. Then, use the data to adjust your teaching. That's what good teaching is all about. Let me know if you have questions. 











Saturday, January 12, 2019

For the LOVE of Reading...


I have a class of good readers, but do they LOVE to read? I've been focusing too much on teaching them HOW to read, but I'm not doing enough to foster their LOVE of reading. Sure, they love to be read TO ... but I want them to WANT to curl up and read instead of wanting to sit in front of a monitor and play a computerized game.

How do we balance everything? 

Recently, I've gone OLD-SCHOOL. :) After 15ish minutes of self-selected reading, we're doing music/mix/meet which is SO easy now that GoNoodle (www.gonoodle.com) has so many fun Zumba and KidsBop songs available. 

When the music stops, students stop. When instructed, students find a partner or trio closest to them. [When you allow trios, no one is left out.] Then, talkers and listeners are assigned. The teacher says something like, "The person closest to the window is the talker." The listener simply has to listen. When instructed, he/she repeats back to the talker what was heard. I generally call on a few to share with the whole class. 

This is so easy to do -- I'm not sure why I ever stopped doing this on a regular basis. It used to be part of my daily routine. It's a great way to mix up the entire class [beyond their small groups], get oxygen to the brain [movement matters], and add some fun into reading time. You can foster the love of reading while teaching some soft skills too! 

What are you doing to foster the LOVE of reading in your classroom? I'd love to hear from you! 



Words Words Words

I love words, and my students do too! One of my favorite ways to teach word work is by having students go on scavenger hunts to find words. They also like to brainstorm in groups.

Padlet is one of the easiest ways to organize these hunts/brainstorms. You can make 40 Padlets for FREE too! Students simply click the plus sign and add their words to the right column. I password protect mine and click the button that lets me moderate answers -- gotta keep these kiddos as protected as we can when they're online.







Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ohio Literacy Conference

Thank you for a WONDERFUL two days! I haven't finished uploading everything. My plan is to work on this tomorrow, Saturday, morning. :)


Reading Framework Download 

Reading Ideas

Higher-Order Question Stems

Chewy Louie Summarizing Lesson

Partner Template Download 

2nd Grade Writing Mini-Lessons

3rd-5th Grade Writing Mini-Lessons

Parts of Speech - in action

Parts of Speech PowerPoints

High-Frequency Spelling Words and Rimes

My Spelling Lists -- created from words from the link above

Spelling City Lists

Word Work Ideas

Making Words Lesson - EARTHWORMS

Reading Aloud Research

Foundational Skills Rubrics

Comprehension Strategies

Favorite FREE Websites:

Possible Small-Group Classroom Schedule AND Lesson Plan Format:

  • Since only 30 minutes is allowed for content, integration is done during ELA.
  • Link to Google Doc




















Possible Whole-Group Classroom Schedule:








Sunday, November 11, 2018

We Are All Teachers of Reading and Writing: Let's be Extraordinary

Information coming soon ...

Teach Students to Read Like Writers


How do you teach students to find transitional phrases beyond first, next, then, or finally? Have them look for a series of words at the beginning of a sentence followed by a comma that they think MIGHT be a transitional phrase. Then, have them replace the words with first, next, then, or finally. If it makes sense, it's probably a transitional phrase. :)

The Three Little SUPERPIGS by Claire Evans has lots of wonderful transitional phrases. :) 









Teachers, if you haven't set up your FREE Epic account, you'll want to. All the books in the collections below are FREE for teachers. 

EPIC Books - Text Structures 




Compare and Contrast Text Structures:



Learn to Spell without Memorization

High-Frequency Spelling Words and Rimes

My Spelling Lists -- created from words from the link above

Spelling City Lists

Word Work Ideas



Making Words Lesson: Snowfall

 s o f l l n s w

Day One: Make and Sort Words
Day Two: Transfer Spelling








Make Words:
Interactive Website:  http://www.abcya.com/alphabet_number_magnets.htm (magnetic letters work too)
an, fan, fawn, lawn, law, low, flow, flaw, slaw
on, no, now, won, own, flown, flow, slow, snow 

Sort Words:
Words that end in -an
Words that have -aw in them
Words that have -ow in them
Ask students for other sorting ideas

Transfer words:
If you can spell ______, you can spell ________ and _______ …
Fan, span, Spain (talk about ai vs. ane), pain, rain, train, trained, trainer, training, retrain
Fawn, yawn, pawn, dawn, drawn, withdrawn (talk bout past participle … draw, drew, have drawn) Own, blown, flown, known (talk about past participle … fly, flew, have flown and know, knew, have known)

Nifty Thrifty Fifty:
http://college.wfu.edu/sites/pat-cunningham/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2017/12/NiftyThriftyFifty.pdf

I was beyond excited to find the PDF linked above because this PDF was uploaded by one of the authors. It's worth downloading and studying -- it will change how you teach spelling!

Article:  http://inservice.ascd.org/the-person-doing-the-work-is-doing-the-learning/