Sunday, December 27, 2009
Knowing what kind of question you're answering is half the battle in answering correctly. Teach your students the difference in 'right there' questions, 'author and me' questions and 'on my own' questions.
Right there questions are answered directly in the book.
Author and me questions require the reader to infer the answer. He/she must read what the author writes and use his/her own knowledge to answer the question.
On my own questions can be answered without reading the text at all.
The embedded document has many questions. The author titled the kinds a little differently, but they're good questions. I recommend using the ones that go with the types of questions mentioned above -- replacing artist for author since Zoom is a picture book.
It's almost test-taking season.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Download the PowerPoint from the workshop here:
Need Grades? Try these rubrics --- BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN - IT OPENS THIS POST AGAIN BUT THE RUBRICS ARE HERE TOO. :-)
PowerPoints and Interactive Games:
PowerPoint Slides - DI in a Whole Group:
Test Prep Site K-4:
Test Prep Site: 5-8:
Sing-a-long Science Songs:
Please let me know if you need additional resources! I plan to upload most of the PowerPoint to the wiki to the right of this page early next week. Then, you can download and print it if you'd like.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Magnet Science Unit Example
The goal was to take the learner objectives from the unit, the science inquiry objectives for the grade level and marry them with the 5-E Science Strategy [Engage, Explore, Explain, Evaluate, Extend]. This increases student engagement, provides common activities that assist with vocabulary development, and provides real focus on the appropriate content. The textbook is read last, with the use of appropriate nonfiction reading strategies.
This was created by two of Thomas’ 2nd grade teaches and Barbara St. Clair. If you are interested in creating something similar for your grade-level, please contact Barbara St. Clair to set up an appointment.
2nd Grade Magnet Unit
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I found some excellent examples of student writing I can easily use with mini-lessons for grades 1-12. I think you may find it useful.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The examples in this post are from my son's writing notebooks in 4th grade; he's currently a freshman. Although I wasn't his fourth grade teacher, his teacher and I collaborated and followed the same general format for lessons/student work/conferring. This is still my favorite way to organize student work during writer's workshop.
You'll notice that Kyle had two writing notebooks. One was for mini-lessons and the other was for free writing. I know it's hard to read his writing, but you can scroll through these pages to see the anecdotal records written by his teacher during his writing conferences AND the scope-and-sequence of lessons taught throughout the year.
Two things I would change (remember these examples are FIVE years old) include adding mini-lessons integrating each of the Six-Traits (continuing to sprinkle conventions lessons throughout) and scoring some of the students' work in their mini-lesson notebooks with a scoring rubric similar to the one posted below.
Kyle had an amazing teacher in 4th grade! Thanks, Mrs. Sallee, for having Kyle keep these two documents so I can share them with other teachers. :o)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Check out the research I came across today while reading Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey published in 2007 by ASCD.
- Inviting student to retell what they have just heard or read is a powerful way of checking for understanding (Hansen, 2004; Shaw, 2005).
- Gambrell, Koskinen and Kapinus (1991) examined the use of retellings with 4th grade proficient and less-proficient readers. They found that students who employed this technique made SIGNIFICANT INCREASES in the number of propositions and story structure elements recalled as well as the overall number of comprehension questions answered correctly. These authors noted that students needed at least FOUR practice sessions with retelling to become comfortable with the strategy.
I also found some disturbing research related to conversations and poverty in the classroom.
- In classrooms where there are increased numbers of students living in poverty, teachers talk more and students talk less (Lingard, Hayes & Mills, 2003).
- In addition, there is an increased focus on basic skills in these classrooms and less attention to critical and creative thinking (Stipek, 2004).
- Teachers of struggling student groups or tracks usually offer students "less exciting instruction, and more rote drill and practice activities" than do teachers of high-performing or heterogeneous groups and classes (Cotton, 1989).
People will talk and listen - that's a given. The ways in which this talking and listening are used are the real keys (Fisher, Frey, 2007).
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
(mini-lesson, conferences, author's chair)
Students who spent more time in silent reading at school increased their independent reading levels, scored higher on comprehension tests, had significantly higher grade point averages, and developed more sophisticated writing styles than peers who did not engage in silent reading.
In the after reading part of Guided Reading, students demonstrate understanding of mini-lesson taught. These can be scored with a simple rubric similar to:
Scoring Rubric (modified from Robert Marzano)
(Advanced) 4 - In addition to 3.0 performance, in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught (read).
(Proficient) 3 - No major errors or omissions regarding any of the information (simple or complex) that was explicitly taught.
(Basic) 2 - No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes.
(Below Basic) 1 - With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes and some of the more complex ideas and processes.
0 - Even with help, no understanding or skill demonstrated
Response to Intervention (RtI) - They key word is INTERVENTION. We should be meeting the needs of most of our students (80%) through differentiated classroom instruction. What about the other 20% -- How are you intervening and monitoring the growth of the top two tiers in your classroom?
- Tiers of Instruction
- Progress Monitoring
- Decision Making Rules
- Fidelity Indicators (adherence, exposure, quality of delivery, participant responsiveness, program differentiation)
FREE Websites to assist with RtI:
The Florida Center for Reading Research is one tool you'll definitely want to check out. http://www.fcrr.org/SCASearch/
1. Select a grade range from the options below (e.g., 2-3).
2. Select Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, or Comprehension, and then check the subcomponents you wish to search.
3. Click on Show Results to see a list of matches for your search criteria. (Not every possible combination will produce a match.)
4. Search results may be sorted by clicking on the column headings.
5. Click on Activity Name to view or print an activity or routine in PDF format.
5. The “New Search” button will clear your previous search criteria.
Reading Comprehension (from The Savvy Teacher's Guide: Reading Interventions That Work)
Free computation worksheet maker: http://www.superkids.com/aweb/tools/math/
Strategies to Improve Mathematical Fluency:
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
There will NOT be embedded items in Communication Arts or Math this year. All questions on the test will be factored in the students' scores.
Also, there will ONLY be FOUR constructed response questions on each 3rd - 6th grade Communication Arts and Math tests. 3rd Grade CA will also have a writing prompt and 4th grade Math will have a performance event.
For more details, check out page two of October's edition of the TOSA Tribune.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I've hyperlinked a few items from it below. It's DEFINITELY worth your time.
- Bio Cube:
- Trading Cards:
- Circle Plot:
- Create Comic Strip:
- Compare/Contrast Map:
Friday, September 4, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Mini-Lesson (10-15 minutes):
- Have the basic graphic organizer on the screen for students to view. (one minute)
- Ask partners what they notice; students record info. on sticky-note. (one minute)
- Post sticky-notes on chart and discuss a few. (two minutes)
- State Objective: ...use a graphic organizer for writing
- Play and discuss animated slide. (four-five minutes)
- Ask partners what they noticed; students record info. on sticky-note. (one minute)
- Post sticky-notes on chart and discuss a few. (two minutes)
Students Write/Teacher Confers: (15-20 minutes)
Author's Chair: (10 minutes)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Three critical ingredients to a successful school year:
1. Establish Rituals
2. Establish Routines
3. Build Relationships
Good class rituals are thoughtful, short, prearranged events. They are:
1. 100% Dependable
3. Engage EVERYONE
4. End in a positive state
5. Solve a recurring problem
Examples of Rituals:
Quiet signals - Clap, Clap, Whoosh
Turn to your partner and say: "Let's have a great day!" Songs: Line up (We are the class, the mighty quiet class, Ms. _____'s class, Ms. _______'s class) Thank you Mrs. Russell for sharing!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It's not too late to sign up for August 5th and 6th PD. The brochure is available @ www.nixastaffresources.net
I will be presenting Differentiated Instruction in a Whole Group Setting on August 5 for 1-8th grade teachers. This is the same workshop I do 'on the road' for SDE.
On August 6, I will be presenting three of the sessions I did last week in Vegas. The PowerPoints are available in the next post if you would like to take a look:
- Differentiated Reading in a Whole-Group Setting (small groups sometimes)
- Integrate Six-Traits in Writer's Workshop
- Teach Spelling without Memorization
Both sessions will be very informal with discussion and planning time.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Click on Curriculum Information (to the right, under e-mail log-in).
Click on Click here for faculty information (under grid).
Check out the linked curriculum cards.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
July 15th @ Nixa High School
Registration Open Until June 26th
August 5 and 6
Lindenwood Credit Available
Saturday, May 16, 2009
My marching order for summer is to work on making our on-line curriculum user-friendly. I posted the draft version of the Science COC Cards for 3rd and 4th grades. They still need edited and formatted - which explains the draft watermark. :)
Feel free to call me at home if you have curriculum/assessment related questions this summer; my number is in the school's diretory.
Have a great summer!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Here's a link to the song on YouTube. The embedding link was 'disabled by request.'
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
(to the tune of a military marching song ... "Sound off: 1,2, - 1,2,3,4)
feel, look, appear, become and seem
Sound off (1-2)Sound off (3-4)
to be (is, am, are, was, were, has been, have been, had been, is being, are being, was being, will have been, etc.)
to become (become, becomes, became, has become, have become, had become, will become, will have become, etc.)
to seem (seemed, seeming, seems, has seemed, have seemed, had seemed, is seeming, are seeming, was seeming, were seeming, will seem)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- Book Ordering Information: http://www.allynbaconmerrill.com/
- Book Study Location: http://www.xyzbookstudy.blogspot.com/
XYZ Book Study Suggested Guidelines
Pace Yourself: YOU decide when and where to post; this is YOUR study! Once you post a reflection, lesson, question and/or story to each section, the book is yours to keep . . . if you were one of the first 25 Nixa teachers to register.
Postings: Dr. Allen has suggested reflections at the end of each section. You may choose to post reflections or stories, lesson ideas and/or questions regarding information. If you share stories, please omit students' names.
Other Postings: Consider reading other educators' postings and responding to their questions/comments.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Looking for science ideas? Mr. Phillips has an amazing site and is working with Marcia Tate on a new book called Science Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. It will be released in 2010.
His Sing-A-Long Science songs are on I-Tunes, and his collection of guest videos from the last 25 years of teaching are being posted to his website through a Comcast grant next month.
You'll definitely want to check this out.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Search http://www.thecutestblogontheblock.com/ for the free layout of your choice. Once you find it, copy the code. It says ... copy this code; you can't miss it.
In your blog, click on dashboard; click on layout; click add a gadget. Add the HTML gadget. Paste the code you copied here. Save and exit and your new design has been created.
It's that easy! Let me know if you run into trouble.
*I've learned NOT to change my font color when posting because you can go into the layout tab and change the font on all of your posts with the click of a button. This doesn't work on the ones I manually customized in initial postings. Now I just type in the compose tab and adjust later in the layout tab.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Would you like a closer look at Niagara Falls, the Redwood Forest, the Space Shuttle Discovery Launch or the Golden Gate Bridge? Prepare to become a little dizzy. :)