Friday, February 27, 2009

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~Brian Luttrell

M.A.P. Academic Prep Powerpoint

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

A healthy attitude is contagious, but don't wait to catch it from others. BE A CARRIER. ~Tom Stoppard,British Playwright

M.A.P. Test Taking Tips

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

Thursday, February 26, 2009

March TOSA Newsletter

TOSA Tribune - March 09

Exquisite Text vs. Boring Text (Critical Thinking)

Show --- Don't Tell!

Read an elaborate piece of text to your students to see if they can form vivid pictures in their minds. Then, have students simplify the text. What is the author trying to say?

  • In the deepest, darkest part of night, when the crickets and tree frogs are almost silent, shadowy shapes emerge from the ponderosa pine ridge and tiptoe down to the glassy Cheyenne River below. Their long tangled manes and tails ruffle in the night breeze. Ever alert and watchful for predators, they swiftly drink their fill. Then they turn on their heels and lunge up the rocky hills to safety.

  • Horses walk to the river for a drink at night and try to avoid predators.

If the author had simply written the simple sentence, would it have sold books?

Text: Peterson, C. (2003) Wild Horses: Black Hills Sanctuary

Fact/Opinion New York

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick may want to use Prediction PowerPoint before using this one. The pictures are the same.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Predict Where the Stanton Island Ferry Goes

Riding the Ferry with Captain Cruz
By: Alice K. Flanagan

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

2nd Grade Phonics Story - Guess Covered Word

A True Boating Family
By: David McPhail
Page 240-245

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Teaching Plot?

Big Al, by Andrew Clements, is one of the best picture books for teaching plot. It has a clear exposition - introduction of characters, setting and problem. The rising action is evident, the climax makes you gasp and the falling action is evident. There is also a clear-cut resolution.

*I have a copy of this book if you'd like to borrow it. :)

Big Al Guess the Covered Word

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

Click, Clack, Moo Guess the Covered Word

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opportunities for You

Using Music to Enhance Classroom Instruction
~MP3 and/or IPOD

Monday, February 23 from 2:50-3:50 OR 4:10-5:10
@ Main Street Library

Brain-Based Learning
~Brand New Session

Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m - 3 p.m.

Monday, February 16, 2009

QAR Lesson with Zoom (Picture Book)

I have this wordless picture book if you'd like to borrow it. :) You can find detailed lesson plans at this site:

*Hall, L., Yongmei, L., Applying Question-Answer Relationship to Pictures. Retrieved from on February 17, 2009.
QAR Zoom from

QAR Zoom Guide from

Cause/Effect Lesson - Jimmy's Boa

Causes/Effects from

*Udry, V., The Day Jimmy's Boa Taught Cause and Effect. Retrieved from on February 17, 2009.

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cheryl_dick

Cause/Effect Lesson with Curious George

When teaching cause and effect, it's very effective to teach students to say, "BECAUSE _____________ happened, ___________________ was the effect."

Many teachers tell primary students not to begin a sentence with because. As they get older, you can model how to invert sentences so they will be grammatically correct.

Need to Challenge Gifted Students? (Grades 1-8)

Check out the differentiated lessons for gifted students:

The extension links will direct you to FREE, premade enrichment lessons for 1st - 8th grade classrooms.

A Website Worth Viewing!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

This is primarily a PreK-2nd grade website, but it's worth a peek at all levels. I personally love the graphics!

More I Have ... Who Has? Math Games

Looking for Review Ideas in Math? Check out these I Have ... Who Has? Math Games.

Whole Numbers

Signed Numbers

Linear Expressions

Geometry -- Area & Percent

Calc -- Derivatives & Anitderivatives

10-question, Whole Numbers, AMTNJ 4/47/99 Rowan Meeting

Write your own "Who Has" Game

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tiered Instruction Lessons

The Department of Education in Indiana has posted tiered lessons for K-12th Grades. Examples of lessons tiered by readiness (ability), interest and learning styles in math, science and language arts can be found at:
This is an excellent 'jumping off' point to begin tiering your own lessons.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's Your Favorite Picture Book?

  • With end-of-the-year state testing quickly approaching, many upper grade teachers are using picture books to review Communication Arts skills, and they have requested names of books to use.

  • We'd love to hear from you! You do not need a blogger account to post to this blog; you can post anonymously and simply sign your name and location within your post (if you choose).
Some of my favorite books are:

Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey

  • Beginning, middle, end

  • Alliteration (in newspaper pictures)

  • Foreshadowing (notice signs of burglars throughout)

  • Plot

If You Hopped Like a Frog by David Schwartz


Lighthouse: A Story of Remembrance by Robert Munsch

Infer/Draw conclusions (What happened to Grandpa?)

Questioning: I wonder ... (I wonder why she put a flower in her hair.)

Warning: The Lighthouse book is sad and may make you cry.

Chewy Louie by Howie Schneider


Powerpoint lesson posted @:

Duke Ellington by Andrea David Pinkney

  • A plethora of figurative language included
  • Nonfiction
  • Beginning, middle, end

Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino

  • Beginning, middle, end (plot)
  • Strong verbs (author mainly put said to bed)

Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada

  • Friendly letter format
  • Excellent word choice

The Weighty Word Book by Paul M. Levitt, Douglas A. Burger and Elissa S. Guralnick

  • Vocabulary in story format

I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince

  • Onomatopoeia

Please consider posting your favorite picture books for other teachers to use or e-mail me at, and I'll post them for you. Most of the above mentioned books are recommendations given to me by other teachers.