Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Video Clips for Writer's Workshop

If you're looking for the video clips on writer's workshop, you can find them here:
(mini-lesson, conferences, author's chair)

SSR Conferences

*Photos taken from Debby Money's examples. Thanks, Debby!

Sustained Silent Reading should be a daily part of the Four-Blocks classroom. Conferring is imperative for this to be effective.

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.

Block, C.C. & Mangieri, J.N. (2002) Recreational Reading: 20 years later. The Reading Teacher, 55, 572-580.

Brain Based Learning - High Pointe

This display is from Mrs. Myer's 4th grade classroom at High Pointe Elementary School. :-) Mrs. Carter's class wrote the story on the green paper last year to help the students remember the major cities in Missouri. I'll try to get a better a picture next time I'm there so you can actually read it.

Guided Reading

Mini-Lesson: (10 minutes)

During Reading: (20 minutes)

The students need to be reading during this time. Partner reading is very effective -- one person reads a paragraph, the other summarizes, asks a question, connects .... does SOMETHING to demonstrate comprehension of the text. Partners take turns reading/comprehending. This is an opportune time for the teacher to listen to each student read each day.

After Reading: (10 minutes)

Students demonstrate understanding of the concept taught during the mini-lesson.

After Reading Ideas

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?

RtI Components:
  • Screening

  • 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:

Florida Center for Reading Research

The Florida Center for Reading Research is one tool you'll definitely want to check out.


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 Interventions to Improve Comprehension

Reading Comprehension (from The Savvy Teacher's Guide: Reading Interventions That Work)

FREE Math Worksheet Maker

If you have a child needing extra practice with a specific math skill, you can make FREE customizable worksheets to send home for extra practice at You don't even have to create an account. :o)

Free computation worksheet maker:

Strategies to Improve Mathematical Fluency:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 M.A.P. Test

This is just a heads-up on the 2010 M.A.P. test.

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Plethora of Reading Ideas

Heather Pearce, a 4th grade teacher, shared this site with me: Lori Elliott also linked it on her blog last year: I've used before but never directly from the first link above. It simplifies the site!

I've hyperlinked a few items from it below. It's DEFINITELY worth your time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

3rd Grade Science Lesson - Gestures

4th Grade Writer's Workshop - Beginning of Year

Mini-Lesson: Using a graphic organizer to write a narrative - day three

Writing Conferences

Author's Chair