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Bright Ideas: Just Add Color (When Making Your Next Flip Book)

Screen-Shot-2014-01-29-at-5.50.00-PMSometimes when you have to shake things up with your students, you just have to add a splash of color!

I’ve been working with my students in preparation for the PSSA on developing their text dependent analysis essays. I taught them how to organize a strong response to a text dependent question using an outline/template: Introduction, Topic Sentence, Evidence/Proof, Analysis/Explanation, Conclusion. I decided to create a flip book to help them keep notes on each component of their response and to use for visual support. Initially, I used regular white paper but it just didn’t do it for me! I felt like the flip book was okay, but it needed something else to really grab my students.

Read More … “Bright Ideas: Just Add Color (When Making Your Next Flip Book)”

Word Solving Strategies: As It Relates to Word Study

Do you do word study in your classroom? If so, how much of your instruction is devoted to word sorting. In my first post, Understanding Word Study in the Primary Classroom: Understanding the Three Language Systems, I mentioned that when referring to word study I am specifically talking about word sorts. Are you familiar with word sorts? When students are engaged in word sorting activities in your classroom, they are actively and independently sorting words into categories. Categorizing is a fundamental way that humans make sense of the world. When students sort words, they engage in the active process of searching, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Word sorts help students organize what they know about words and form generalizations that they can apply to new words they encounter in their reading or spelling. Read More … “Word Solving Strategies: As It Relates to Word Study”

Understanding Word Study in the Primary Classroom: Understanding the Three Language Systems

Understanding the Three Language Systems: As It Relates to Word Study

If you are looking for information that will support word study instruction in your classroom, you may find this blog post helpful. I personally find that word study instruction, when done consistently and systematically, can be key in strengthening the young readers in your classroom. In this particular post, and a few that will follow, I want to highlight tools, strategies, and resources for word study instruction that are instrumental for effective word study instruction during your literacy block. Keep in mind that word study is researched based and has been used in my classroom for many years. Read More … “Understanding Word Study in the Primary Classroom: Understanding the Three Language Systems”

End of the Year Hack (Writing Picture Prompts)

Screen-Shot-2014-01-29-at-5.50.00-PMI don’t know about you but my class is ANTSY right now. Everything they do involves a lot of chatting, some redirection, a clip down on our clip chart, or a class minute to regroup. I am kind of shocked because usually around this time of year my class is running on autopilot without a problem. Man….my days can be exhausting. So of course, when it comes to planning I’ve been looking for things to keep them engaged and motivated. Read More … “End of the Year Hack (Writing Picture Prompts)”

Helpful Tips When Teaching Using Nonfiction Text (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2)

I purchased a Scholastic News subscription for each of my students in October to supplement my social studies curriculum and it was probably one of the best investments I’ve made this school year. Read More … “Helpful Tips When Teaching Using Nonfiction Text (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2)”

Classroom Tested Resources Blog Launch

I’ve been working with a small group of teacher bloggers these last couple of months on a huge project. It started as a small idea in one of collaborative Facebook groups. We all thought it would be a cool idea to create a new collaborative blog! This seedling of a thought grew into a much bigger concept over the last several weeks and now we are finally ready to LAUNCH! Read More … “Classroom Tested Resources Blog Launch”

National Poetry Month is in April: Summer in the City

In February 2013, I published my very first children’s book! It was probably one of the scariest, most rewarding…scariest (I am repeating that for emphasis) things I’ve ever done. I invested pretty much my life savings into not only taking my idea from a Microsoft Word document to print, but I also started my own publishing company, Willa’s Tree Studios, LLC! Read More … “National Poetry Month is in April: Summer in the City”

President Report: A Ready-Made Assignment *Free

Even though we are on the eve of Presidents’ Day, it is never too late to have your students do research and write a report about a president!

Here is a ready-made biography project. Just print and pass out. This project includes directions, a rubric, and a writing template. Click HERE to download for free!

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Enjoy : )