Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Use Holidays to Teach Apostrophes

    on Feb 23, 15 • in Common Core, Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments


    One thing students – and adults, for that matter – struggle with is the use of apostrophes. It’s difficult to watch people of all ages butcher the proper use of this fickle piece of punctuation, but it seems to baffle those young and old. A simple way to teach apostrophe usage is to use holidays. First, let’s explore how and why one uses apostrophes.  1. Use the apostrophe to show singular possession. * New Year’s Eve – celebrates the single last night of the year * New Year’s Day – celebrates the first day of

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  • Providing An Anchor In Learning

    on Feb 18, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Management • with Comments

    Anchor Charts

    I have a reference wall in my classroom. It includes phonics rules, checklists, our word wall and one of my newest loves, anchor charts. I introduce my anchor charts during my carpet time for several days, then when I feel like my class is comfortable with whatever concept is being taught, I hang it on our reference wall for kids to refer back to. I started using anchor charts on a regular basis last year with my math lessons. It was great to have a visual for fraction to decimal conversion along with graphs to

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  • Writing Hacks for Grades 9-12

    on Feb 12, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments

    Writing Hacks for

    Teaching writing can be difficult, even for English teachers. Many of us set our focus on whatever test our state mandates, which causes us to neglect writing instruction for fear of “wasting” time. If our state includes a writing assessment, we will ignore cultivating a love for writing in favor of a more clinical approach. As such, many students abhor writing. But it does not have to be that way. Instead of cutting out writing in order to teach other standards, you can use writing to enhance your curriculum. This includes writing that can be enjoyable

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  • Digital Writing Text: “Snow Fall-The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek”

    on Feb 3, 15 • in Common Core, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy • with Comments

    "Snow Fall" by John Branch

    The blizzard raging outside recalls the looping GIF of drifting snow that opens the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times feature story, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” As a model text, this example of digital writing is the kind of writing that we should be preparing our students to do. This story of 16 expert skiers and snowboarders and their fatal decision to ski outside the Stevens Pass ski area in the Washington Cascades was written by journalist John Branch and published digitally on Dec. 20, 2012. His recount of the group’s excursion into the “unmonitored play area of reliably

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  • Student Teacher Diaries: The First Lesson Plan

    on Jan 28, 15 • in Elementary Classrooms, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, The Student Teacher Diaries • with Comments

    Student teacher diaries

    I see lesson plans everywhere!  I have always been the teacher that goes somewhere, looks at something, picks up a book and can think of ways to bring it into the classroom as a lesson.  A friend once commented, “It does not matter where we go you think of a way to teach kids.” There is a paper trail in lesson planning as well.  I remember learning the format in college.  Lessons were centered around a book or activity.  There was an anticipatory set; grab their attention!  Objectives were written “SWBAT…” with explicit instructions to

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