Archive for the ‘Literacy’ Category

  • Wait for it… Esther Earle’s Star

    on Oct 24, 14 • in English Language Learners, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Technology • with Comments


    I saw the book cover on the non fiction shelf at the library and was immediately hooked. This Star Won’t Go Out promised to fulfill the real world answers to questions swirling amongst YA followers of Fault in our Stars. The wonder and hopes that fans carry for the character heroes with terminal cancer will appreciate that Green’s FIOS dedication is Esther Earle, the star more amazing than anyone could imagine. Her story compiled from her own journals, her parents notes and reflections is a story of hope more than struggle. It is a book

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  • Teaching Creative Writing to Younger Kids

    on Oct 23, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy • with Comments


    I love to teach writing to my first and second graders. These kids can spin stories like no others. The challenge lies in their fine motor skills and being able to write down all of the wonderful ideas they come up with. I have three methods that I use which I have found helps out tremendously with this challenge. At the beginning of the year, I use pictures as writing prompts. These are usually snapshots of the kids I have taken each week. I hang them on our ‘Pick a Pic’ bulletin board. Each Thursday

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  • Turning that Picture into Writing

    on Oct 15, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Policy • with Comments


    On my bathroom wall at home, I have a large framed drawing my son made in first grade. It has a lot of underwater action, including thought bubble over the shark saying “I am the king of the ocean.” Another thought bubble over a fish close to the shark’s mouth reads, “I am going to die!” It is a fun picture but it wasn’t until I was teaching second grade that I realized that this was a detailed story my son had “written.” The actual writing in his daily journal was pretty basic. It usually

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  • The Beauty of Science and Art

    on Oct 6, 14 • in Elementary Classrooms, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Science • with Comments


    This year our district has been focusing on integrating science with ELA.  This is not a new idea, but one that has been a joy to implement.  We spent three days over the summer looking at our standards, resources and designing lessons for students.  Focusing on keeping science alive with inquiry and hands on exploration while adding a depth of reading during our ELA time has been wonderful.  In our last unit, life systems, I was able to integrate art as well. The projects were better than I imagined! During our study of life systems we looked at

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  • Have you Read a Banned Book Yet This Week?

    on Sep 23, 14 • in Featured, Literacy, Opinion • with Comments

    Young Student Reading A Book

    National Banned Books Week is upon us, and the American Library Association once again reminds us that the Freedom to Read is a right everyone deserves. Most school libraries, especially in high schools, used to celebrate Banned Books Week by making commonly banned books available or displaying them as a reminder. But nowadays, with massive budget cuts, many schools have been left without librarians or even libraries. If there are libraries, students rarely get to spend time there because of all the demanding proscribed classroom curriculum they must get through each day. But this week is

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