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Beginning a Classroom Word Study Program

test_frustration.jpgIf you incorporate a Word Study program into your classroom, then gone are the days of the Friday spelling test! The concept of word study is that students learn strategies or patterns that will transfer to many words. Students are no longer required to memorize lists of unrelated or meaningless words. When I taught first and second grade, I utilized phonics and encouraged phonemic awareness. Little did I know I was using a new way of spelling called “word study”!   

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Differentiation: Environment

desk-912577_1920.jpgDifferentiation is a one word description for a method to reach every student and provide them with access to the curriculum that fits their learning style and their interests. There are four areas that differentiation can occur: product, process, content, and environment.To me, environment is the most important. It is an essential part of effective classroom management and provides the foundation to every other area that can be differentiated. Plus, it can easily adapted to every classroom with no need for specialized technology or huge effort on your part. I have definitely embraced a differentiated environment in my own classroom by using the following guidelines:

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Goodbye, Core Academic Subjects, Hello, ESSA’s Well-Rounded Education

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Teachers have felt tied up in knots, for more than a decade, due to the threat of No Child Left Behind, NCLB, sanctions for failing to meet unrealistic proficiency levels. Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, opens up many opportunities for states and local school districts to develop curriculum programs for a “Well-Rounded” education for all students. The term “Well-Rounded” appears 24 times in the law, and includes everything from Arts, Physical Education, Science, Civics and Government, Music and Foreign Languages – all of which are programs eligible for federal funding under ESSA.

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Using the Library in Your Classroom to Teach Seven Reading Strategies

Blog_Picture_12.pngReading critically is different from reading for pleasure. Students read critically to discover information. Often classroom libraries are set-up by teachers in a corner of the classroom and filled with a variety of books for students to choose from. It has been my experience that these libraries are not effective. I have observed that students choose their book of choice for independent reading either through an online source, such as Big Universe or at the library, hence the basket of books in the classroom seems to collect dust and seldom are rotated throughout the year. In order to teach students to read critically, it is necessary that the reading material in the classroom library be arranged so that students can independently practice the following SEVEN READING STRATEGIES:

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