Fact vs Fiction: A President's Day Lesson

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Feb 15, 2017 1:14:24 PM

With increased access to information, students need to understand how to select appropriate resources. President’s Day is a great a time to teach about research and the selection process. I teach my students this simple acronym RADCAB!  This helps them to remember criteria for finding information.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Literacy

Activities for National Opposite Day

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM

I love quirky holidays and celebrations! On January 25th, set your sights on a day filled with National Opposite Day activities. Research done by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001) have created discussions on the benefits of comparing and contrasting. This concept provides the basis for effective instruction. I have included fun activities to boost students reading and writing skills in the classroom for National Opposite Day while still meeting the demands of your standards.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing, Technology, Literacy

Writing Tips Round-Up: Review of Common Core- Aligned Classroom Writing Ideas

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Dec 29, 2016 11:16:00 AM

Once, I was surprised with an administrator visit and teaching evaluation late in the afternoon on the very first day back from Winter Break. 

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing

Making Assessments Fun, and Low Stress for Students

Posted by Reine L. on Dec 26, 2016 11:45:00 AM

When incorporated into classroom practice, the formative assessment process provides information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are still happening. The formative assessment process guides teachers in making decisions about future instruction.  Here are a few examples that may be used in the classroom during the formative assessment process to collect evidence of student learning. Observations, Questioning, Discussion, Exit/Admit Slips, Learning/Response Logs, Graphic Organizers, Peer/Self Assessments, Practice Presentations, Visual Representations, Individual Whiteboards, and Constructive Quizzes.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Literacy

Alternatives to the Late, Great 5PE - Why not to Rely on the Five-Paragraph Essay & What to do Instead

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Dec 22, 2016 11:44:00 AM
I've spent the last year of my life transitioning from being a writing teacher to a writing writer. 
 
And here's something I've never, ever been asked to do for any writing gig- paid or otherwise- 
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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing

Being Passionate about Reading

Posted by Kristie J. on Dec 20, 2016 12:14:00 PM

Reading can evoke many different feelings in people. For some, it is a delight. For others, a horror. Teaching reading skills is a requirement in any education system. There is research available that will support most of the ways we teach these skills. How do we instill in students a passion for reading though? I believe it starts at a young age before students become disillusioned over standardized testing. Some of my fondest memories of school involve the school library and teachers that took the opportunity to engage us in reading for the simple joy of it. I know of some local schools that are taking the last fifteen minutes of school to “Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.).” I support this fully. The students are only asked to maintain a reading log. No other expectations. I know some people would want to encourage formative or summative assessments to prove that students are truly engaged in the reading. I would ask that you envision fifteen minutes at your own job where you were only asked to read something of your choosing during that time. Would that not be a refresher? Here are some ideas on how to encourage students to be passionate about reading:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Differentiation, Literacy

ESSA: Chiefs For Change in School Improvement

Posted by Reine L. on Dec 12, 2016 11:45:00 AM

In May 2016, Chiefs for Change addressed school improvement strategies under ESSA in a booklet titled: Implementing Change: Rethinking School Improvement Strategies and Funding Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires that seven (7) percent of Title I funds is set aside as a school improvement innovation fund.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Differentiation, Literacy

7 Printable Plans for Common Core Writing in Early Elementary

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Dec 8, 2016 11:47:00 AM

I remember when I decided to become a writer.

I was 7 years old, and decided to write a poem to my mom for Mother's Day, because I had no money. It worked! She loved it. I decided, based upon the unanimous acclamation of my audience, that I must have some natural talent. 

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing, Literacy

Formative Assessments

Posted by Kristie J. on Dec 6, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Part of a teacher’s responsibilities are assessing student learning. This can occur before instruction, during instruction, and as the finale to instruction. Formative assessment focuses on the DURING instruction part. Formative assessment allows you to determine a student’s understanding of content and adjust as needed. If their understanding is on point, you may continue with current plans or even give higher level critical thinking activities. If some students are struggling, this is an opportunity to determine their weak areas and address it NOW rather than having to reteach. For me, formative assessments focus on choice and learning style. Summative assessments (the finale!) tend to be similar to standardized testing. Some students will always experience test anxiety and it may not always be a correct reflection of their ability or knowledge. For this reason, formative assessments should vary.  It should take into account a student’s strengths and interest. Examples of formative assessments are:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing, Technology, Literacy

Play-Based Kindergarten & Common Core Writing

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Dec 1, 2016 11:27:00 AM

Much has been written about the faults or potential failings of the common core writing guidelines for kindergarteners. Specifically, that students in Kindergarten are asked to do too much, too soon, and may not be ready—which is not only developmentally inappropriate, and could cause long-term trouble with motivation and self-efficacy. However, many of the concerns can be noted as implementation and interpretation problems. It certainly isn’t outlandish to expect: If Play-Based Kindergarten is the research-based and developmentally appropriate standard, then why emphasize literacy benchmarks at all? Because the didactic and rote- based, worksheet –emphasized structure of poor teaching is wrong no matter which standards you use.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing, Literacy

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