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Back To School Games

Back To School Games

It’s August first and teachers across this country are in an excited panic for a brand new school year! One of my favorite things about teaching is having the opportunity to start over each year. New ideas, new classroom setup, new activities, new EVERYTHING! I find it exhilarating! This year,…

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7 Strategies for Teaching Close Reading

 iStock_000006627042XSmall.jpgIf we untangle the term “Close Reading” from the unfamiliar title and the tie-in with the contentious Common Core Standards, we see that the strategies are not new and also are very useful, even essential, to critical thinking and learning. 

Here are 7 helpful strategies to use across the curriculum:

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Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Every Student Succeeds Act

Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 5.42.07 PM.pngWe all remember a teacher who had a special impact on us. The teacher who stayed late to give extra help; organized a fundraiser to afford a school field trip; brought in their own classroom supplies. A teacher with the Three C’s: The teacher who Cares ; is knowledgeable in their Content; and is able to Communicate with students in a way that reaches a child’s zone of proximal development. Accordingly, research shows that teachers are the most important in-school factor for improving student achievement. Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, provides states with tools to support our nation’s teachers, including tools to address current teacher shortages through recruitment, training and ongoing professional development.

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Help!  How to Support Students Struggling With Reading

Expressions-16.jpgI remember as a young teacher having to take on the daunting task of working with students who were two or more grades behind their peers and attempting to “catch them up.”  In the many weeks of working with students, modeling strategies, and supporting the resource teachers with whom I collaborated to assist the children, there were times where the frustration of getting them as close to their grade level as possible became overwhelming.  The following tips I am sharing with you come from the lessons learned through experience as well as through research of best practices.

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Google Can’t Find Robert E. Lee- Teaching Research Skills in a Snapchat World


Laptop Work-10.jpgGoogle can’t find Robert E. Lee.” I had assigned my  middle school students with a civil war research topic, and I remember her face as she brought me the news: According to Google, there was no one named Robert E. Lee that had been involved with the Civil War. 

She was Crestfallen. Truly an earnest student, she was genuinely concerned that this obscure Lee character was going to ruin her chances of a good grade.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving Through Reading

devices.jpgThis is my favorite time of year for many reasons, with one of them being the Thanksgiving season. Many families join together for special meals, watch sporting events on television and bond over things for which they are thankful. As a teacher, I always sought to bring multiple perspectives for my students about cultural events and history, and Thanksgiving was no exception. Big Universe, with its choice of ebooks, has a similar approach, and I look forward to sharing with you a little more about some of the titles available in our library as well as some lesson “seed” ideas for using these books in your classes in the upcoming days.

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