Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quote of the Week--July 31, 2016

"If you create anything, you will get criticized.  That's the ticket price for awesome."

Jon Acuff

Have a good week,

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rectangular Prisms Freebie

This fall I will return to the classroom full time teaching a fifth grade gifted class.  I am going through previous products and deciding what I can use with this group.

I created my rectangular prisms product when I was teaching a fifth/sixth split class.  Finding the surface area and volume of prisms is a middle school concept.  This will be perfect for my new class.

To download the first activity in my full product, please click here.

Rectangular Prisms is a paid product in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Rectangular Prisms is also available in my Teacher's Notebook store.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

Dashiell Gibson lives on the moon with his family.  One night he overhears a scientist telling someone about revealing a discovery.  The next morning, that scientist is found dead.

This mix of science fiction and mystery is the top of my list of new classroom books. 

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Delivering a Lesson to ELLs

When teaching a lesson to students learning English, I incorporate three features that I would use with any students: supporting content objectives, promoting student engagement, and pacing.  The fourth feature is unique to an ELL lesson: supporting language objectives.  Other students who are behind in language might benefit from the strategies listed in this chapter.

Besides "Think-Pair-Share" there are two strategies that I want to try when presenting new information.  One is called "Roam and Review".  After I have been teaching for about 10 minutes, students walk around the room and discuss the information with their classmates.  I also want to have students write headlines to summarize important information.

Have you missed the other posts in this series?  Click the tag Comprehensible Content to find all of them.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Quote of the Week--July 24, 2016

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hand."

Neil Gaiman

Have a good week,

Friday, July 22, 2016

When should students be able to set their own bedtimes?

When should students be able to set their own bedtimes?
How old should they be?  What should parents take into consideration?
Write a persuasive essay using several reasons and supporting details.

Read this article, "What Sleep Is and Why All Kids Need It" and this one, "Why Do I Need Sleep?" for more information about sleep.

Click here to download a free checklist for editing persuasive essays.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Serafina's Promise by Ann E. Burg

Serafina dreams of becoming a doctor, but school is too expensive in rural Haiti. She makes a plan to do extra chores so she can afford the uniform, but then an earthquake hits her community.

Ann E. Burg share's Serafina's story in verse.  I plan to read this book aloud.


For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Planning for English Learners' Language Practice

I'm continuing my series on the book Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners.  I have tagged all of these posts "Comprehensible Content" and I plan to do a wrap up post, so if you missed one you can catch up.  (Or just use this series for reference.)

Component six of the SIOP model is Practice and Application.  This includes using hands-on materials, activities for students to apply both content and language, and activities to practice all language skills.

When I was helping a student from El Salvador with math, I brought out the base ten blocks.  I did this more so that I could show rather than tell what she needed to do to solve the problems in class.  I showed her step by step on paper, but also used a model to demonstrate what I was saying.

Anchor charts are another useful tool for all students, but especially students learning English.  The charts we create as a class need to be accessible--either on the wall or in a handout for a notebook.

What ways do you make sure your students are getting meaningful practice?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Quote of the Week--July 17, 2016

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity."

Amelia Earhart

Have a good week,

Friday, July 15, 2016

Information Writing Prompt with Checklist

What is something you do outside of school?  
Why do you spend time doing this activity?  
Explain your hobby and its importance in several paragraphs.

Click here to download a free checklist for editing Information Writing.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar is the perfect thriller for the tween crowd.  Tamaya Dhilwaddi and Marshall Walsh walk to and from school every day until the school bully threatens Marshall.  Marshall decides to take a shortcut through the woods and Tamaya feels pressure to follow him.  What they find there may be worse than confronting the bully.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Classroom Interaction with ELLs

In a traditional classroom, the teacher is the one who gets most of the language practice.  ELLs need opportunities to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English using both conversation and academic language.

I developed sentence frames for the topics I was teaching.  As we practiced speaking and writing, students had some words supplied for them and they completed the remainder.  Click on the links below for more information and printable copies.

Days of the Week
Five Senses
Cause and Effect

Another way to get students to interact more is cooperative learning.  I set up mixed ability groups and then walk from group to group to listen and coach the interactions.  I find this is more effective than pulling all my English Learners into one group or teaching lessons to the whole class at once.

The ESOL Odyssey Blog has some other suggestions for cooperative learning strategies here.
What strategies do you find most helpful for promoting classroom interaction?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Quote of the Week--July 10, 2016

"We accomplish all that we do through delegation -- either to time or to other people."

Stephen Covey

Have a great week,

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Mysterious Key: Narrative Writing Prompt with Checklist

You are walking your dog through the neighborhood when you find a key on the sidewalk.  You look around to see if someone has dropped it.  You decide to take it with you.  You discover that it opens....

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt broke my heart.  Carley doesn't remember what happened the night she was taken from her mother and placed in the Murphys' foster home.  She is smart and funny, but keeps her emotional distance. The Murphys include her in their family anyway, and she starts to feel like she belongs.

I have worked with several foster children over the years, and there are some fabulous families who love other people's children.  This book had a realistic, not story book, ending.  I would cautiously share it with some students.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Learning Strategies for ELLs

This post is the fourth in a series about the SIOP model.  I encourage you to either take the class or buy the book for a more in-depth study.  I found myself adapting lessons for my ELL students as a result of this class.

If you are reading my series and you missed a post, I have tagged all of the posts "Comprehensible Content."

The fourth component of the SIOP model is called Strategies. Strategies are not merely activities the teacher plans for a class. Students need to have learning strategies that they can use to access new information.  Teachers may provide scaffolding in the form of graphic organizers, anchor charts, or think alouds. Students who are learning English must be presented with higher order questions or tasks, so they can keep up with their peers.

The ESOL Odyssey blog has a summer series on questioning techniques for ELLs.  This post gives you some strategies to try.

All students need strategies to think deeply about content and take ownership for what they learn.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Quote of the Week--July 3, 2016

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well.

Zig Ziglar

Have a good week,

Friday, July 1, 2016

Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer

A couple of years ago, I purchased Scholastic News to increase the amount of informational text in my classroom.  Sometimes I used the graphic organizers that came with the magazines.  I created a set of my own to analyze these and other articles we studied in class.

Today's freebie is a simple Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer.  I previously shared a cause and effect lesson with signal words.  If your students are struggling with this concept, you will want to read about these two lessons.

To download the Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer, please click here. 

The Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer is one of nine in my "Graphic Organizers for Reading Informational Text."  These graphic organizers may be used with any articles.

You can purchase "Graphic Organizers for Reading Informational Text" in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 
"Graphic Organizers for Reading Informational Text" is also available in my Teacher's Notebook store.

 Happy Friday!

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