Blog

What's the Word? What's the Topic?

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 30-Nov-2014

A few weeks ago, during a small group reading observation, I watched a group of five learning-disabled students struggle with key vocabulary in a reading passage. While the goal of the group was to develop comprehension, it was clear that these learners needed a strategy and practice for decoding new words. Here is an easy-to-implement strategy that can be used to warm-up for reading group.

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Just One Thing-Students Ask Questions

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 20-Oct-2014
How many questions do you ask each day? How many questions do your students ask? Most teachers ask the majority of the questions. One little thing that you can do to help students process new learning is to turn the questioning over to the learners. Read More »

Teaching Writing Genre

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 01-Oct-2014
Teaching writing is a challenging task in itself, but throw in genres and conventions, and you have taken expertise to a new level! As a fourth grade teacher I know the struggles of teaching writing first hand. Teaching the difference between writing a personal narrative and imaginary story or an expository piece is tricky. Make students develop knowledge in concrete and visual ways. Create an anchor chart to keep posted and have students can create their own notes about the key points after you have taught the genre. Checklists are easy tools to use as a study guide or reference. I created a checklist for students to keep in their writer's notebooks as an easy reference tool. Read More »

Practice Matters!

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 01-Oct-2014
As I travel around to different districts and schools, I've noticed a difference in definition when it comes to shared, guided and independent practice. Having common verbiage and practice is crucial to students' success. Read More »

Tips for Starting Guided Reading

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 01-Oct-2014
After four to six weeks of school, guided reading really gets going! The purpose of guided reading is to provide closely monitored structured practice of the reading strategies your students need to be successful readers. Guided reading gives teachers opportunities to observe and coach students as they apply strategies and knowledge of author's craft.  Read More »

Let's Flip Instruction!

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 25-Aug-2014
Flipping instruction in any 
subject is easy when you know which tools to use and how to provide students access to lessons that teach critical understandings from the Common Core State Standards. Read More »

5 Activities for the First Day of School

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 30-Jul-2014
The first day can be a tricky day of deciding what to do first and how to welcome your new students. Try one of these 5 activities to kick off this school year in a fun way! Read More »

Social Media in the Classroom

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 24-Jul-2014
Social media has become a necessity more than a luxury these days. We find out breaking news, friend’s life events, and tons of new information daily. From Facebook to Instagram, social media floods the world. So why not use this to the educator’s advantage? Read More »

Classroom Set-Up Must Haves

  • By Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson
  • 10-Jul-2014
One of the best things about being a teacher is getting to set-up your classroom for the upcoming school year! (Especially your first year!) Sometimes getting a classroom ready can be an overwhelming task, what with bulletin boards, decor, student seating, storage, a library, and many curriculum subjects to think about. Read More »