Our Blog

Scaffolding Up!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:54 p.m.

Tier one classroom instruction is always about learning grade level standards. But what about the kids that aren't quite there yet? How do we scaffold them up to achieve those standards? Here are a few ways to make accommodations that get kids where they need to be.


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Productive Struggle

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:48 p.m.

Did you know that the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered from a productive struggle that Dr. Alexander Fleming was in? Yes, a productive struggle is what lead to the discovery of the life saving drug in 1928! Dr. Fleming discovered mold growing in petri dishes after returning from summer vacation and said that the mold had contaminated his study. He later discovered that the mold actually stopped bacteria from growing.

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End-of-Year Reading & Writing Activities

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 2:46 p.m.

The end of the year is upon us. Just in case you are running out of steam, here are some ideas for May/June to keep students engaged in reading and writing.

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Guided Math is all about Problem Solving

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 4, 2018, 1:25 p.m.

Do you have a "just right" problem for your students to solve during guided math? There are many misconceptions about guided math. The biggest one is that students are pulled to small group to practice computation using manipulatives or algorithms learned during whole group. But really guided math is similar to guided reading in that it's all about using all of the math processes. This means the first step to guided math is selecting a problem in which students will engage in a productive struggle using all of their new learning and prior knowledge to solve.

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PB & J Partners

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 10, 2018, 11:46 a.m.

Students need lots of time to collaborate with each other in order to develop vocabulary, learn content, process new learning, and the real world skill of conversation. Starting in partner groupings, students use accountable talk to learn how to have a meaningful conversation in which they take turns sharing ideas and listening.

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April: Poetry Month

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 10, 2018, 11:45 a.m.

Let's celebrate this month by reading a poem-a-day to our students. Hearing the rich language and imagining the vivid images described in poems develops schema and extends vocabulary. Here are a few ways to enjoy poems this month.

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3 Ways to Help Your Students Love Math!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 8, 2018, 11:44 a.m.

Overcoming a fixed mindset for mathematics is a dilemma that most educators need to help students deal with every school year. Here are 3 ideas for getting students to develop a mathematical mindset.

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Using Passages to Get Kids Thinking

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 1, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

As state assessment time approaches, I see lots of test practice passages being utilized in classrooms. While I'm not a fan of these passages, I do understand the need for students to read short texts and practice reading strategies needed for success on the test. Here are some ideas for using passages in authentic ways.

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Expository Writing Scoring

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 1, 2018, 10:42 a.m.

The goal of student writing is to communicate a message to the reader in an authentic and thoughtful way!

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Preparing Students for Success in Kindergarten

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 28, 2018, 10:41 a.m.

As a member of several mom groups, I get questions about what to do to get students ready for kindergarten. We all want to prepare our kiddos for success and send them into their education career well prepared (or ahead). Here are some ideas for what to do to prepare the brains of your little learner.

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