Our Blog

Summer Reader's Theatre Club

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 6, 2019, 2:18 p.m.

Looking for a FUN summer reading opportunity to keep your students reading all summer long? Try hosting a Reader's Theater group with your school or community. Invite students from kindergarten through twelfth grade to join in on the fun!


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Summer Writing Ideas

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 6, 2019, 2:15 p.m.


Want to keep your students writing all summer long? Here are some summer writing ideas for your school.

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Let's Plan a Math Party

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 6, 2019, 2:11 p.m.

I have a new favorite children's book to share with you this month! One is a PiƱata by Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a rhyming, bilingual counting book for ages two to ten. One of my favorite things about this book is its exploration of the Hispanic culture. Being born and raised in San Antonio, Texas myself, I've grown up celebrating and appreciating all things Fiesta- a cultural celebration featured in this book. While reading, I learned a few new Spanish words and had to use my inferring skills to determine what unknown words meant. The book also contains a glossary that allowed me to check my inferences for accuracy.

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Rally Coach as a Micro-Intervention

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 23, 2019, 11:05 a.m.

When students are developing skills or strategies, they sometimes need coaching to move them to mastery. The Kagan strategy Rally Coach can be a perfect micro-intervention for helping students achieve the daily learning targets.

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Number of the Day Activities

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 23, 2019, 11:03 a.m.

Place value is the foundation of conceptual understanding in Math, which is why it is so important that we have strategies to quickly engage students in practicing their place value skills with and without manipulatives. To help students deepen their understanding, give students a new number each day to explore. "Number of the day" can be used as a warm-up activity, a small group discussion activity, or in a math station.


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Student Experts

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 23, 2019, 10:58 a.m.

Spring is a great time of year to have students dive into interesting topics and share their knowledge and expertise. Ask students to identify topics they know a lot about and have them write down any questions they might have about the topic. You can use these questions (and their answers!) to create shared "expert journals" in your classroom. In one second grade class, we brainstormed the topics using an alphaboxes chart and created expert journals from there.

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Math Photos

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 13, 2019, 2:08 p.m.

Effective math learning takes place with the use of visuals! Most all of us need to see the math in front of us to be able to identify relationships and patterns. One fun way to grab your students' numerical attention is through photos that contain math situations. Simply take pictures throughout the day that contain groups of people or items that can serve as a catalyst for discussion.


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Writing Reviews

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 13, 2019, 2:06 p.m.

Ever heard of Ryan's Toy Reviews on Youtube? Ever use Trip Advisor or Yelp? Reviews of products, locations, and places hold vital information for us as consumers, and also as learners. They help us to decide where to go for dinner or whether or not to purchase that coffee maker on Amazon.

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Intentional Pair Shares

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 13, 2019, 2:05 p.m.

How can we get all our students to share their thinking? When setting up for pair shares, students should always know ahead of time who their share partner will be. They should have a title or designation to help them know who will talk and who will listen. Each time students are going to pair share, direct specific students to start the conversation. For example, say "Partner A: explain why you think the character..." Give students a short amount of time to explain and then say something like "Partner B: Do you agree or disagree with A? Is there evidence in the text to support your thinking?"

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2 & 10 Rule

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 13, 2019, 2:01 p.m.

One of my favorite classroom questions is asking students to spell love, and then eliciting "T- I- M- E." I love this idea that we express our love and caring for one another by spending time together. I think this is so true, even at school. Struggling students often don't feel connected while at school. Once a student thinks they aren't liked or don't belong, it becomes difficult for them to engage in productive group activities and accept feedback meant to move them forward.

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