One of my favorite children's authors is Pat Hutchins. This month I shared two of her books that captivate young children through the rich details in the pictures.
In the spirit of the season, I put together a slide deck of fun books and songs.
This week I select books that count! Children can learn many math concepts through books, songs, and games. Chica Chica 123 is a great book for engaging children in counting by 1's to 20, counting backwards from 20, counting by 10's to 100, and exploring the concept of 0.
This week I selected books and songs that involved using colors to develop descriptive language.
I recently dove into researching best-teaching practices for increasing student vocabulary. This is a topic I am asked to present on frequently, probably because it is one of the most complex areas to teach. This summer I read, Responsive Literacy by Editor, Patricia L. Scharer. Here are some of their ideas for helping students strengthen language comprehension.
Looking for some easy ways to have students reflect on their first week of school? We have you covered!
To get students excited about writing (or anything) we need to begin by tapping into their interests. One way to do this is by having students start the year off with expert journals. Expert journals are small books of paper that students use to record their questions, findings, and information about a topic of their choice. Think of this as an introduction to research!
As we are in the midst of MOY (Middle of the Year) screenings, we are seeing areas of growth and need on our classrooms. If your students are in need of grapho-phonemic skills, here is a quick game to use in your word work block.
We love to show ideas from our newsletter and seminars in action! You have probably heard and read some of our posts about quick writes. It is one of the best instructional strategies for building writing stamina and confidence. Here are two educators who used quick writes in September!
Writing is an abstract macro-process that must be taught explicitly, followed by guided and independent practice. Writers need to learn to make a series of decisions using their schema and executive skills for planning, organizing, avoiding distraction, and staying focused on the message. Becoming a proficient writer takes years and needs to begin early in life.
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.
Have you shared a Bedtime Math story lately? We love Bedtimemath.org and you should too!
Number talks are an easy way to start your math block off with a bang! Students are engaged in a mental math activity that gets them thinking strategically about numbers and how they work.
Each day, fluent reading is being practiced. Here are some fluency techniques to help your students read with prosody and for meaning during your shared reading time.
Echo reading is "I read you, then you repeat read". This is an easy reading confidence builder.
Language comes before literacy. Young learners need to listen, look, talk and question. Try our Questions and Answers activity during your morning circle time to get students producing language with increasing ease and accuracy.
Rounding Up the Rhyme is a great phonics activity to use in the primary grades. Patricia Cunningham developed this activity to be used during the Working on Words time in your classroom. Here are the six easy steps to implementing this activity in your classroom!
The first five-to-eight minutes of class sets the stage for the learning. Students need (and want) to be engaged and thinking from the moment they walk into our classrooms. Sometimes this can become a daunting task with all the morning routines we must complete before the first lesson of the day can begin. Being organized and intentionally incorporating student interests and natural curiosity will wake up the brain, get dendrites excited, and synapses firing!
We have compiled a list of some ways to wake up the brain and get students in a learning ready state of mind.
If I had to pick one multi-level strategy that builds my students’ decoding and spelling fluency activity to do weekly, I’d pick “Making Words” the Pat Cunningham strategy. I first started using this strategy with my 1st and 2nd graders in 1994. I have adapted Cunningham’s versions just a tad to include explicit practice in phonemic awareness. This strategy is a great cumulative review of the systematic sequence of learning letter sounds and patterns. It really helps struggling students, especially those who may be at risk for dyslexia, to see the impact of the vowel placement within a syllable or a word. The tactile nature and higher order thinking that is required helps the decoding and spelling knowledge to stick.