Sunday, August 28, 2011

Love Your Students

In Lucy Calkins' book,  Building A Reading Life,  she remembers the author Avi's words to teachers: "If you are going to teach me to read and to write, first you need to love me."

"So," she reminds us, "Our first job, as teachers, is to fall in love with each and every child - right away.  that is not always easy at the very start of the year, when we are still mourning the loss of last year's kids, but the truth is that youngsters know when they are surrounded by positive regard.  They know when they are in a place in which they can take risks, reveal their vulnerabilities, aspire toward big goals."

Go, spread the love...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Question Stems

If we want to take our students to deeper levels of
comprehension, it is important for us to plan in 
advance to ask higher level questions, and to 
encourage conversations that utilize critical thinking skills.
I sat with a group of dedicated 3rd grade teachers
today who created question stems to encourage
their students during interactive read-alouds.
Here are some of them:

What are some possible events from the past that
would influence the characters' decisions?

Would you have made the same decision?  Why/Why Not?

If _______ happened, what might the ending have been?

The information in this section suggests what?

Based on what the characters have done so far, what might happen next?

In what ways is _______ important to the text?

Go ahead.
Help yourself.
You KNOW you want to use at least one of them!
Then again, why stop at just one?



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson

If you haven't heard about Sir Ken Robinson, and you have an interest in the future of education,
you need to get to know him.  Do you have 12 minutes? Take a listen to this.  You'll thank me!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Word Chunks

There are many roads to good word study.  Most include great visuals.  These can be quite inexpensive!  See my dollar store paper plates and puzzle pieces?

Don't forget your Greek and Latin roots when working with your older (4th grade and up) students' vocabulary.  Knowing one good root can give students the ability to determine meaning for a whole list of additional words.

Off to look for my dictionary!