For those of you who are looking for creative and engaging ways for your kids to practice sight words you might want to give word searches, crosswords and word scrambles a try. It is a great way to make learning fun! Some kids like the challenge of breaking the code with the scrambled words. Others like figuring out which word is missing from the crossword sentence. They all like finding and writing the same word twice on the word searches. There are lots of word searches, crosswords and word scrambles out there to pick from focusing on many themes. The ones I have made for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade word searches, 2nd & 3rd grade crosswords & word scrambles use all the words from … [Read more...] about Word Searches, Crosswords, Word Scrambles & Sight Words
Learning to pick out books at their independent reading level doesn't come naturally for all kids. However, it is a skill they can learn. Many experts say that kids should be reading just right books 80%-90% of the time when reading independently. A just right book is a book that kids can read accurately and fluently without too many unknown words. These are the books kids should read to practice their reading strategies and improve their reading skills. Books that are too easy or too hard to read won’t help the reader improve their skills much. Reading, like any other skill, takes practice and like any other skill the right kind practice is very important if you want to improve your … [Read more...] about How To Choose Just Right Books
Teaching students about nonfiction text features is one of the most important and challenging tasks facing educators and parents today. Reading informational texts is emphasized now more than ever and the ability to understand and use text features is essential for this type of reading. With the Common Core Standards, students in first grade begin learning about text features including the table of contents, headings and glossaries. By the end of fourth grade students are expected to know, use, and explain the purpose of many different text features. Here is a breakdown of what the standards have to say about text features: RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, … [Read more...] about Nonfiction Text Features – Clues to Understanding the Text
I have a monthly reading log that works really well for teachers, students and parents, plus it looks good enough to hang on the fridge! I had tried many types of reading logs and I feel this monthly reading log is the best approach so far. I think students, parents and teachers will be happy with this reading log because: it is quick and easy to fill out. they only need to sign it once a week. there is a lot less prep time and printing and goal setting. I made a reading log for every month of the school year. Each month has a different color. I also made all of these in a black and white version. For each monthly reading log I put in how many minutes they would read … [Read more...] about Looking For A Homework Reading Log?
Well, its spring and you know what that means…baseball, daffodils, baby ducks, allergies and STANDARDIZED TESTING! Here in Washington State that means it’s time for the M.S.P. or Measurement of Student Progress. Third grade is the first year students get to experience the joys of partaking in high stakes testing. Yes this will go on your permanent record! We third grade teachers try to keep things casual as we prepare our kiddos so that no one (including us) freaks out. The kids do need a lot of prep because many of them do not even know how to fill in a circle on a multiple choice question. So we always have to teach test taking 101 this time of year. Every year I create a checklist … [Read more...] about Test Taking Strategies for Elementary Reading
I have always heard the terms reading strategy and reading skill used interchangeably. It wasn’t until I recently completed a course on teaching reading strategies to ELL students that the difference became clear to me. Here is what Neil Anderson author of ELL Reading: Teaching Strategies for K-12 says: “Strategies are the conscious actions students take to improve their reading performance. That "conscious" part is important, because that's what sets strategies apart from skills. Now, even though some textbooks call a "strategy" a "skill" and vice versa, they are distinct. A strategy is something that students have to deliberately work at doing, while a skill is a strategy that's become … [Read more...] about Reading Strategy or Reading Skill?
“Work smarter not harder” is my motto. I like to keep things simple. So, when I was looking around for Common Core checklists, I didn't find any that I thought would work for me. Some just copied the standards and sometimes the standards are hard to understand. Plus, I would have to flip through pages of these standards to find the one I was looking for. Since these checklists were just for the teacher to see, I thought I could shorten them up. There just had to be a quicker way to do this! I designed checklists where all the standards and students fit on one page. One page each for reading, writing, language, math and speaking & listening. Five pages altogether! Here is a sample of … [Read more...] about Simple Common Core Checklists
Many states are still using the Common Core State Standards even though the federal government has said states can choose their own standards now. Things could always change again, but until then here are some ideas to consider when choosing a set of Learning Target posters: They should be language that kids, teachers, administrators and parents can understand. They should be visually interesting and easy to read from a distance. They should be well organized and easy to use. They should be made with common materials most teachers have on hand. Not ink hogs, keep color printing cost to a minimum. They should have the standard’s code number on the front … [Read more...] about Why You Should Get Yourself A Set Of Learning Targets