Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dreamers, Who and Where the DREAMers Are NOW?

Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Initiative.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Gabriela Dreamer

Mr. Taylor took notice of one of his brightest and hardest working
students. She was shy and always very quite but she seemed depressed. He was worried that she was clinically depressed after her father was deported and her mom moved back to Mexico. She was always a very serious child but this was something different. She did not seem to have any close friends at school that she could confide in. She sat towards the front of the class and was always the last to leave class, taking any leftover snacks home for her and her grandma. She was always reticent of sharing with school officials because her grandma told her they could be arrested and deported. Mr. Taylor decided that he was going to invite her to lunch and talk with her to see what he could do to help her.

“Gabby, is everything okay at school and home?” Asked Mr. Taylor

“Yes, Mr. Taylor, I am okay” She said, not wanting to reveal what was on her heart.

“Gabby, what's going on? You can tell me if something is bothering you. I promise I won’t share what we talk about, you need to talk and share whats bothering you. If there is anything bothering you about school, I would like help.”

At this point Gabby breaks down in tears with her face cupped in her hands.

“I just want to do well in school, Mr. Taylor. I want to become a doctor, but I do not think I will ever be able to go to college. My grandmother says we don’t have enough money to pay the rent and we may move back to Oaxaca soon. I try to help her after school make and sell tamales to help with bills but it's not enough. I think we are moving back to Oaxaca soon, I will start working as soon as we get back to our village. The school in our village is very poor and sometimes it doesn’t have a teacher. When I am eighteen my grandma says she will be sending me to college. She's just saying that so my feelings aren't hurt.”

“The students in class say I am stupid and lazy when I am sitting at the table during recces doing my homework… they say I should do my homework at home and not get in trouble.”

“Gabby, you are a very smart girl and you sure are not lazy. I am proud of you and your dreams of becoming a doctor. Stick with it. And if you continue to do as well as you are doing now, you will be able to get scholarships to help you through school.” Mr Taylor tried to comfort her. “You are a special girl. Never forget that.” He continued...

Gabriela loved learning and doing her homework. It was her way of having fun and working towards her dreams. She lived in a small travel trailer wither her grandma and had no toys or friends at the mobile-home park. For a 4th grade student, Gabriela was intelligent beyond her years but she was a lonely child. She felt as if her parents, who were also Mexican immigrants, did not understand her desperate need to get an education and that they were not able to support her dreams. However, they loved their daughter so much that they did not want her to set her hopes too high and then be disappointed in life. They had struggled right through their own lives and it was difficult for them to dream with their daughter.

Gabriela had decided that she wanted to be a doctor when her grandfather got sick and her family could not afford the necessary treatment. She thought that becoming a medical doctor would help her to help her family.

Mr. Taylor had helped her to nurture her dream. He encouraged her to continue to be the attentive student that she was. Gabby kept doing her best despite the obstacles and despair she faced at home. On day she was really down, she would not speak to Mr. Taylor almost in tears, and his positive messages, that always gave her heart, “Gabby you are brilliant, never give up. You will make it. All you have to do is keep trying.” Gabriela was never heard from again. Sean Taylor 4th Grade Teacher 

Friday, April 24, 2015

How to Teach Argument and Opinion Writing | Thesis Statements

How to Teach Argument and Opinion Writing | Opinion Thesis Statements

Argument, claim or opinion essays include 5 essential parts that
start with a strong thesis statement! Introductory paragraphs with a well written theses statement are considered the foundation of high quality opinion essay. Crafting an argument and driving it home with logical reasons and evidence is important in order to effectively complete a successful informative essay project. College professors, high school teachers and even elementary teachers expect students to have a highly targeted thesis statement. The essays introduction must also include compelling ideas that spark thinking, start a persuasive line of reasons and evidence that support your opinion. The conclusion should restate the theses statement opinions and reexamine your arguments, claims or counterclaim.

Facts are the foundation of rational thought, opinions are rarely changed with unemotional dry facts. Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of beliefs, ideas, facts and yes opinions. Applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying new activities, rational or irrational intuitions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. Stating an argument and opinion are closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, Socratic dialogue, science, language, mathematics, and art and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.  

Try this with your students: Use opinion theses statement stems and opinion transitions word charts with your students ti give them practice drafting theses statements. Looking for essential details and drafting compelling body paragraphs ended with effective conclusions.

In fact, opinion writing using practice thesis statements or opinion openers is a fun way to learn persuasive and opinion writing. Opinion writing needs to be fun for the reader, expressive, well written, and concise. You need to know that thesis statements are key argument of the entire project. Make sure that your opinion is clearly stated right at the start of your paper.

Common Core Writing Testing Advice!
You must analyze the source article(s) or mentor text for keywords, transition words, opinions, claims and counterclaims. important ideas from the articles introduction and conclusion must be given special attention in order to successfully break down source text to use in your own writing in a smooth coherent flowing way. For the benefit of effective writing, proper structure and styling is also needed in order to create an essay in a more convincing manner. OREO Opinion, Reason, Evidence and Restate Opinion!
  • It should tell what your paper is all about
  • Provide your opinion whenever needed
All you need to do is to explain what your stand is and discuss the pros and cons of the issue you are tackling. You need to be certain that the statement is absolutely clear and well define your statement. Your paper should require the reader to ask and answer your clearly written conclusions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of your opinion.
Thesis statements may differ widely since they state various question in every writers personal style. However, you need practice using thesis statements (sentences openers) or a set opinion phrases and transitions in order to suit certain essays types and test requirements. Rule of thumb is to read writing prompts/questions always carefully and try to work out the things you need to do.
  • Writing two opinions – there are questions that will ask you to tackle about two opinions specifically while giving your opinion.
  • Disagreeing or agreeing – you will also be asked to disagree or agree with a single opinion.
Even though you can possibly do your opinion on your conclusion, it’s still better to do this on the first part so that it will be clear for your readers what your thesis is all about. It’s not that bad to include a bit in your conclusion though since it’s your choice after all.
Hence, the thesis statement depends on whether you are agreeing or disagreeing. There may be some paper which will not ask for opinions but may need you to tackle about problems and solutions. So, if you’re asked with such question, then you have to be clear when making your statement.
But, the main lesson here is to highlight on the questions which may differ so you need to analyze them well and exactly identify all essential things with your thesis paper. Always bear in mind that thesis statements are fundamentally telling your readers what is the main concentration of your paper.

When providing your opinion, it will be necessary if it’s being asked. When you’re writing your paper, you have to focus and look for patterns. Above all, you have to state your thoughts and answer questions with all your might. Enjoy writing your thesis, you’ll see how it works!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Teaching Students Persuasive Writing with PSAs!

Teaching Students Persuasive Writing with PSAs! Writing Emotional Hooks Examples

Persuasive writing, is a piece of work in which the writer uses words to convince the reader that the writer's opinion is correct in regards to an issue. Persuasive writing sometimes involves persuading the reader to perform an action, or it may simply consist of an argument or several arguments to align the reader with the writer’s point of view. Persuasive writing is one of the most commonly used writing types in the world. Persuasive writers employ many techniques to improve their argument and show support for their claim. Simply put, persuasive writing is "an essay that offers and supports an opinion" in which it helps you talk in a great voice.


What IEW Is All About

At the Institute for Excellence in Writing, we train teachers to
model an oral and written pathway of communication which develops the language skills of all students through imitation to innovation. Because every teacher can use the method in his or her classroom, every parent can be confident that every student can learn to listen, speak, read, write, and think effectively and eloquently.


What I love about IEW:

  • Mentor texts that are Socratic Seminar worthy. 
  • Close reading strategies that are easy to teach and result in deep understanding of complex text. 
  • Easy to teach, fun for students and super effective. 
  • Great student reference materials. 
  • Professional development that is fun and saturated with classroom applications that are easily implemented. 
  • Materials that are linear and spiraling.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The World's Best Kindergarten: Japan

The Best Kindergarten in the World | Best Kindergarten Design

At this  Kindergarten in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world's cutest "Best" Kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Brain Break: Pool Noodle Sword Fighting

Pool Noodle Sword Fighting Brain Break

During standardized testing my students are stressed, tired and get discouraged and lose motivation. We grab our pool noodle long swords, shields and go play Live Action Role Playing Games on the playground to let off steam and have some fun! This is the best ten dollars you will ever spend on classroom materials. The students are energized, motivated and willing to put up with a few more all day test sessions! We run the tournaments like an SCA match with referees and points for arms, legs, stomach and back. Hits to the Head or Face means Automatically Disqualified. 

Happy students are smarter and more productive!

The long-sword is characterized not so much by a longer blade, but by a longer grip, which indicates a weapon designed for two-handed use. Swords with exceptionally long hilts are found throughout the High Middle Ages, but these remain exceptional, and are not representative of an identifiable trend before the late 13th or early 14th century.

Cause and Effect Test Question Stems: Reading Test

Cause and Effect Questions Stems | Cause and Effect Test Question Stems:

Causality (also referred to as causation) is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second
event (the effect), where the first event is understood to be responsible for the second. Cause and effect test test questions, causality is also the relation between a set of factors (causes) and a phenomenon (the effect).

Cause and Effect Question Stems

How or why did this occur ...?
What are the effects of...?
What caused the ....?
What is the primary cause...?
What is the secondary cause...?
What were the reasons for…?
What is the effect of....?
What caused …?
What was the outcome of …?
What text evidence supports...?
Why was this detail needed...?
What was the purpose of ...?
Why did the author decide to include...?
Why did the author include ...?
How did the events turn out...?
What happened when...?
How should  the author restate the cause...?
Why did the author write this article?
What inferences can you make from the text?
What evidence would you need to support the inference?
What can you conclude from this text?
Why do you think that?
Can you give causal details from the text that support your inference?
Can you show me where this is supported in the text?

Cause and Effect Transition Words: because, so, since, therefore, as a result, on account of, reason, so that, if…, this led to, if…then
  1. Cause and Effect Question Stems
  3. Cause & Effect.pdf - LionsReading-3rdGrade
  4. Question Stems: 5th Grade
  5. mclass comprehension question stems
  6. Cause and effect question stems PDF Download ...
  7. FCAT Questions - Brevard County Schools
  9. Recognizing Question Stems - You Should Not Be Here
  10. TRC Question Stem - Bullard ISD
  11. STAAR Standards & Question Stems - Reading 3-8 - Bullard ...
  12. Nonfiction question stems
  13. 3rd Grade Kilgo Question Stems - TeacherWeb
  14. 3rd Grade - NC ELA Common Core
  15. mClass Comprehension Question Stems G
  17. Socratic Seminar Question Stems - Dorchester Success For All
  18. International Science, Technology, Engineering and ...
  19. Grade 3 Question Stem Bank - Kids At The Core

Sunday, April 19, 2015

STAAR Opinion & Argument Writing Test Prep STAAR

STAAR Opinion/Argument Writing Test Strategies | Creating Keyword Outline and Rough Draft From Opinion or Argument Essays | Ideas and Models From Writing with Structure and Style!

STAAR Writing Test | Opinion/Argument Assessment Pre-Writing
  • Read and Highlight the STAAR Assessment Writing Prompt
  • Write out your keyword outline
  • Reread the question and prompt again
  • Read the articles and rank sentences and paragraph that are of interest or important
  • Choose and rank the sentences and paragraphs that support your opinion or counterclaim

Pre-writing and planning: Keyword outline process: Choose three or four words from every ranked or selected sentence, topic, paragraph or article of your source Argument/Opinion essay. Rank 5-10 essential sentence that you choose that will help you remember the argument or opinion of that sentence. If taking the test online use the highlighter tools to rank and select keywords. Longer articles or writing from multiple source/articles only pick 5-7 sentences that have great ideas or are of interest to you. The keywords do not have to be predetermined or specific types of words, just interesting or informative words that will help you write your opinion or argument paragraphs. Make a standard outline: List Roman Numerals 1-6 down the page. Fill in each number with three or four keywords from the ranked sentences. Number one is not automaticly what was selected first or as ranked most important.  Separated each keyword with commas, on line number one. Repeat this process until all of the sentences you've selected have their key words. Look for the authors theses statements and conclusions and use those to create your keyword outline introduction and conclusion. Do not use more than four key words per sentence, and preferably keep it to three. Numbers and symbols are free.

If your opinion/argument essay has more than seven sentences in a selected paragraph, you will need to gather your key words from the ideas of multiple articles, rather than from each paragraph. This means combining some sentences, and not using others. Choose ideas that supports your argument or help make a counterclaim, interesting or important.

Keyword Outline Model 
I. Introduction/Thesis Statement
    5. Restate Opinion/Argument  

V. Conclusion 
Key Word Outline

Rough Drafts

Use your KWO, and create a sentence using the three words from number one on your new piece of paper. Continue on, repeating this process until all the sentences from that paragraph are created. Rough drafts must be double spaced. You must put at least three key words in each sentence and try using a prepositions, strong verb, adverbial clause, because opener, gerund opener, who, whom or which clause. This will require moving sentences around words around, changing tenses, adding words, etc. No erasing allowed. Cross out unwanted words, and 'click and drag' others to the desired place when using a computer. Remember not to use any of the banned words.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Strategies for Teaching Dyslexic Students to Read

Easy Strategies for Teaching Dyslexic Students to Read | Dyslexia Best Practice Teaching Strategies

First and foremost make reading fun and meaningful! Always start by finding a student's strength, an academic domain that the students does well and with care, and acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments! This is a gift you can give to your students especially to those who are dyslexic. Dyslexia is a cognitive reading disorder and teaching LD or dyslexic students is indeed a difficult and wonderful job at the same time. We know that all teachers, even seasoned veterans need a refresher on strategies for helping dyslexic students. Teachers that are new to the professions are continuing to look for recommendations that will push their instructional skills so they will be able to help their dyslexic students read.

Happy students are smarter and more productive

There are easy strategies that will be especially helpful when it comes to helping dyslexic students acquire quality reading skills. Easy and common sense when teaching dyslexic students is best. Overly complex reading programs that promote phonological consciousness skills, complex vocabulary development, reading comprehension and fluency, oral reading, spelling, writing, and comprehension of written directions are sometimes hard to teach and not easy for students to use.

Stressed students are less productive and lose cognitive ability! 

LD and Dyslexia Reading Instruction Recommendations Strategies:

Before reading:
  • Make Reading Fun, Exciting, Meaningful and Engaging!
  • Make reading real. Read board or strategy game instructions, cookbook recipes, music lyrics and anything that will create a desire to read. 
  • Show students pictures, titles, chapter names and words that are bold-faced to make a prediction.
  • Relate fresh information to the previously learned ideas, opinions, facts or themes by talking about personal experience that is connected to the themes or builds background knowledge.
  • Write or verbalized questions prior to reading a text.
  • Prepare a keyword outline to record ideas, interesting or important keywords.
  • Discuss reading strategies, structures and schemes for various types of literature, such as science, history and math. Emphasize noticeable information and key academic vocabulary that each subject addresses. Visual webs are very useful for a dyslexic student to preview and complete when they encounter new or key information.
  • Pre-teach the key academic vocabulary for a specific chapter or unit before introducing a text.
  • Pre-teach the themes or the background information like historical context for the readings.
  • Clearly and explicitly teach the process of using the table of contents, index, glossary, sidebars, headings, caption, charts, and review the questions on the book. LD and Dyslexic students need to see everything modeled over and over. 
  • Clearly and explicitly teach and model the use of tier 2 academic vocabulary, cause and effect, infer, fact and opinion, compare and contrast. Many LD and dyslexic students need a great deal of practice identifying and building skills using Tier 2 academic vocabulary.
While reading:
  • Make Reading a Cherished and Valued Endeavour! 
  • Offer a set of text, excerpts or textbooks for the dyslexic student to take it home and highlight on before reading in the classroom. Photo copies are perfect. 
  • Allocate some time before class readings for your LD and Dyslexic students to open and explore text. I call this "Review Preview", This will help them to improve their comprehension and attention while reading.
  • Provide some audio recordings to the students for them to use while they are reading the text.
  • Give your student an option of what they want to read within selected genres, themes and topics.
  • Let the students use text to speech software for some advanced or key information on the computer.
  • Have a self-monitoring skills checklist with some questions that will make them think if what they are doing is really helpful. 
  • Boost self-monitoring questions and sub-vocalization of the text.
  • Train your students to read silently at different rates that depends on the purpose.
  • Encourage numerous readings of the text or passage.
  • Give students a keyword outline template to jot down key words, notes and key concepts when they read.
  • Boost understanding of idioms and figurative/abstract language via reading scripts of everyday conversations based on Randall’s Listening Lab. The students will listen to the conversation when they are reading. Key vocabulary will be defined and highlighted in the Dyslexia Reading Instruction/Teaching.
After reading
  • Make Reading Come Alive! 
  • Write the answers or keywords on the board or verbalize and review the pre-reading questions and ask students to share these questions and answers with a class peer.
  • Make a substitute ending to a story or write a sequel.
  • Act the key scenes from a text.
  • Challenge the students in drawing their conclusions and interpretations from the text.
These are just some basic strategies to help improve “LD or dyslexia reading instruction” teaching that will surely help you and your students to improve and be encouraged in learning more when it comes to their reading process.

Please add your thoughts.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Teaching Dyslexic Students to Read

The Sad Truth for Many Dyslexic Students!
Teaching Dyslexic Students to Read | Sight Words and Fry's Phrases 

Learning to read can take many paths, yet for a few Dyslexic students they find little success with many of the phonics based programs. Many children learn to read fluently with no phonics instruction or formal schooling? How do these children learn to read without sounding out words? Many students seem to absorb reading through osmosis, becoming sight readers! Sight-reading is the art of predictive reading, or reading words visually-holistically and predicting phrases by auditory cues. How is this done in schools or at homes? The direct approaches is best also known as direct instruction.

Start with sight words practice using games, flashcards, word sorts and old school drill and drill. The second part is Fry Phrase practice and fluency practice. 100 words make up 50% of every word a struggling children will ever encounter when reading. Fry's phrases include about 70% of all words encountered when reading. Daily practice with sight words, Fry Phrases and read-alongs will help all struggling readers make gains. Sean Taylor The Reading Sage

Sight words, often also called high frequency sight words, are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.
Sight words account for a large percentage (up to 75%) of the words used in beginning children's print materials. The advantage for children being able to recognize sight words automatically is that a beginning reader will be able to identify the majority of words in a beginning text before they even attempt to read it; therefore, allowing the child to concentrate on meaning and comprehension as they read without having to stop and decode every single word. Advocates of whole-word instruction believe that being able to recognize a large number of sight words gives students a better start to learning to read.
Recognizing sight words automatically is said to be advantageous for beginning readers because many of these words have unusual spelling patterns, cannot be sounded out using basic phonics knowledge and cannot be represented using pictures. For example, the word "was" does not follow a usual spelling pattern, as the middle letter "a" makes an /ɒ~ʌ/ sound and the final letter "s" makes a /z/ sound, nor can the word be associated with a picture clue since it denotes an abstract state (existence).

A number of sight word lists have been compiled and published; among the most popular are the Dolch sight words and the magic 100 words. These lists have similar attributes, as they all aim to divide words into levels which are prioritised and introduced to children according to frequency of appearance in beginning readers' texts. Although many of the lists have overlapping content, the order of frequency of sight words varies and can be argued depending on contexts such as geographical location, empirical data, samples used, and year of publication

Fry Reading Phrases

A list of 600 words compiled by Edward Fry contain the most used words in reading and writing. The words on the list make up almost half of the words met in any reading task. Good readers decode words so that they are said "instantly", therefore, assuring the automaticity essential to comprehension. The words are divided into six levels, roughly corresponding to grade levels; then into groups of twenty-five words, according to difficulty and frequency. Each level should be taught and assessed sequentially, with the goal of increasing fluency on these high frequency words to the point that parallel processing can occur.

Sight Word and Fry Phrase Resources

Dolch list: Non-nouns

Pre-primer: a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

Primer: all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes

1st Grade: after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when

2nd Grade: always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your

3rd Grade: about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm

Dolch list: Nouns

apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood

Some Fry Reading Phrases

The people, Write it down, By the water, Who will make it?. You and I, What will they do?, He called me., We had their dog., What did they say?, When would you go?, No way, A number of people, One or two, How long are they?, More than the other, Come and get it., How many words?, Part of the time, This is a good day., Can you see?, Sit down., Now and then, But not me, Go find her., Not now, Look for some people., I like him., So there you are., Out of the water, A long time, We were here.
Have you seen it?
Could you go?
One more time
We like to write.
All day long
Into the water
It’s about time.
The other people
Up in the air
She said to go.
Which way?
Each of us
He has it.
What are these?
If we were older
There was an old man.
It’s no use.
It may fall down.
With his mom
At your house
From my room
It’s been a long time.
Will you be good?
Give them to me.
Then we will go.
Now is the time.
An angry cat
May I go first?
Write your name.
This is my cat
That dog is big.
Get on the bus.
Two of us
Did you see it?
The first word
See the water
As big as the first
But not for me
When will we go?
How did they get it?
From here to there
Number two
More people
Look up.
Go down.
All or some
Did you like it?
A long way to go
When did they go?
For some of your people

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 PSSA Practice Test | PSSA Test

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 PSSA Practice Math, Reading and Writing Test | The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Assessment and Accountability 2013–2014 2014–2015 

PSSA Mathematics Resources
PSSA English Language Arts Resources
Science Resources

Happy Teachers and Happy Students are Smarter!

Harvard psychologist explains how to achieve real happiness in your students, work, school, personal life and relationships: TED Talk!

"You don't get happy by achieving success. You achieve success by getting happy."

Dopamine, which your brain makes when you're happy, has one important side effect: It makes you smarter. A positive brain is 31% more productive. It's better at sales, faster and more accurate at diagnosing problems.

So how can you up your dopamine?
Take two minutes every day and do one of these things:
  1. Write down three new things that you're grateful for.
  2. Journal about one positive experience you've had in the last 24 hours.
  3. Try meditation, to teach your brain to focus.
  4. Use the first email you write every day to praise or thank someone you know. Spread the happy.
And it wouldn't hurt to disrupt the endless barrage of bad news by sharing this with your friends, right? Everyone needs a little more happiness.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Student: Stop High-Stakes Standardized Testing!

Student successfully argues that we need to STOP high stakes standardized Testing! Sydney Smoot, a fourth grader at Brooksville Elementary, shared her concerns on (FSA Florida Standards Assessment) testing in schools with members of the Hernando County School Board at their regular meeting on March 17, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Grade 7 PARCC Released Practice Math Test

Grade 7 PARCC Sample Released Practice Math Test 2015

Grade 7 PARCC Sample Released Practice Math PBA Practice Tests
Grade 7 Practice Math Tests Computer-Based Practice Test 
Grade 7 Practice Math Tests Paper-Based Practice Test 
Grade 7 Practice Math Tests Spanish Paper-Based Practice Test 
Large Print Paper-Based Practice Test
Accommodated Screen Reader Version 
Braille ASCII File (.brf) 
Braille Tactile Supplement 
Braille Mathematics Reference Sheet

Grade 7 PARCC Sample Released Practice Math EOY Practice Tests
Computer-Based Practice Test
Paper-Based Practice Test 
Large Print Paper-Based Practice 
Screen Reader Version 
Braille ASCII File (.brf)
Braille Mathematics Reference Sheet

Grade 8
Grade  6 PARCC Math Test PDF PBA Practice Tests

Grade 5 PARCC Pearson Released Practice Math PBA Practice Tests PBA Practice Tests
Accommodated Screen Reader Version Braille ASCII File (.brf)

Grade 5 PARCC Math Test PDF EOY Practice Tests
Kindergarten CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards Kindergarten
1st Grade
1st Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 1st Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 1st Grade M-Z
2nd Grade
2nd Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 2nd Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 2nd Grade M-Z
3rd Grade
3rd Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 3rd Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 3rd Grade M-Z
4th Grade
4th Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 4th Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 4th Grade M-Z
5th Grade
5th Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 5th Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 5th Grade M-Z
6th Grade
6th Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 6th Grade A-L
Vocabulary Cards 6th Grade M-Z
7th Grade
7th Grade CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards 7th Grade A thru M
Vocabulary Cards 7th Grade N thru Z
8th Grade
Secondary 1 Math
Secondary 1 CCSS Vocabulary Word List
Vocabulary Cards Secondary 1 A thru L
Vocabulary Cards Secondary 1 M thru Z
Secondary 1 Student Glossary
Math Vocabulary Word List
K-6 CCSS Vocabulary Word List
K-8 CCSS Vocabulary Word List

Common Core Math Vocabulary Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8

Common Core Math Vocabulary | Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8Common Core Math Glossary (pdf, 149kb)

Common Core Mathematical ContentThe Common Core Math Standards lay out the mathematics content and vocabulary concepts that should be learned at each grade level from kindergarten to Grade 8 (age 13-14), as well as the mathematics to be learned in high school. The Standards do not dictate any particular pedagogy or what order topics should be taught within a particular grade level. Mathematical content is organized in a number of domains. At each grade level there are several standards for each domain, organized intoclusters of related standards. There are four main domains to be taught from kindergarten (age 5-6) to fifth grade (age 10-11):

Operations and algebraic thinking;
Number and operations in base 10;
Measurement and data;
Geometry.In kindergarten, children also learn about counting and cardinality. In Grades 3 to 5, students learn about fractions.
In Grades 6 through 8 the four main domains students study are:

The number system;
Expressions and equations;
Statistics and probability.
The Common Core Math Standards mandate that eight principles of mathematical practice be taught:
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Model with mathematics.
Use appropriate tools strategically.
Attend to precision.
Look for and make use of structure.
Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
English/Language Arts Glossary of Terms
(pdf, 196kb)

Links to PDF Academic Word List

Oklahoma Academic Vocabulary Suggested Words and Terms Marzano based list
School Speak Word List
The Tennessee Academic Vocabulary Project

Academic Tier 3 Reading Glossary

Word Academic Tier 3 Mathematics Glossary

Word Academic Tier 3 Writing Glossary

WordAcademic Tier 3 English Language Arts Glossary

PDFAcademic Tier 3 History / Social Studies Glossary

Academic Tier 3 Science Glossary (Glossary at the end of the PDF doc,)


NWEA Academic Vocabulary
NWEA Academic Vocabulary
NWEA Reading Test Questions
CST and CAHSEE Academic Vocabulary

ISAT Reading Vocabulary List (Word) doc
ISAT Language Usage Vocabulary List (Word)
ISAT Math Vocabulary List (Word)

Math Unpacking StandardsKindergarten
(pdf, 6.7mb)
1st Grade
(pdf, 11.8mb)
2nd Grade
(pdf, 8.8mb)
3rd Grade
(pdf, 889kb)
4th Grade
(pdf, 1.4mb)
5th Grade Math
(pdf, 1.9mb)
6th Grade
(pdf, 2.1mb)
7th Grade
(pdf, 909kb)
8th Grade
(pdf, 1.9mb)
(pdf, 229kb)
(pdf, 260kb)
(pdf, 224kb)
Number and Quantity
(pdf, 294kb)
Statistics and Probability
(pdf, 181kb)

English Language Arts Unpacking Standards Kindergarten
(pdf, 276kb)
1st Grade
(pdf, 274kb)
2nd Grade
(pdf, 286kb)
3rd Grade
(pdf, 278kb)
4th Grade
(pdf, 282kb)
5th Grade
(pdf, 298kb)
6th Grade
(pdf, 315kb)
7th Grade
(pdf, 300kb)
8th Grade
(pdf, 340kb)
English I & II
(pdf, 303kb)
English III & IV
(pdf, 302kb)