Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What is Literacy and Numeracy?

Why is Standardized Testing Getting in the Way?


What is literacy and why is it so important? Literacy is the
ability to read, write, speak and listen in a conscious way that permits children to communicate effectively and to make sense of a complex world. Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of written or printed text. The key to all literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text. Literacy is critical to ensuring your child has real success in school. 

What is Numeracy and why is it so important? Numeracy is the ability to reason and to apply simple numerical concepts. Basic numeracy skills consist of comprehending fundamental arithmetic like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. To be numerate is to have and use number sense, math fluency, math logic and effectively use problem solving to meet everyday math needs. Numeracy skills are essential predictors for students academic success. Because developing and building logical thinking and reasoning strategies are the foundation for all academic disciplines. Numeracy is used to solve problems in a linear and logical way. Numeracy helps students make sense of the language of science. Numeracy is needed to learn numbers, time, fractions, decimals, patterns, shapes and every aspect of all STEM activities.  

The importance of literacy and numeracy to the creative expansion of peoples across the world cannot be overemphasized; neither should it be underestimated nor underutilized. The creative expansion being highlighted ranges from colossal intellectuality to perspicacity of the highest order. A knowledge base that is soundly grounded with literacy and numeracy will definitely give children a head start in life. The head start that these children will get, will serve as a spring board which will no doubt catapult them into the greatness which everyone deserves both as children and when they become adults.

Bearing this in mind, those concerned with the empowerment of people through literacy and numeracy must delve deep into their resources and come up with the best methods and strategies aimed at achieving the right end result. After all, literacy and numeracy is a fundamental human right that everyone needs to protect and advance. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child points out in Article 28, that participating parties should, quote, “recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular…make primary education compulsory and available free to all.” End quote. It is during this stage of education, that literacy and numeracy should be entrenched.

It is the ultimate responsibility of teachers to be the right model for the students who are entrusted in their care for guidance both in literacy and numeracy as well as social empowerment. Teachers should be inspirational and transformational proponents for these young minds. They should espouse the best qualities of humanity for their student charges to model. Pedagogues should also remember that in many cases, students do not get the positive guidance that they crave at home and depend on role models at school to provide this. It is teacher and child psychologist, Haim G. Ginott who reminds teachers that, quote, “they can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.” End quote. These are words that are to be taken seriously by today’s educators.

Students need to experience, honor, model and embody the best of humanity. However, this must be provided by the responsible adults in whose care they have been entrusted. Therefore, everyone, including teachers, parents and individual students have a responsibility to cater to the advancement of these students through literacy and numeracy.

In order for the young and developing minds of students to grow and expand, they must be exposed to more than standardized Reading and Math tests. Their minds must be challenged with curiosity related to learning in its broadest sense. Hence the curriculum in schools should be broadened beyond that. The curriculum should be so expanded and relaxed, that it actively takes into consideration the curiosity, empathy, creativity and human aspects of students.

If all of this is done then numeracy and literacy will be seen as a more important tool aimed at empowering young minds.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"I Can" Speaking and Listening Goals CCSS ELA

"I Can Statements" Common Core Speaking and Listening

I can present what I'v learned and understant to an audience. 
I can report on a topic and state appropriate facts and details to support my main idea.
I can tell a story with correct plot sequence.
I can speak clearly and at an understandable pace.
I can create engaging audio recordings or visual displays to help, show main ideas or themes when necessary.
I can determine when to use standard formal English and when to use informal English.

This is a PSA demo for my "Reading Boot Camp RTI" that models important Common Core Speaking and Listening standards.
Standard Formal English Presentation


Informal English Presentation


This is what happens when you invite the All Blacks to your summer BBQ. Tag a teammate who needs to see this.
Posted by USA Sevens Rugby on Monday, April 27, 2015

I Can Statements From the Curriculum Corner!

First Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
1icanwritingposter.pdf,

First Grade Speaking and Listening Common Core "I Can" Statements
1icanspeakinglisteningposter.pdf,

First Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
1icanreadingposter.pdf,

First Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
1icanmathposter.pdf,

First Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
1icanlanguageposter.pdf,

Second Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
2icanmathposter.pdf,

Second Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
2icanlanguageposter.pdf, 419.80 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Second Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
2icanreadingposter.pdf,

Second Grade Speaking Common Core "I Can" Statements
2icanspeakingposter.pdf,

Second Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
icanwritingposter.pdf,

Third Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
3rdGradeICanMath.pdf,

Third Grade Speaking and Listening Common Core "I Can" Statements
3rdGradeICanSpeakingListening.pdf,

Third Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
3rdGradeICanLanguage.pdf,

Third Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
3rdGradeICanReading.pdf,

Third Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
3rdGradeICanWriting.pdf,

Fourth Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
4thGradeICanMath.pdf,

Fourth Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
4thGradeICanLanguage.pdf,

Fourth Grade Listening and Speaking Common Core "I Can" Statements
4thGradeICanSpeakingListening.pdf,

Fourth Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
4thGradeICanReading.pdf,

Fourth Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
4thGradeICanWriting.pdf

Fifth Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
5icanmath.pdf, 181.25 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Fifth Grade Speaking Common Core "I Can" Statements
5icanspeaking.pdf, 121.24 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Fifth Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
5icanlanguage.pdf, 139.88 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Fifth Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
5icanreading.pdf, 124.85 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Fifth Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
5icanwriting.pdf, 120.25 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Sixth Grade Math Common Core "I Can" Statements
6icanmathposter.pdf, 294.89 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Sixth Grade Language Common Core "I Can" Statements
6icanlanguageposter.pdf, 301.79 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Sixth Grade Speaking Common Core "I Can" Statements
6icanspeakingposter.pdf, 189.03 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Sixth Grade Reading Common Core "I Can" Statements
6icanreadingposter.pdf, 186.97 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Sixth Grade Writing Common Core "I Can" Statements
6icanwritingposter.pdf, 202.54 KB (Last Modified on September 10, 2013)

Keeping the Arts in Public Schools


5 Reasons Why Teaching Art is So Important for Kids Creativity, Imagination, Resiliency, andAcademicv Performance.

5 Big Ways That the Arts Grow Students Critical Higher Order Thininhikd Skills.

Arts are an essential part of education. This value goes beyond the discipline of the arts as a career path for fine arts, media, art and design, marketing and communications. Teaching the arts in public schools has added value in benefits of long term learning outcomes, supporting creative and critical thinking, improving life and learning skills, enhancing social skills and social cohesion and offers value added for career development. Arts education is a great model for teaching quality. Understanding “quality” develops and improves judgment, perseverance, an understanding of procedures, encourages students to internalize high standards, develops greater intelligence and industriousness. All of these benefits touch young people of all ages, and have repercussions for society as a whole. They speak loud and clear to the importance of keeping the arts in public schools for generations to come.

 Unfortunately, part of the predominant political agenda that has dominated the US in recent decades has lead to a rise of profane school reforms, intensity of institutional blame, aspirant standardized testing, educator accountability and a drastic slashing of public budgets for essential services. Public education and social services are the 21st century whipping boys of politicians and media. The past few decades have seen a huge decline in learning outcomes and standards in terms of overall skill testing. Further to this, the impact of the mistakes made by politicians and Wall Street are now costing us the future of our children. It’s time now, more than ever, to understand the importance of the arts and how it’s so much more than just a class in school – it’s the foundation of our society’s future!Benefits of long-term earning outcomes
The arts include a wide range of discipline, including music, visual arts, acting, game development, reading and writing, creative thinking, drama and dance to name but a few. All of these disciplines are essential to the development of young minds. They raise children and youth’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and the experience of success in these areas can help them perform better in other areas of academics, such as science and academics. By investing in the arts, we are supporting our youth in developing other skills. Studies show that children who learn music perform better in mathematics and youth who are involved in theater are far stronger readers and writers. These skills reinforce other areas of the curriculum and build on each other and for this reason they are essential.


1. BUILDING IMAGINATION, CURIOSITY, and CREATIVITY! 
  1. Supporting creative and critical thinking
The arts support creative and critical thinking, which is a foundation to post-secondary education. Youth who are involved in the arts develop stronger creative and critical thinking skills, which are essential for them on the job market in any field, and can help them develop the types of intellectual skills required to pursue further education.

  1. Improved life and learning skills
Studies also demonstrated that children and youth who enjoy creative time also enjoy learning more and are more likely to be a part of extracurricular activities, and less involved in self-destructive behaviors like alcoholism and drug experimentation. They are more focused on their education and have stronger learning outcomes over their lifetime.

  1. Enhanced social skills and social cohesion
Since so many aspects of the arts, such as theater and dance also involve elements of social skills and cooperation, youth who are involved in these activities, or any of the arts, have stronger social skills and are more interested in the common good. They are often the students who take on care and volunteer work, which is the backbone of our society.

  1. Value-added career development
Keeping the arts in public schools help youth maintain healthy lifestyles and keeps them invested in their own education, which will be very valuable for encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education and continuing life-long learning, which is also essential in today’s job market. The arts are a proven way to make sure that youth have the advantage for today’s competitive job market.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fry Instant Phrases and Fry Sight Words

Fry Word List Activities: Fry Instant Phrases and Fry sight words come from Dr. Edward Fry’s Instant Word List (High-Frequency English Words). Fry's phrases and words account for 25- 65% of all the words students read, the first 300 words in the list are critical to boost reading fluency.

Fry's Instant Words List are high-frequency words children need to know for listening, reading fluency, writing and spelling. When children can read these words 1000 words, they know about 80% of all words in children's literature.

Fry Word List - All 1,000 Free, Printable Sight Words ..Sample words: number no way could people my than first water been called who oil sit now find long down day did get come made may part. Fry Words – The First Hundred ...

Fry 1000 Instant Words: Free Flash Cards and Word Lists ...

Fry's First 100 Words
Fry's Second 100 Words Fry's Second 100 Words. 101. over. 121. name. 141. boy. 161. such. 181. change. 102. new. 122. good. 142. following 162. because. 182. off. 103. sound.


  • Fry 1000 Instant Words - Unique Teaching Resources
    www.uniqueteachingresources.com › Reading Sight Words

    In 1996, Dr. Fry expanded on Dolch's sight word lists and research and published a book titled "Fry 1000 Instant Words." In his research, Dr. Fry found the ...

    Fry Sight Words Flashcards | K5 Learning K5 Learning provides free flashcards for the 1000 Fry sight words.

    Fry's First 100 Instant Words children need to know the of ...

    Fry Instant Phrases The words in these phrases come from Dr. Edward Fry's Instant Word List (High. Frequency ... According to Fry, the first 300 words in the list represent about 67%.
  • Fry's Sight Word Phrases Fry's Sight Word 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 ...

    Fluency Phrases These phrases contain the first 100 words from the Fry Instant Word List (1980), ...phrases per week gives students practice reading high-frequency words and ...

    Word Lists: Fry Instant Words in Phrases - Tooele County ... Word Lists: Fry Instant Words in Phrases. Reading these phrases with automaticity will build vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. There are 75 phrases per ...

    Fry Phrases 1 Utah Education Network PHRASES WITH FRY INSTANT WORDS. Fry Instant Words are high-frequency words occurring in reading. By practicing reading these phrases containing
    Sight Words/Phrases | Mrs. Judy Araujo, Reading Specialist Sight Words (Dolch and Fry Lists) and Sight Word Phrases. ***Parents and ... significantly.

    Fry Phrases Reynoldsburg High School Teachers, to use this activity print, laminate, and cut out the cards. Put this in a bin with a timer. Students can try to beat the clock to see how many Fry phrases ...

    Wk 2 Fry Phrases.pdf Fry Phrases. Week 2: Read these words. Try to read them smoothly and clearly. Add some expression as you read. to go home. 3 see the dog. 6 then they went ...
    Wk 1 Fry Phrases.pdf Fry Phrases. Week 2: Read these words. Try to read them smoothly and clearly. Add some expression as you read. the little boy. 3 a good boy. 6 is about me. 9.

    Dolch to Fry Comparison.

    Fry Word Lists: What they are about and how to use them. This list of 600 words compiled by Edward Fry contain the most used words in ... improve both speed and accuracy as they practice reading these phrases.

    Fry Word List - K 12 Reader Fry Words – The First Hundred ... world. Fry Words – The Second Hundred .... outside everything tall. List 2 already instead phrase soil bed copy free hope.

    Fry's Seventh 100 Words - Unique Teaching Resources 628. phrase. 648. consonant. 668. act. 688. poor. 609. sleep. 629. soil. 649. within. 669. build. 689. let's. 610. village. 630. bed. 650. dictionary 670. middle.

    Fry's Instant Sight Words and the Newspaper Newspaper ... identified by Dr. Edward Fry as important for students to learn through about 4th grade and in adult education, with practice phrases and sentences, and a variety ...

    Fluency - Florida Center for Reading Research The student will read with proper phrasing, intonation, and expression in phrases. Materials. Sentence sailboats

    Grade 1 Fry Phrases Large Print.pdf - literacymalden Page 1. Fry Phrase List Grade 1. 1. the big cat. 2. one of us. 3. you and I. 4. a big boy. Page 2. 5. to the dog. 6. in a box. 7. is big. 8. I see you. Page 3

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

    Who and Where are the DREAMers NOW?

    Who and Where are the DREAMers 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

    1. Mr. Taylor was concerned about one of his brightest and hardest working students. He felt guilty that her father was deported and he was powerless to do anything to help her. Gabby's mom recently moved back to Mexico leaving her with her grandmother, which made things even worse. She was always a serious student but she seemed to give up on school, asking question and participating in lessons. Because of her lack of self-confidence using English, she was never very talkative, but she seemed really withdrawn and unhappy.

    2. Volunteering to help other students was Gabby's delight, she was not smiling unless she was at the front of the class helping the teacher, forever first to ask questions and forever pushing to learn! You would find Gabby at the end of class politely asking to take any leftover snacks home to share with her grandma.

    3. Although her only friends were the students in her English Language class but she did not have any real close friends at school that she could confide in. Mr. Taylor decided that he was going to eat lunch with her, to see what he could do to help her. Because of a fear of deportation she was always reticent of sharing with school officials or teachers. Her Grandma has told her many times that they could be arrested and deported.

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

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

    6. “Gabby, what's going on?! You can tell me if something is bothering you. I promise I will never share what we talk about; you need to tell me what’s bothering you. If there is anything bothering you about school, I would like to help you. Are parents okay?”

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

    8. “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 Mexico soon. I try to help her after school to make and sell tamales. My dad sends money when he can to help with bills but it's not enough money. I think we are moving back to Mexico soon, I will start working as soon as we get back to our village. The school in our village is very poor and sometimes the teachers do not even show up at the school. My grandma says she will send me to college when I am eighteen. I think she's lying, white lies so my hopes aren’t dashed.”

    9 “The students in class say I'm dumb and just trying to be the teacher’s pet. When I'm sitting at the homework table during recces doing extra homework to get ahead… they say I should do my homework at home, and I’m a loser.”

    10. “Gabby, you are a very smart girl and you certainly aren't dumb. 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 have a special gift. Never forget that.” He continued listening to her hopes, dreams, fears and kept reminding her how wonderful she was.

    11. Gabriela loved learning and finding a new challenge. Math problems in any-form were her passion and hobby. Learning new math concepts were her way of having fun and working towards her dreams.

    12. Living in a small travel trailer with her grandma, making tamales and selling them on the weekends left no time for toys or friends. For a 4th grade student, Gabriela was intelligent beyond her years, but she was a very lonely child. At times when things got really bad she felt as if her parents had abandoned her. She resented and despised her grandma when she sent her to the store to sell tamales. The family was very poor, moving from Mexico to the US for a better life. Neither her mother or father had finished school; they did not understand her desperate need to get an education. 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. Her father’s words, “Solo la gente rica va a la universidad, y nosotros somos pobres!” rang in her ears. Supporting her dreams meant she would have to become a US citizen. They believed in their hearts that would never happen. They had struggled right through their own lives and it was difficult for them to dream with their daughter.

    13. Gabriela had decided that she wanted to be a doctor when her grandfather got sick and her family could not afford the necessary treatment. No one in her family had gone to college, and she never expected to either until her family moved to the US. The dream to go to college and become a medical doctor was to help her family buy a home full of food and toys.

    14. Mr. Taylor helped to foster her dreams of going to college. He encouraged her to be the attentive wonderful student that she was. Gabby kept doing her absolute best despite all the obstacles and despair she faced at home. One day she was really sad, she wouldn’t or couldn’t speak to Mr. Taylor, she was almost in tears, as she said goodbye. Mr. Taylor tried to hold back his emotions; he wanted to give her a cheerful message, one that would give her hope. Tears started rolling down his face “Gabby you are brilliant; never give up on your dreams. You will make it, all you have to do is keep on trying. Gabby I will miss you!

    This amazing 4th grader, Gabriela was never heard from again until…  

    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.

    IEW CLASSROOM PSA

    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.

    WHY I LOVE THIS WRITING PROGRAM: MY 4TH GRADE STUDENTS ARE WRITING LIKE ADROIT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS! The FEAR and WORRY of teaching and learning complex writing structures is replaced with confidence and skill!
    What I love about IEW
    1. Mentor texts that are Socratic Seminar worthy. 
    2. No scripted lessons 
    3. Classroom ready lessons that are easy and fast to prepare 
    4. Close reading strategies that are easy to teach and result in deep understanding of complex text. 
    5. Easy to teach, fun for students and super effective. 
    6. Great student reference materials. 
    7. Professional development that is fun and saturated with classroom applications that are easily implemented. 
    8. 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
    2. CAUSE/EFFECT CAUSE/EFFECT
    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
    8. CAUSE AND EFFECT QUESTION STEMS
    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
    16. QUESTION STEMS FOR CAUS...
    17. Socratic Seminar Question Stems - Dorchester Success For All
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    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
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5. Restate Opinion/Argument  






























    II.  
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
    III.
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
    IV.
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
    V. Conclusion 
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
    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