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Easy online sources for comparing topics

With COVID-19 and school closures, we need easy access to well-structured, on-line informational sources, huh? This blog is the first in a series that provides two sources & quick notes. My first recommendation is asking students (grades 2-5) to compare two animals on the San Diego Zoo Kids site. What students need to notice: The …Read more

It’s frequently true. We have grand conversations about engaging nonfiction and then when our students write in response…well, the struggle is REAL. Here are some approaches I’ve found helpful in grades 2-6 — provide clear purpose for writing, respond to just a part of a text, plan for what they will write, engage students in …Read more

This is the fourth and final installment in a series on conferring with transitional stage readers reading informational texts. Just a reminder, tip #1 was about supporting readers when they struggle with word-solving; tip #2 was about assessing and coaching for fluent reading; and tip #3 was about assessing for literal understanding of the text. …Read more

If I’ve leaned in to listen to a transitional stage reader and they do not have any word solving issues (and their fluency is adequate), I start with one of these two questions to check comprehension – “What did you just learn on this page?” (for non-narrative) and “What happened in the story on this …Read more

Conferring Tip #2: Assess Fluency

Truth #1 – When a student is reading nonfiction, their rate may slow down when they are making sense of harder parts and speed up when they are making sense of easier parts. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! It means they are attempting to monitor for meaning making!!!! Truth #2 – A student may never read as …Read more

Three Books – Same Facts But…

Three books about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Three different authors. Each shape the facts to reveal distinct insight. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Levy, 2016) Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R. B. G. vs. Inequality (Winter, 2017) No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Krull, 2018) Here are two examples of how …Read more

Helpful Predictions vs. Not

“That’s not enough,” I said. The students’ mouths dropped open. The look on their faces said “Whaaat???” We’d just watched the first dozen seconds of the video “Baby Elephants.” I’d paused the video and asked them to make a prediction. “Based on the introduction, what do you think you’ll be learning about in this video?” …Read more

Kids FALL IN LOVE with reading multiple sources on a topic–once we introduce them to the idea. So how do we get them hooked? In a way that’s manageable for us? Could it be as simple as these three steps and a set of 2-3 books on the same topic? (Attached as a word doc …Read more

Snakes. Dinosaurs. Rocks. I remember tutoring a young striving reader who would not come into the room until I showed him the book I wanted him to read that day. He had one condition. It had to be nonfiction! I’m pretty sure this student’s reading would have been on-track the previous year if he’d had …Read more

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