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Jamboard + Guided Reading with Nonfiction

Here are three examples of how I’m using Google’s Jamboard to support teaching virtually. If you are familiar with my three phase plan for teaching reading at the transitional-fluent stages, you can use Jamboard in all three phases. These tips can be helpful for lessons during other parts of the day as well! Introduce Vocabulary …Read more

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Insect Superfood: Two Sources + Cheat Notes

Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects as food. While we were in Mexico last summer, my husband and I tried avocado toast with crickets at La Gruta, a restaurant near Teotihuacán, Mexico. There tasty! This week’s sources for remote learning (during COVID-19 pandemic) are on this high interest topic. Geared towards 2nd-5th grade. I’ve included …Read more

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Less is More – Knowing One Part of a Text Well

Have you ever asked a reader to tell you about what they learned in a short nonfiction book or article and they do one of the following? Give you a few miscellaneous (not related to each other) facts? Talk about the last fact they read? Share facts you discussed during the preview of the source? …Read more

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When kids ‘mumble read’ a word they don’t know…

A few weeks ago I was in a conference with a student reading a book about the sea lizard. When he came to a word he didn’t know, he mumbled the word and kept going. Do you have students that do this? These students are self-monitoring but they lack fix-up strategies. They know when they …Read more

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Orally rehearsing with key words can boost writing

Do your students struggle to compose sentences about nonfiction topics that make sense or sound right? Do they lack structure at the sentence and paragraph level? Here’s a few tricks I’ve been trying with small groups of late-early and transitional stage readers. As part of a conversation generate key words they will use to orally …Read more

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Discourage students from taking notes like this. Here’s why.

If students are reading multiple texts on a topic and taking notes on each of those sources, I require that (or strongly suggest) they write notes in phrases–just enough words to help them remember what they learned or what the author was saying or the student’s response to information. In most cases, I strongly encourage …Read more

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Do our students notice “definitions” & “examples”?

Do you students notice when authors provide definitions and examples? Many nonfiction authors use these and other types of details when they describe concepts like forces, magnets, weather and so forth. Readers need to recognize these types of details to understand these concepts. I was surprised one day to find out the middle grade students I …Read more

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“I underlined all the words! They’re all important!”

When annotating, do your students underline most of what they’ve read because they think “it’s all important”? Maybe they’ve underlined that much because they don’t know how to determine what is important? Below are a few tips and photos from a demo lesson I gave to tackle this issue. And, yes, I used the pasta …Read more

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Are your students’ minds wandering while they read?

When I ask students if they ever think about lunch or something else while they are reading, most give me a thumbs up! After we get past the “shocked teacher” look, I talk to them about the importance of staying focused and monitoring for whether they are understanding the content in the source. Then I …Read more

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How do we know what to teach? Start with an easy assessment

You know your objectives for teaching as far as curriculum, but you also need to know what your students know how to do in relation to those objectives, right? If you are teaching for identifying main ideas and explaining textual evidence–what can your students already do to identify main idea and explain supporting details? If …Read more

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