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Liberate your students! In the beginning, give them the main idea!!!

Do your students hesitate when you ask, “What is the main or central idea of this source?” Why? There may be a couple of reasons. Many students have not had enough experience with identifying main ideas to identify them easily.  And they may have only a superficial understanding of key vocabulary in a main idea. …Read more

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Close Reading 2nd Grade Text – Tricky Details for Students

As we ask transitional level readers to engage in close reading, let’s be aware of tricky details. Below I share my analysis of one informational text that is very similar to other texts we use in our classrooms. A few weeks ago, I taught several second grade “close reading” lessons with informational texts from the …Read more

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Please dump traditional book report requirements and try…

My daughter is enjoying a new school in a new state, but I was dismayed to see the traditional, worn out book report requirements for her 5th grade class. I want to say first – her teacher is  hosting some amazing learning experiences – they are currently studying the eye, are engaged in research reports …Read more

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Displaying Nonfiction in Your Classroom Library

Here’s a model for displaying nonfiction in your classroom library. Notice how the books are facing forward in baskets – easy to flip through and find a title of interest. Also, if you zoom in, you’ll see the books are categorized and coded – “Transportation NF#5.” The codes are marked on the back of the …Read more

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Prepare Students for the Joy of Summer Reading

Are you getting that “WE’RE ALMOST DONE” feeling? (Speaking to many of my peers in the northern hemisphere who are almost out of school for the summer 😉 So sorry if you’re not!) This is a great time to host lots of space and time for students to JUST READ FOR ENJOYMENT, hoping this time …Read more

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Lesson – Text-Dependent Predictions, Part II

So I had a great time teaching a lesson on making text-dependent with a class of second grade students a few weeks ago. In my last blog entry, I wrote about teaching objectives that surfaced during reading conferences with three of these students. The students revealed to me they were not previewing nonfiction texts strategically …Read more

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Lesson – Text-Dependent Predictions, Part I

Last week, I had the honor of teaching 2nd grade students how to make informed (i.e., text-dependent) predictions by strategically previewing an informational text. To determine the objective for this lesson, I visited the classroom prior to the lesson and met with three students for individual reading conferences. Using NWEA data and running record data, …Read more

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Nonfiction Theme – Working Together

Last night I spent hours watching televised speeches at the Democratic National Convention. After the first couple of speakers, some of the rhetoric and facts started to feel repetitive which was okay because what emerged for me as the evening progressed was a powerful theme. By “COMING TOGETHER” – we can solve problems of the …Read more

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Are you reading aloud non-narrative nonfiction?

Hey – I hope you have found time to read nonfiction to your students and are discovering the power of these books to pull kids into reading more. I have a question for you. What are some of the nonfiction titles you have been reading aloud to them? The Librarian of Basra by J. Winter? …Read more

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Excite your students from the start – read aloud nonfiction!

Did you know that a frog blinks both eyeballs down toward its mouth where they help push food down its throat? Did you know the skin of a glass frog is transparent? You can actually see its heart pumping blood! These are just a few of the fascinating facts students learn when you read aloud …Read more

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