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teaching reading

Analysis of Responses to 8th Grade Text Set & Prompt, Part 2

In the last blog entry, I shared a rigorous text set and prompt developed by an middle school ELA team. The team and I met (via Webinex) to discuss the students’ written responses. First we look at the strengths of each student’s analytic essay; then we discuss the students’ needs as writers. Integrated into this …Read more

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8th Grade Text Set & Prompt for Written Response, Part 1

Kudos to my ELA colleagues in a middle school who developed this appropriately rigorous text set and prompt for their 8th grade students studying the Holocaust. Together with the 6th and 7th grade teams, we analyzed several students’ written responses to this prompt. More on that in the next post 🙂 TEXTS: Source A (entire …Read more

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Guided writing lesson – a productive struggle

I had the honor of teaching a small 2nd grade group of students a guided writing lesson after we had done a guided reading lesson with an excerpt from an A to Z text, George Washington Carver, Level O. In a previous post, I wrote about the first lesson – close reading of an excerpt …Read more

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Is “text evidence” becoming a fill-in-the-blank?

A few weeks ago I had the honor of working with a class of students who were writing an analytic essay in response to a text about Frederick Douglass. During this lesson, I’d posed a text-dependent question and we’d carefully read the article and taken notes.  When we moved from taking notes to using those …Read more

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Teach “example” as a type of detail info text authors use

Explicitly teach the academic vocabulary word “EXAMPLE” as a way to discuss what an author is doing to explain or describe a concept. Take a moment to read the following. What do you notice the author doing as far as using examples? Look closely and you will see. Magnets can be found on a can …Read more

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Taking shared reading text to small group instruction

A few weeks ago, I visited several second and third grade classrooms to give a shared reading lesson and then take a small group into a guided reading lesson with the same text. Loved this!!! It makes complete sense that if I build knowledge around magnets or echolocation during a 20-30 minutes shared reading lesson …Read more

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Brief, focused opportunities to build background knowledge

Recently I was asked to teach a lesson to second grade students with an informational text on magnets. As I read through the text, I began thinking about how many of the students I’d be working with may not have had many language and hands-on experiences with magnets or magnetism or the concept of force, …Read more

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Close Reading Lesson with Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine by Monica Kulling (2013) Recently I had the pleasure of teaching demonstration lessons in several third grade classes. In one class, the students were immersed in a unit of study with the essential question “How can learning help us grow?” The text for the lesson was All Aboard! Elijah …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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4th to 6th grade – Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl

Book review and recommendations for close reading (excerpts, CCSS-aligned questions, etc.) Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl (Bolden, 2005). I found this book when I started searching other titles by one of my “go to” authors Tonya Bolden. The book is put together in a way I’d like to explore with 4th-6th grade students. The author’s …Read more

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