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Matt Stephens

The Princess Diaries Comprehension Notebook Now Available
Products
The Princess Diaries Comprehension Notebook Now Available
January 31, 2016 at 7:13 pm 0
Rob and I have posted a Comprehension Notebook for The Princess Diaries on TeachersPayTeachers.com for $.99. It has a kid-facing notebook of questions that ask plot, perspective and secondary character questions. I’ve used it as a: comprehension check book club guide assessment starting point for guided reading   It also has an answer key that […]
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Writing is Like Buying a “Fixer-Upper”
Writing
Writing is Like Buying a “Fixer-Upper”
January 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm 0
Imagine you’ve bought a new house, but it’s a “fixer-upper.” The plumbing is ancient, the back stairs are deadly and the paint is peeling. You’ve got a plan to make this work, though: First, replace those stairs. Then, address the plumbing. Maybe two months later you’ll paint the first floor a delicious color called “mocha […]
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The Evolution of Writing
Writing
The Evolution of Writing
January 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm 0
Having kids write essays can feel like pushing a boulder up a mountain with a piano on your back. (Even Sisyphus didn’t have it this hard.)  Part of what makes teaching writing so difficult is that it requires a lot of time, differentiation and spiraling.   When teaching writing, one mistake I’ve made is to […]
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Accelerated Reader
How to Count to a Million With Accelerated Reader
January 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm 0
Everything Rob and I do in our independent reading period is dedicated to getting each of our students to read 1,000,000 words from “Just-Right” books by the end of the school year. We’ve backwards planned our grading system and incentive program to reflect this goal because research shows that the greatest predictor of reading proficiency is time spent […]
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Accelerated Reader
How to Find Out if Your Students Did Their Reading Homework in 5 “Clicks”
January 3, 2016 at 4:33 am 0
If you’re a teacher of any subject, of any grade level, you’ve heard the administrator rallying cry: “Show me the data!” Some variations that I’ve also heard: “Where’s your data?” “What does the data show?” “How can we get data on this?” “Data data data data data?!”   This is well meaning, but is so […]
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Accelerated Reader
How to Use Accelerated Reader in 6 “Clicks”
January 2, 2016 at 10:34 pm 0
    Students can go from blank Internet browser page to taking an Accelerated Reader comprehension quiz in six clicks. It really is that easy. Here’s how: Click 1: select the type of user you are. This how-to guide is designed to show you how a student would use the product, so “I’m a student” […]
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Accelerated Reader
New! A Comprehension Quiz for Every Book in Your Library
December 17, 2015 at 6:44 pm 0
The toughest part of being a good reading teacher, with a vibrant independent reading period and a wide-ranging library, is knowing all the books. Even if you’ve efficiently organized your library around series and reading ladders, it’s not really possible to have read all of the books in your library and remember them well enough […]
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“Maniac” Mike
Shopping for Books with Struggling Readers
“Maniac” Mike
December 11, 2015 at 1:03 am 0
Imagine this scenario …   Teacher: Hey Mike, come on back to the library, I see you need a new book. Do you want to read realistic fiction or fantasy fict… Mike: I want to read The Hunger Games. Teacher: Oh, an excellent book, but… Mike: Yeah, I know, I just saw Mockingjay Part 2. […]
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“Quitting” Quisha
Shopping for Books with Struggling Readers
“Quitting” Quisha
December 11, 2015 at 1:01 am 0
So, you’ve followed Rob’s advice and you’ve helped a student pick a “just right” book. Success! You begin strutting around the classroom, feeling like the world’s best teacher. You check in with her after she’s read the first five pages and she completely gets it. You’re certain she’ll read the entire Dork Diaries series.   The […]
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“Negative” Nelly
Shopping for Books with Struggling Readers
“Negative” Nelly
December 10, 2015 at 7:44 pm 0
Recently I checked the Accelerated Reader data for the four literacy classes that Rob and I teach. Overall, the numbers were good. A significant number of students were on pace to read 250,000 words this quarter, which often equates to a year’s reading growth, if repeated each quarter. I was feeling pretty good until I […]
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