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Tier 1

Getting the Literary Debate up and Running
Debate Protocol
Getting the Literary Debate up and Running
May 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm 0
The debate protocol that I have adapted from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has three parts main parts: 1) Gather, 2) Caucus, and 3) Debate. All of the parts can be stretched or shortened with more or fewer steps in between, depending on how much your students can handle at once, and how much time […]
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Making the Case for Debates
Debate Protocol
Making the Case for Debates
May 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm 0
You know the groan well. It starts at the pit of the stomach, reverberates throughout the classroom and rattles your brain. “Today we’re starting our argument writing essay unit!” you chirp in your most stage-worthy voice. Or maybe it’s an informative essay based on research? A literary analysis essay perhaps? Regardless of the type, the […]
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A Simple Strategy to Defeat the PARCC
Strategy
A Simple Strategy to Defeat the PARCC
February 9, 2016 at 3:21 am 0
Throughout our careers, Matt and I have tinkered with many annotation or note-taking strategies. We have found some strategies to be overwhelming, and some to have marginal utility. After a lot of collaboration with our trusted colleagues and experimentation in the classroom, we think we have found an annotation strategy that is easy to remember, easy to […]
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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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