Our Blog

25 Days of Quick Writes

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 11th, 2017

Writer’s Workshop should start and end with writing connected texts.
Quick writes are a great way to kick off writer’s workshop or any class, really.
Tell students to write as much as they can, as good as they can, as quick as they can. Set a timer for one to five minutes.

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Digital Book Talks Using Tellagami

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 10th, 2017

Use the Tellagami app to achieve this learning goal:  I can create a recording of a report on a book or article I have read independently, giving important details and speaking in complete sentences.

 

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Anchor Charts 101

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 9th, 2017

Anchor charts have become a buzz word in the education world over the past five years. The intended reason for an anchor chart is to "anchor" the critical content needed to be learned. Here are some essential components of the buzz-worthy anchor charts.

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Guided Math: Number Talks

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 9th, 2017

Number talks are an easy way to start your math block off with a bang! Students are engaged in a mental math activity that gets them thinking strategically about numbers and how they work.

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Writing Stations That Increase Achievement

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 9th, 2017

The purpose of a station or center is to give students independent practice on skills, strategies, or processes in order to become proficient. Stations are a "second stop” for practicing once students have conceptual understanding, but need time and new situations to apply in order to deepen their understanding and become more fluent.

So given what you’ve already taught so far this year (or last year), what do students need to review or practice when it comes to writing?

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Fall Inspired Writing Activities

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • October 7th, 2017

October Alphaboxes

Tap into students favorite traditions and activities by using Alphaboxes to brainstorm all things Fall. Give each student an Alphaboxes sheet and challenge them to list words related to October. They do not have to have a word under each letter. Also, a box may have multiple words. Students can use their Alphaboxes sheet to choose ideas to write about. Write stories, letters, poems, or expository essays all about Fall things! For an Alphaboxes PDF, click here!

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What Students Should be Doing in Writer's Workshop

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • September 24th, 2017

A good writing program begins and ends with authentic writing tasks. Focusing on retrieval level grammar skills, without any connection to context, does not help students learn to make the decisions writers need to make.

 

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Recommended Reads-Using Literature to Engage Problem Solving

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • September 15th, 2017

Children’s books can be effective vehicles for motivating children to think and reason mathematically. (Burns, 2004) A children’s book is a great way to launch or assess mathematical learning.

For every math unit, select 2-4 children’s books that contain situations related to the concepts and that allow students to use new skills and strategies. Be sure to choose wisely!

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Using Literature for Problem Solving- Steps to Experiencing the Literature

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • September 15th, 2017

Reading aloud helps students expand their vocabulary and connect mathematical thinking to real life situations. Stories help students organize, store, and retrieve conceptual information related to the skills, strategies, and processes needed to think mathematically. 

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How to use Literature to Engage Students in Problem Solving

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • September 14th, 2017

Children’s books provide a perfect starting point for engaging students in authentic problem solving. Students need time to hypothesize and experiment with strategies in real world situations. Stories provide a context that helps students construct conceptual understanding of math ideas.

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