Our Blog

Read Alouds Are For All Ages

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • August 3rd, 2017

Do you remember teachers reading aloud to you in school? I was blessed with teachers who read aloud in elementary and secondary school.

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Building Partnerships With Parents From the Start

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • August 3rd, 2017

Relationships are the foundation of a successful school year. Not just teacher and student relationships, but parent and teacher relationships.

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Paving a Curriculum Road Map

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • August 3rd, 2017

"People with goals succeed because they know where they are going." - Earl Nightingale

Do you have a map in your room? Is it a curriculum map? Can your students and class visitors see it? Knowing where you are going is the most important first step in planning a journey.

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Helping Parents Help Their Student

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • August 2nd, 2017

One evening last week, my next door neighbor asked if he could talk to me about his daughter's reading problem. His daughter is in first grade and two and half weeks into the year, he has determined that she has a reading problem. He sat down our table holding a "I Can Read Level 1- Fancy Nancy" book. He explained that he asked her teacher what she should be reading at night. Her teacher told him to get some "level one" books for her. He went to Half-Price Books and purchased all the "I Can Read" books they had. Unfortunately, reading time became torture time. Each night for the past week they have battled over her reading. He said "she doesn't know many of the words and hates to read." He asked how to coach his daughter to sound out words like "sometimes." With a sigh of frustration, he asked where he could get help and what kind of questions he should be asking the teacher.

Looking at the text he was holding, I assured him that most first graders could not read that book at the beginning of the year. I went to my bookshelves and pulled off the correct leveled texts and sent him home with them, as well as some activities and questions for before, during, and after reading.

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Start the Year Off With Your Walk Up Song!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • August 1st, 2017

Ever been to baseball game and heard the different songs that play when each new baseball player takes the plate? The songs represent the player's feelings, goals, and personality. I had the privilege of hearing Stephanie Harvey at ILA this year. In her talk about striving readers, she suggested finding out each students' "walk up" song.

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No More Leveled Classroom Libraries

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • July 29th, 2017

We've talked to several first year teachers this weekend who asked for ideas for setting up a classroom library. Here are some pictures of libraries I've seen in some outstanding literacy-based classrooms. The classroom library should be a focal point of the room. Notice in the pictures that texts are arranged so that students will be drawn to them.The books are not in leveled baskets; They are sorted by genre, topic, or authors. Leveled texts are for the teacher to use during guided reading. Students develop an understanding of how to choose just right books during the first few weeks of school through class discussion and conferring with the teacher.

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Recommended Math Materials

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • June 28th, 2017

Rekenrek Build-a set

Build your own Rekenrek with simple materials and a few simple steps. Great for use in the classroom counting by fives, tens, demonstrating the commutative property, creating fact families and so much more! 

 

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How to Make a QR Code

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • June 16th, 2017

Making QR Codes is easy! Follow our 5 simple steps with a QR Code Application or website generator!

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Marzano Center Essential Series-Recommended Professional Reading

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • June 6th, 2017

Practice makes permanentso we need perfect practice.  With these books, you will learn techniques for guided and independent practice and gain new creative strategies and tools for reaching and meeting the needs of all learners. 

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Great Read Alouds for the First Days of School

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • June 6th, 2017

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Wood  

An all-time favorite for the first day of school!  Chester the Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school, so his mom kisses his palm and tells him to press it to his cheek every time he thinks of her.  Be sure to have heart stickers to pass out as a souvenir.  Students will remember and retell the story when they get home from school.  

 

Heart Stickers

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