Our Blog

PB & J Partners

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 10, 2018, 11:46 a.m.

Students need lots of time to collaborate with each other in order to develop vocabulary, learn content, process new learning, and the real world skill of conversation. Starting in partner groupings, students use accountable talk to learn how to have a meaningful conversation in which they take turns sharing ideas and listening.

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April: Poetry Month

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 10, 2018, 11:45 a.m.

Let's celebrate this month by reading a poem-a-day to our students. Hearing the rich language and imagining the vivid images described in poems develops schema and extends vocabulary. Here are a few ways to enjoy poems this month.

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3 Ways to Help Your Students Love Math!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 8, 2018, 11:44 a.m.

Overcoming a fixed mindset for mathematics is a dilemma that most educators need to help students deal with every school year. Here are 3 ideas for getting students to develop a mathematical mindset.

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Using Passages to Get Kids Thinking

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 1, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

As state assessment time approaches, I see lots of test practice passages being utilized in classrooms. While I'm not a fan of these passages, I do understand the need for students to read short texts and practice reading strategies needed for success on the test. Here are some ideas for using passages in authentic ways.

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Expository Writing Scoring

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 1, 2018, 10:42 a.m.

The goal of student writing is to communicate a message to the reader in an authentic and thoughtful way!

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Preparing Students for Success in Kindergarten

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 28, 2018, 10:41 a.m.

As a member of several mom groups, I get questions about what to do to get students ready for kindergarten. We all want to prepare our kiddos for success and send them into their education career well prepared (or ahead). Here are some ideas for what to do to prepare the brains of your little learner.

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Bedtime Math! How many guinea pigs fit on a plane?

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 28, 2018, 10:38 a.m.

Have you shared a Bedtime Math story lately? We love Bedtimemath.org and you should too!

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Using Yelp as an Instructional Tool

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 6, 2018, 1:28 p.m.

As an educator, I'm always looking for ways to make my teaching relevant and interesting to my students. I want to always be using apps and topics that catch their attention! Yelp does just that!

Yelp is a multinational corporation that hosts crowd-sourced reviews and information on businesses. Yelp is a great mentor texts resource! Yes, mentor texts! Reviews for restaurants, shopping, and gas stations are great expository and persuasive short texts.

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Crafting Phenomenal Conclusions

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 6, 2018, 10:12 a.m.

Teaching students to write is one of the most complex processes to teach! Writing involves a multitude of high level thinking and the ability to make decisions based on purpose and audience. Students must be able to understand the task, produce a plan for completing the writing task, and make key decisions along the way to produce a meaningful composition. There is a tremendous amount of autonomous thought and experimentation that goes into writing a single piece.

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Accountable Talk Matters

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Feb. 6, 2018, 10:10 a.m.

"Please , don't stop talking!" This is a phrase I thought I would never say in my first few years of teaching, but, as my philosophy of learning has evolved, I've revised my thinking on just how much students need to be talking.

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