Annotating for Active Reading: Post-It Notes and File Folders

This fall my 8th graders have practiced Notice and Note annotation strategies as well as those from Cris Tovani.  I have not required my 8th graders to annotate their independent reading, but earlier this month, I felt annotating their reading for an in-class reading day would be beneficial for my students.  I also felt this … Continue reading Annotating for Active Reading: Post-It Notes and File Folders

Powerful Practice: Read Aloud Reading Partners with Informational Text

One of the simplest but most powerful practices this fall has been read aloud reading partners.  I love the learning structure because it's so versatile and can be used in multiple ways. On a simple level, I used it last week when I lost my voice and needed students to review instructions for an annotation … Continue reading Powerful Practice: Read Aloud Reading Partners with Informational Text

Please Help Purchase Books for Our Literary Nonfiction and Memoir Book Club: My 8th Grade Amazon Wish List

I normally fund requests for my classroom through DonorsChoose, but we are unable to create projects asking for book purchases until after January 10 due to the crush of the holiday season with Amazon.  None of the other vendors approved by DonorsChoose have my books that we need to give every student his/her first choice … Continue reading Please Help Purchase Books for Our Literary Nonfiction and Memoir Book Club: My 8th Grade Amazon Wish List

Growing Our Conversation Skills with Socratic Seminar

We are continuing to grow our discussion skills in my 8th grade classes with a variety of conversation strategies.  Prior to Thanksgiving break, we engaged in a Socratic Seminar over a variety of related texts.   If you want to see some additional interesting twists on Socratic Seminar, check out this great blog post. While I've … Continue reading Growing Our Conversation Skills with Socratic Seminar

Accelerating Student Dialogue with Speed Dating Discussions

In recent years, I've been very intentional about integrating student discussion strategies along with the hard academic skills and soft social skills inherent in student conversations for learning.  Our state 8th grade English Language Arts standards also value speaking and listening as well as comprehension and collaboration: ELAGSE8SL1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative … Continue reading Accelerating Student Dialogue with Speed Dating Discussions

Steps to Success: Setting and Tracking 2nd Quarter Independent Reading Goals and Current Book Reading Goals

One of the struggles of trying to support independent reading in a 50 minute literacy block with guided instruction is helping student stay on track with their reading and having some measure of accountability so that we don't come to the end of a nine week grading period without finishing a single book.  While some … Continue reading Steps to Success: Setting and Tracking 2nd Quarter Independent Reading Goals and Current Book Reading Goals

Student Self-Assessment, Scaffolding, and Seesaw

Now that Seesaw is Chromebook friendly, I am incorporating it as a digital portfolio and space for reflection/self-assessment with my 8th graders.   Earlier in the school year, I walked students through signing up with their class code through their district Google accounts.  For our first entry in October, students captured and recorded their reflections on … Continue reading Student Self-Assessment, Scaffolding, and Seesaw

Turn Up the Volume on Learning–My DonorsChoose Project

Please help me help fund my DonorsChoose project, Turn Up the Volume on Learning!  All donations of any amount are TRULY appreciated. I am requesting 15 headsets with microphones so that my students have easy and daily access to these tools to enhance our learning experiences in CommonLit and Seesaw.  We will use the headsets … Continue reading Turn Up the Volume on Learning–My DonorsChoose Project

Revising at Points of Need: Narrative Revision Stations

One of my goals this year as a teacher is to make room for revision stations and alternative ways of tackling revision.  I am proactive in providing ongoing feedback in real time through Google Documents, but toward the end of the year, I honestly felt I needed additional ways to help my students take more … Continue reading Revising at Points of Need: Narrative Revision Stations

Digging into Dialogue Writing Skills—Exploring Dialogue Tags

Earlier this month, I used resources from the beloved late Dr. Rozlyn Linder to help my students inquire into noticings about the purposes and patterns of dialogue tags.  I crafted a guided study lesson and resources from her book, The Big Book of Details: 46 Moves for Teaching Writers to Elaborate, to help us explore … Continue reading Digging into Dialogue Writing Skills—Exploring Dialogue Tags