3rd-5th Grade Reading A-Z MOY Assessment Update

The Window is  January 3rd- February 16th


Debate Boxing – A Way to Get Kids Thinking Fast

December is a fun month to teach if you know how to use the inevitable energy that the students bring in.  While I may long for my fireplace and a good book, my students are eagerly awaiting snow, break, and perhaps even Christmas.  To say that our classroom is loud in the afternoon is an understatement.  Knowing the energy level of the kids, my smart colleague Reidun, therefore, proposed doing debate during the month of December, and boy was she right.  The energy is infectious, the kids are committed, and the engagement is high.

While the students have successfully completed their practice unit, we are now gearing up for the big one; the summative debate where they must find their own articles, research reliability and also try to prep for whatever their opposing team will throw at them.  This is why thinking on their feet is so important, as well as being able…

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Jennifer Serravallo’s Writing Strategies and Reading Strategies Book

By now, grades K-5 have received 2 copies of The Reading Strategies Book and The Writing Strategies Book. Below I have included 2 short videos that were created by Jennifer Serravallo herself that will assist you in getting better acquainted with the two books. I can’t wait to hear your success stories on how these two resources help enhance the teaching and learning taking place in your classrooms.


Great Picture Books for Small Moment Stories

Check out this blog post for must add mentor text to your personal library.

As we dive into our first fictional writing unit, I am reminded that sometimes kids don’t know how to move their story along.  So of course, what better time than to read some more picture books to remind them of the amount of action needed for a short story.  I dug through my shelves today and pulled a few favorites.  Here they are.

Product Details

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank.

Plot Description:

Market is very crowded.
Mama is very busy.
Baby is very curious.
When Baby and Mama go to the market, Baby is so adorable that the banana seller gives him six bananas. Baby eats one and puts five in the basket, but Mama doesn’t notice. As Mama and Baby wend their way through the stalls, cheeky Baby collects five oranges, four biscuits, three ears of sweet corn, two pieces of coconut . . . until Mama…

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Obligations and Opportunities |What are my scholars doing while I am working with a guided reading or small group?

As we work to incorporate reading workshop in our classrooms, it is SO important to really spend sometime thinking about how you will manage it. What are your scholars doing, while you are meeting with a group?

One tool that I found to be helpful, was displaying the Obligations (Task my scholars MUST complete) and Opportunities (Task my scholars could complete when all of their obligations were done) on the Smartboard. Since ALL scholars in 3rd-5th grade have access to a chromebook, you may even consider sharing one document with them and changing it each week. For grades K-2nd, you can display this on your interactive board along with visuals to support support emerging readers.

The document I created during my time in the classroom shows you the management tool I created that worked for my class. Under each obligation, I included some sample ideas of tasks you can have your students complete. As you explore to find or create engaging task, try not to rely so much on Pinterest. Yes it is cute, but is it purposeful and meaningful? Does it assess the standard? Or is it just busy work? Also, consider incorporating some AVID strategies as well. Language and Word Study Obligations are a perfect time to have scholars work on 2 to 4 column notes. Enjoy!