Gay Miller

Author's posts

Authentic Learning – A Teaching Strategy

Authentic Learning – A Teaching Strategy What is an authentic learning task? Authentic learning provides tasks that allow students to learn through real-life situations. Students apply what they have learned in class to realistic circumstances. Often students go outside the classroom. This could include field trips. For example, students studying finance may visit a business …

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I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 Teaching Ideas

Lauren Tarshis’s eleventh book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Eleven-year old Oscar lived in Castle, Minnesota with his father and mother. After his father died in a blizzard, Oscar became the ‘man of the house’ looking after the farm. Mr. Morrow, who was an artist for a …

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Using Animated Shorts to Teach Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a beautiful award winning film. After winning 14 smaller awards, it won the Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards in 2012. A picture book was created based on the film which makes it ‘fantastic’ as a compare and contrast activity. In …

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Helping Readers Bloom Spring Link-up

Welcome to the Helping Readers Bloom Spring Link-up. The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a blog link up. Enjoy reading through our posts and collecting free materials to use in your classroom this spring. Links to all the …

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The Wild Robot Escapes Activities

The Wild Robot Escapes   The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown combines a science fiction story involving a robot of the future with a fantasy in which animals talk. This sequel beautifully wraps up the story. Roz works on the Hilltop Farm for the Shareef family. The family needs Roz because Mrs. Shareef died …

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ACE – A Writing Strategy

What is the ACE Writing Strategy?   Help students organize their writing by using the ACE Writing Strategy. This teaching device helps organize the answers to short answer/constructive response questions. It prevents students from guessing the answers by providing a structured response to the question. The acronym stands for… A – Answer all parts of …

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I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 Teaching Ideas

I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888  The Story Lauren Tarshis’s sixteenth book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Children’s Blizzard. Readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see how John will survive. John Hale was an eleven-year-old boy whose family had moved from Chicago to Dakota in 1886. They wanted …

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RUNNERS – A Test Taking Strategy

What is the RUNNERS Strategy?   Help students succeed when answering multiple choice questions with the RUNNERS Strategy. This acronym teaching device helps students break down reading passages, so they can more easily answer multiple choice questions. By implementing this strategy, students will have a better understanding of what they read causing them to more …

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Prisoner B-3087 Teaching Ideas

Prisoner B-3087  The Story Ten-year-old Yanek entertains his family with an after dinner light show when the Germans invade his hometown of Kraków, Poland. Days later a wall is built forming the Jewish ghetto. After this, a series of rules change Yanek’s life. No school for Jews. – His father’s business is taken. – Food …

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Academic and Testing Vocabulary

What is an academic vocabulary?   Academic vocabulary consists of words that are not commonly used or frequently encountered in everyday conversation. These words include specialized content vocabulary for specific subjects such as reading/language art, science, social studies, or math. Academic vocabulary also includes terms found on standardized tests.  When students understand testing vocabulary, test …

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