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 fall. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post.Continue Reading
Several researchers have attempted to categorize basic plot patterns in literature. William Foster-Harris thinks stories can be sorted into three basic patterns. Ronald B. Tabias theorizes 20 Master Plots. Georges Polti writes aboutThe Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. Kurt Vonnegut argues that all stories can be outlined into one basic shape. Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots.
So just how many basic plots are there? Everyone has a different opinion. Continue Reading
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 scores go up. By teaching test vocabulary and how the words look in different forms on a test, students feel better prepared and more confident on test day.
When to Teach Words
When preparing units of study such as novel studies, add four to five academic vocabulary words in with the novel specific words. Select words based on the skills taught during the unit of study. Continue Reading
News reporters use an Inverted Pyramid Story to relay information quickly to readers. Both newspapers and web writers use this approach. News is written in order of importance. The most essential information is placed in the lead paragraph. The purpose for writing using this method is to give the reader the most important information first. The reader will understand the story even if he stops reading after a few lines.
Many feel this method of writing was invented shortly after the telegraph. Reporters tried to condense their stories into as few words as possible to keep the cost of sending a story over telegraph wires low. Also if the connection was lost, the most important details would be received.Continue Reading
After seeing a cardinal, close your eyes, spit three times, and make a wish. — You can make a wish if you clap three times before crossing a state line. — You can make a wish if you see a camel-shaped cloud.
These are just a few of the unusual things Charlie uses to make her daily wish; the same wish she has made every day since fourth grade. Continue Reading
Are you searching for some new prefixes activities? This post is loaded with ideas and free printables.
The English Language
English is a mix of several languages including French, Italian, Greek and Latin, Vietnamese and so on. This makes the number of words linguists estimate the English language to have extremely large —- approximately one million words. About 170,000 of these words are in current use. The average adult English speaker has a vocabulary between 20,000 to 35,000 words. Ninety-five percent of everyday writing and speech in newspapers, most books, movies, etc. use only about 3,000 words. So…how do we prepare our students for college entrance exams when everyday life exposes them to so such a narrow list of vocabulary words? —- We teach students prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots. Continue Reading