March 2018 archive

ACE – A Writing Strategy

Help students organize their writing by using the ACE 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.

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 the question in complete sentences. Continue Reading

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I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 Teaching Ideas

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888

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. Continue Reading

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RUNNERS – A Test Taking 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 first have a better understanding of what they read causing them to more accurately answer questions.

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 accurately answer questions.

R – Read the title and predict. Continue Reading

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Prisoner B-3087 Teaching Ideas

Prisoner B-3087 Teaching Ideas

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 is rationed. – A curfew is set. – Jews are deported both to concentration camps and into the Jewish ghetto. Yanek’s family must share their apartment with three other families. Yanek must work in a tailor’s shop.

When Yanek turns 13, he and his father sneak out to an abandoned building to give Yanek a secret bar mitzvah ceremony. Soon afterwards, Yanek sees his parents being deported. Yanek decides to keep working at the tailor shop in hopes of not being deported. This, however, it the very reason he is taken. Tailors are needed at the concentration camp. Yanek lives through ten concentration camps and two death marches over the next three years. Continue Reading

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Academic and Testing 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 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.

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

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman Activities

Teaching Ideas to use with the novel Coraline

Neil Gaiman created an incredible book when he wrote Coraline. It contains just enough unusual and creepy events taking place to keep students begging for more. Coraline’s family moves into a large house in the country. The house is divided into four apartments. Upstairs lives the crazy old man who talks of training mice. Downstairs two old ladies live who once were actresses. The fourth apartment is empty. Coraline is bored with little to do in her new home.

One rainy day, Coraline discovers the 14th door in her apartment that is locked. Her mother uses an old key to show Coraline that the door was used when the building was one large house. The opening behind the door has now been bricked up because there is an apartment next door. Continue Reading

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Using Animated Shorts to Teach Cause and Effect

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high interest activities to your lessons, try using animated shorts to teach the reading skill cause and effect. 

This post contains the animated short film “Feast” found on Vimeo and inserted in this post. Download the handout, leveled for upper elementary students. Students create a cause and effect chain to summarize the film. Continue Reading

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