Gay Miller

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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 in an accident on the farm, and Mr. Shareef injured his leg. Because Mr. Shareef can no longer do farm work, he scrapes together enough money to purchase a refurbished robot to run the dairy farm. Roz works with the animals and makes sure the equipment runs smoothly, all the while planning an escape to return back to her wild island home.

There is no question about it; your students will love this book! Continue reading

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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 the question in complete sentences.

C – Cite evidence from the text.

E – Explain how your evidence proves or supports your answer. 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, 1888The 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 to get the 160 acres of free land promised to settlers in the Homestead Act of 1862. Continue reading

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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 accurately answer questions.

R – Read the title and predict.

U – Underline key words in the question.

N – Number the paragraphs.

N – Now read the passage.

E – Enclose key words.

R – Read the questions eliminating wrong options.

S – Select the best answer. Continue reading

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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 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

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 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

Coraline — The Story

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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