Thursday, December 4, 2014

Close Reading Videos K-3

Great blog post on Close Reading with Little Learners: Click here.

Reading Closely in Kindergarten - Episode 1

Reading Closely in Kindergarten - Episode 2

Close Reading in First Grade - Vocab Focus

Bringing Close Reading and Text Dependent Questions to an Interactive Read Aloud

Bringing Close Reading and Text-Based Questions into an Interactive Read Aloud of Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! (K-2) from TC Reading and Writing Project on Vimeo.

Close Reading with a Visual Text

1st grade - RW Close Reading with Visual Text from Once Upon a Teacher on Vimeo.

Close Reading in Action

Close Reading in Action (Long Version) from Expeditionary Learning on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Show Me The Evidence!

One thing that our school is heavily focusing on this year is citing evidence to written responses. Our school has focused a lot on sentence stems to actually cite evidence which is great! But the students also have to be able to find the evidence. Here are a couple of ways for your students to locate the evidence and show the teacher where they found the evidence to their answers.

1) Writing the Question # Next to the Evidence

When the students are answering a particular question, have them write the question number directly next to where they found the answer. This shows that they found the evidence and it can help you identify students who need help locating evidence if they constantly are placing the #s in the wrong place.

2) Highlighting Evidence

Have your students use highlighters to highlight their evidence in a passage that has been copied for them.

3) Reading Trackers

Reading trackers are not only good for tracking reading, but they are also good for citing evidence. I actually got this idea from one of my creative colleagues, Deb Wirth. Students can use their tracker to to find their evidence and show the teacher.

4) Colored Overlays

One final strategy is to use colored overlays. These are really nice for when a student needs to use a text book or something that cannot be copied. The student just lays the overlay on the page and can use a dry erase marker to underline evidence. If you don't want to purchase the overlays, then you can use extra lamination.

The colored trackers and the colored overlays help the students remember things better because the brain sees and remembers color first. "Color opens up other areas of the brain and allows great and easier learning and remembering." So by using the colored overlays and trackers to cite evidence, the students are not only practicing an important skill, they are also remembering the content better. To read more on Learning Through Color, click here.

Happy Evidence Citing!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Tonight I was attending a webinar on Active Engagement Strategies with Laura Candler and I learned about this fabulous new response system called PLICKERS! Its a free app and an alternative to clickers, activeexpressions, etc.

Why Should I Use Plickers?
  • It requires no electronic devices in your student's hands.
  • Its another way to actively engage all students.
But How Does It Work?
  • Each student gets a unique barcode on a piece of paper.
  • Students answer questions by showing their barcodes to their teacher's smartphone.
  • The teacher gets a real time graph of the data for informal assessment.
See It In Action:

Just sign up for an account, create a class, print the cards, and Go! Its that easy!!!

Happy Teaching!