Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reading Like a Sleuth

Like most of you, this year I am dipping my toes in the waters of close reading. Our district provided a professional development for close reading last year, but I left it as a "2" on the Marzano learning scale. Yikes! How was I going to teach it?!

I've been scouring education sites, blogs, and Pinterest for more information on close reading, as well as hunting down resources, and finally ventured into teaching it last week. I was completely honest with my class and explained that although I wasn't a "4" on the learning scale, I would do my best to teach what I understood about close reading. I had already taught annotation (using this awesome freebie!) and my kiddos are getting better at it - one of my gals even annotated her math word problem today, without being asked to! Impressive! But now it was time to dig deeper. 

Luckily, today I got an email from We are Teachers with two fantastic FREE resources that are totally going to help me better understand close reading, help me teach close reading, and support students as they become close readers. The first is a handy and quick close reading guide for teachers.  

The second freebie, a close reading guide specifically for students. As you can imagine, this was immediately printed and copied. These will be going straight into our reading workshop binders as convenient references. I especially love the "Make your case" and "Prove it!"tips. 

Thank you We are Teachers for these great resources! Ok friends, I'd love any and all advice/resources/links/etc. on close reading! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vocabulary Cootie Catcher

My new {awesome} teammate showed me a simple yet wonderful idea today - make cootie catchers (aka fortune tellers) for vocabulary. Now, I know that these fun and sometimes pesky little paper creations can be overdone and can sometimes get out of hand, but I honestly haven't made one of these since I taught 3rd grade (over eight years ago!). I couldn't get this super idea out of my head, and since I came home to some nice news, I figured this was just the thing.

The news isn't anything big, but for me it kind of is. Today I reached a small, but personal, TpT milestone. I'm nowhere near being a top seller (and I'm totally cool with that!), but the few bucks I've made has certainly far exceeded my expectations from when I started. I'm blown away and amazed by everything TpT and I absolutely love creating and sharing my ideas. Plus, I've grown and become better at what I do both as a teacher and teacher author. I've also found some GREAT teacher authors who have been so kind to share their creations and I love being able to by quality goodies from them. To celebrate and thank my awesome followers I was going to make one of my paid items a freebie for a short time, but since my co-worker showed me this cootie catcher a few hours ago i figured this would make a perfect (and permanent) freebie.