Do your students write goals? It can be an effective way to have students learn to take responsibility for their behavior or learning. We tried something new this year. Students chose a power word instead of goal. Continue Reading
You know that week in December when you’re constantly called down to the auditorium for concert rehearsals, some of your students are away sick, some have left for vacation early and you have to keep a classroom full of excited kids busy? Christmas is fun and all, but it’s so hard to keep kids interested in learning and it’s a challenging time to introduce new concepts with all those interruptions. What’s a teacher to do? Continue Reading
Here’s a great reason to eat potato chips. Have your students collect Pringles cans and upcycle them into a great holiday activity. This activity will work with other types of cans that made of cardboard with a metal base and plastic lid.
We made our cans into snowmen, penguins, Santas, elves and reindeer. Continue Reading
Our students love to have some choice over what they read as part of the Language Arts program. Book Clubs are one way to encourage reading and discussions-just like adults do. Students read for enjoyment and then talk about what they have read and recommend books to others. Continue Reading
Read aloud novels are a huge part of our daily literacy routine. We built in fifteen minutes each day where one of us reads from a novel to our students. It is important (even at the higher grades) to model fluency, self-monitoring and questioning techniques when reading aloud to students and we include these minutes in our weekly Language Arts minutes.
Another bonus to having a novel always as the ready is to use it after transitions like recess or lunch to calm students or to fill those minutes between transitions when you’re waiting for another teacher or moving to another location.
Each year we select a theme for choosing our read aloud novels and this year’s theme was protagonists that face their fears. Our goal was to show students that like real people, characters are not perfect and can be challenged to become stronger. Continue Reading
Having trouble getting students to want to try new books? Try having students do the recommending.
We’ve started using recommendations-super simple recommendations-to get students to convince other students to read.
It was so simple, we weren’t really expecting the effect to take off.
Step 1: A student reads a book.
Step 2: The student fills out a recommendation sticky note.
Step 3: The sticky note is placed on the cover of the book.
Step 4: Place the recommended book out for viewing. This could be on a shelf of recommended books or a basket of recommendations.
Step 5: Keep repeating the process as students start recommending more books.
We stepped this up a notch with our junior high students by encouraging them to post about their recommendation on social media by tagging our library Instagram account. The librarian then printed some of these pictures and added them to our recommendation display. They were quite excited to get the attention causing many more students to take part.
Here are our sticky note recommendations that you can use for free, too. We also have READO in our store in English and French. It is designed to get students reading a variety of genres and we use it as our home reading program.
What are some of the ways your encourage readers in your room or at the library? Leave us a comment below.
We hosted “Poem in Your Pocket” day as a celebration upon completing our poetry unit in Language Arts last year. It coincided with the National Poem In Your Pocket Day. This year’s event is being held April 21. It’s coming up soon! You can join us this year even if you haven’t done poetry yet! Continue Reading
Follow my blog with BloglovinFor years I’ve done Literature Circles and tried lots of variations, but this one worked really well with students. It allowed them some independence while still having accountability. We hosted a book club for students one day a week and used the Twisted Literature Circles lesson and activities to help students organize their learning for the books they read. Continue Reading