Before learning about drama circles, we weren’t sure how we could incorporate drama into our classroom in a meaningful way that didn’t take away from all the work we needed to do. Putting on a play just didn’t seem like a good use of our learning time, but we knew our students enjoyed acting. That is when we considered some of the benefits of drama circles in our upper elementary classroom.[Read more…] about Are You Missing Out on the Love of Drama Circles?
Your class trickles in as you watch the time tick away and the punctual crowd starts to get restless. A student hands in work, another tells you all about the taco salad they had for lunch, while two others argue over which of two seemingly identical chairs is theirs. Does this sound familiar to you? It sounds like bell ringers might be the solution!
Bell Ringers Can Take Back That Wasted Time
Silent reading is a great way to start the day or for use during transitions. But maybe you want to shake things up? Or you want to make every minute of the day count. Bell ringers help to get things rolling from bell to bell. Read on to find out how we use them in our classroom and all the different types of bell ringers that can work.[Read more…] about Saved by the Bell Ringers in Upper Elementary
If you are struggling with reading instruction in your classroom, you’re not alone. Upper elementary teachers are often not trained in how to teach students to read, despite the fact all the students in their classroom are unlikely to be reading at grade level. Setting up a reading comprehension schedule is one way to get on track.
We designed our Weekly Reading Comprehension Skills specifically for our students. We needed reading material for science and social studies that were at the right reading level and needed to teach grammar and reading skills. You might want to read this post about how we came up with them: Add Great Content to Your Literacy Lessons.[Read more…] about How to Set Up Your Reading Comprehension Schedule
It took fifteen years of teaching and professional development before we felt confident teaching reading to students in upper elementary. Reading is one of the most important skills any teacher is responsible for, but it is often taught by stabbing at strategies until something works-only to find it doesn’t work for the next student. Literacy lessons were hard to design and we didn’t really know where to start.
The most important thing we’ve learned is that reading comprehension skills are also skills related to grammar, word parts, word families and patterns, and writing. The same skills are used in a variety of ways.
If a student missed one of these skills, they trip over it in everything other subject. By the time students get to the end of Grade Three, if they aren’t reading at grade level, they are statistically unlikely to catch up. So, what is a teacher to do?[Read more…] about Add Great Content to Your Literacy Lessons
How often do you give your students a book and they can’t find any information in it? It seems if a page isn’t blinking and flashing they can’t seem to work it. Explicitly teaching text features can help your students understand how to process information better. This won’t just help with their reading, but it will help with all of their research, following directions and locating information quickly in all their subject areas.[Read more…] about Research Skills: How to Teach Text Features