Tip of the Week November 14, 2008


November 13, 2008

Learning Basic Sight Words - Tips, Websites and Photos - Oh My!

Sight words are a foundational piece to reading text accurately and with fluency. This week we share some wonderful ideas and photos for helping students learn their sight words from our friend Danielle's classroom, along with a couple of great sight word websites. All of this to support the day-to-day work with students who are just beginning their journey into the world of learning these workhorses of text, those who are just acquiring the English language, or more advanced readers who are utilizing sight words to work on their fluency.

CAFE? - Learning Basic Sight Words (SLIDE SHOW)

Frequently Asked Question

What happens when a new student joins my class later in the year? How do I catch them up when Daily 5? has already launched?

Daily 5? is Up and Going and You Get a New Student - Ideas for Success

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2nd in a Two Part Series: CAFE? - Check Understanding (VIDEO)

This video is the second in a two part series looking at a small group of students in Carrie's room learning the Comprehension strategy of Check for Understanding. In this second part of the series, we get a chance to see a beginning reader with poor comprehension as she begins to utilize this strategy. She normally reads an entire book without being able to recall any important details. You may notice that Joan shows Carrie and the student how to back all the way up and read shorter sections of the book -- stopping more often to check for understanding. This will allow for more success with the strategy, but even more importantly start her on the journey to comprehending what she reads.

The initial secret to the strategy is 'stop and then check for understanding or do a summary/retell.' If you are finding children of any age who struggle to remember what they just read when they stop, you may also want to try the next part of the secret to this strategy...

Check for Understanding; Modeling the Secret (VIDEO)

Gathering Spaces and Focus Lessons

When creating a culture for learning and independence, two essential components must be in place...a gathering place and focus lessons. A gathering place is an open space large enough for the whole class to gather while sitting on the floor. The space also includes a chart rack and white board for focus lessons, class created anchor (or living) charts, an overhead projector or document camera, CAFE? Menu board and other teaching materials. We have a gathering place in every classroom we teach, regardless of our students' age level. Behavior management through proximity and an elimination of the convenient distractions that desks hold are two of the biggest payoffs of a gathering space.

Design - Gathering Space and Focus Lessons (ARTICLE)

Curricular Coherence, Working Together with Interventions

In September, our grade level meetings are characterized by lively conversations about our hopes and dreams for the students in our charge. By October they have taken on a new energy and sense of urgency. What more can we do for the students who are not meeting standard or making the progress we'd like to see? Many of our struggling students are receiving extra support via Title funds, Special Education services, English Language Learner support, tutoring, etc., but we don't always see the growth we'd like when our most at risk students leave us for fragmented portions of the day for this extra support. How can we design intentional and effective interventions for these students that will give us the needed results?

This article presents a look at the research that guides our work with students who receive extra support. How do we work together as a team on behalf of our students, building a strong and effective program for them? We have found that planning is the key. Yet in with our every-busy schedules, connecting with other staff can be a huge challenge. So we have also included our conferring form used by each person who works with our children.

Curricular Coherence, Working Together with Interventions (PDF)

Recording Goals in the Pensieve

Are you wondering how we use the forms and what kind of notes we jot down in our Pensieve (assessment notebook)? In this video, Gail and Cindy take a few minutes to reflect on a conference Cindy just had with one of her students.

CAFE? - Recording Goals in the Pensieve (VIDEO)

Until next week!

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