Tip of the Week November 21, 2008

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November 20, 2008

Keeping Up With Children's Books

We recently ran into a guest teacher who was excited to see that our book fair was in progress. She wanted to stock up on books for holiday gift giving. She loves books and having deep conversations with students about what they are reading, so she enthusiastically shared what she'd read over the summer, as well as her current reading pile. We left her, feeling a little humbled by her reading feats, and thought...."Hmm, we should be reading more...but where do we begin?" We read a lot of professional material, but aren't always good about keeping up with children's literature. What we need is someone who'll just hand us the good books and say, "Here...this one is worth your time...read it!" or, "If you have kids who liked ____, then you'll want to get them this one!"

Then we remembered Franki Sibberson and Mary Lee Hahn's blog www.readingyear.blogspot.com. These two teachers are voracious consumers of children's books. On their webpage, Franki and Mary Lee share their new best reads, with a synopsis of each, so we can be current and make informed decisions about what books to pass on to our students or curl up with ourselves.

CAFE?-Keeping Up With Children's Books (WEBSITE)

Comprehension - Cause and Effect

This video featuring the Comprehension strategy of Cause and Effect is from our archives. As students become more sophisticated readers, Cause and Effect can be a strategy to assist with comprehension. Students are expected to have command over this strategy on many of our state assessments.

In this video, Gail uses a simple text with Brayden in order to model Cause and Effect. He adds his own thinking and goes deeper with the meaning. As the conference closes, Gail anchors the strategy to comprehension, and shares that we utilize this strategy to deepen our understanding of what we are reading.

Comprehension - Cause and Effect (VIDEO)

Daily 5- Regarding Parent Volunteers

A few things come to mind when we think of parent volunteers. We value and appreciate this valuable resource, but with the economy the way it is, more and more parents have to rely on two incomes, creating less time for them to offer support in the classroom. We typically ask parents to hold off on classroom support until our classroom culture is really established, and the routines are up and running smoothly.

Regarding Parent Volunteers (ARTICLE)

Frequently Asked Question

What if my students have already had experience with the Daily 5™? Won't they be bored?

FAQ - What if my students have already had experience with the Daily 5? Won't they be bored?

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Fine Tuning our Conferences with Students - Comprehension - Inference

One way to reflect on our practice and fine tune it is through the conversations with other teachers. In this video, Heather has Gail listen in and offer feedback following her one-on-one conference with Grace. Gail's feedback is specific to the structure of the conference and what is being taught. She also discusses when to move a student onto another strategy.

Fine Tuning a Conference-Inference (VIDEO)

Modeled Writing and Heart Words

Years ago we bought a professional development book that was all about modeled writing. The book was good, but produced in us a great yearning to actually see it in action. What did it really look like and sound like with children in the room?

We recognize the power of real modeling, so here is your chance to see Joan in action doing a modeled writing lesson with her little ones.

Modeled Writing and Heart Words (VIDEO)

Until next week!

Professional Development

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