Tip of the Week October 31, 2008

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October 30, 2008

Listen to Reading Websites

We constantly keep our ears open for great websites that read to our students. Many authors can be heard reading their children's books on their websites, as well. This week we have our favorite Listen to Reading sites linked for easy access.

Listen to Reading Websites

Frequently Asked Question

I am wondering which assessments you use in your classrooms? Our district is thinking about switching from the DRA? to the DRA2?. Do you use the DRA2??

Our initial use of the assessments is to find student strengths and greatest areas of need. The results of these assessments, along with our Literacy CAFE? Menu, are used to guide our instruction. We use the assessments throughout the year for progress monitoring and to show growth. This week's FAQ addresses this question and describes the difference we find with the DRA? and the DRA2?.

FAQ: I am wondering which assessments you use in your classrooms? Our district is thinking about switching from the DRA? to the DRA2?. Do you use the DRA2??

New this week for members

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Last week's posting included an article articulating how we introduce the Expand Vocabulary section of our CAFE? Menu to our class. As a follow-up this week, you will find two videos with the same theme; how to help children expand their vocabularies.

Expand Vocabulary - Tune in to Interesting Words

One secret to expanding vocabulary is to raise children's awareness so they tune into interesting words. In this video, Joan and Carrie, a K-2 teacher, meet with a small group of students. Together they learn and practice the strategy of paying attention to words that are interesting or unique. These students are reading at different independent levels, but are able to learn and practice a needed strategy together on an easily accessed text. If you have wondered what a small group lesson looks like when students are reading at different levels, this lesson may interest you.

Tune In to Interesting Words (VIDEO)

Design - Whiteboards the multifunctional tool

When students sit on the floor for a focus lesson, we want them to all to be engaged. Enter....the whiteboard. In this video Joan shows you the power of the whiteboard as a tool for reading, writing, math, or any subject students are learning.

There are two different whiteboards available for student use in Joan's classroom. She'll talk about where to get them, the management of the boards, and why they have become the most versatile tool in her room.

Personal Size Whiteboards (VIDEO)

Vocabulary - Setting a Reading Goal

Last week we shared with you one of the first CAFE? strategies we introduce to our classes, expand vocabulary. Gleaned from our archives is this vocabulary video of Heather and Gail discussing how to monitor increased vocabulary, and how to structure an individual conference with a student who is reading above grade level. They also introduce Ethan, a fourth grader, to a word collector, a system for keeping track of the words he is learning. The form is linked for you.

Vocabulary - Setting a Reading Goal (VIDEO)

Until next week!

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