Often, graphic organizers are simply   viewed as a glorified worksheet, but ask any teachers who use them yearly, and you may find that graphic organizers are much, much more.   In my own experience, I have witnessed graphic organizers improving comprehension and understanding of the text, improving student engagement with the text, helping students develop vocabulary skills, as well as helping students better understand text structure. 1. Improves Comprehension When students write about the text that they are reading, comprehension improves. Graphic organizers can be a key component in students organizing their thoughts and writing about the text. Rather than assigning students an essay about a text that they have read, a graphic organizer can enable students to break apart and write about the main elements of a story. Graphic organizers also help guide a young learner to organize his/her   thinking. By having this visual guide, learners are less likely to become...
Do you know how you have favorite lessons that you look forward to teaching each year? I certainly do. Today, I'm going to share with you my favorite lesson in my Teaching Points of View reading unit! This one is a favorite for two reasons. First, it features a skit, which I rarely do, so my students tend to be extremely engaged during the lesson. Second, students take on the role of author and write the same short story three times, using the three different points of view. I truly believe that when students become the author, this abstract concept becomes more concrete for students. Let's rewind a few years. I'm sitting in my closet- as an ELL teacher who spent most of her day coteaching in upper elementary classrooms, I was fortunate to have my own tiny windowless room that was just big enough to house my desk, a table, and a few filing cabinets- racking my brain trying to think of a point of view activity that would be meaningful for our fifth graders. We had...
Good classroom organization is a MUST for any successful teacher!  No matter what organizational tools you are using to keep organized (book crates, teacher binder , student binder , filing systems, etc.) having a solid system in place can make or break your year.  Throughout my time in the classroom, I developed a few key classroom organizational systems that I know will help you get your papers in order, and keep you and your students organized all year long! Don't forget to grab my FREE Checklist! 1.  EVERYTHING NEEDS A PLACE Before I start organizing my classroom, I use the idea that "EVERYTHING needs a place" and start from there.  If everything has a place in your classroom, it is easier to keep everything in its place...Simple, right?  I make a list of everything I need in my classroom and build my "Organization Plan".  This is a great time to think about how you will store resources in your classrooms, such as math centers , wr...