When our students hear the word "test" they cringe and you can see the fear on their face. When we start to talk about the standardized test, that fear turns to panic and sheer horror. Thoughts flood their minds,  "I'm going to have to repeat 5th grade! My parents are going to ground me forever if I don't pass this test. Maybe I can pretend I'm sick and get out of the whole test. I wonder if I broke my writing arm if I would have to do it?" After 40 years of combined teaching at grade levels where standardized tests are administered, we have developed a TOP 10 LIST that we think will help not only your students, but yourself cope with the "stress of the test." #1: Treats! What student, or teacher for that matter, doesn't love treats? About a week before the test begins we read a letter to our students about how their parents can bring in healthy snacks and healthy drinks on the days of the test. This gets the students excited....
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...