Showing posts from December, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

Go forth and make some awesomeness!
Christmas Eve came at last. The day was bright and beautiful, the ground crisp and hard, and the hoary trees shining like diamonds. What a happy day it brought to many, to most. Even in the poorest village a little green fir branch testified that it was Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve has come at last, That joyful day most glad. Christmas Eve has come at last, The Angels sing with joy and praise. Christmas Eve has come at last.
People's souls and hearts should be as they were on that most joyous of evenings: full of love and gratitude.

Using Spelling Sorts in the Intervention Classroom

Below are several examples of the different types of spelling/word sorts that should be used in the intervention classroom:

Closed Sort: In a close sort, the teacher gives the students explicit instructions regarding the word study features and provides header cards showing these features.
Open Sort: An open sort gives students the opportunity to sort the word study cards without explicit teacher instructions regarding the word features. This process allows students to use critical thinking skills to discover patterns in words.
Spelling Sort: A spelling or writing sort is used after the students have worked with the specific features for at least one day. This type of sort is critical for solidifying students' ability to recognize and reproduce the patterns being studied. In this activity, the teacher calls out words for students to simultaneously sort and spell. This particular sort is essential for students to make the knowledge transfer from sorting to their writing.
Student G…

Small Group Discussion is Important When it Comes to Word Work!

Small-group discussion is extremely important when it comes to word work.
Anything Goes This activity is used as a quick review of words that moves students from hesitation to rapid use. Present students with a list of words, then ask a set of questions. What is its part of speech? What is its definition? Give another form of it. Use it in a sentence. What do the words have in common? What is the prefix/suffix/root of the word?
Marzano's Six Steps for Direct Vocabulary Instruction Step One: Explain the word. Step Two: Students explain the word in their own words. Step Three: Students create a graphic of the word. Step Four: Students engage in activities that strengthen their knowledge of the word. Step Five: Students discuss the new word with a partner. Step Six: Students periodically play games to reinforce their knowledge of the word.

What are Word Work Notebooks?

Word Work notebooks are bound notebooks that house all word work information. Word work activities include spelling sorts, writing sorts, and dictation.

These notebooks are an important resource for struggling readers because they use them to keep track of the word features that they have studied. The word work notebooks allow students to work independently. These notebooks can be a link between in-group and extension activities.

Word sorts are fundamental to word work. Students compare and contrast word features. Students categorize words based on the features being studied.
Ask your students these questions:
What do we notice about the words? What patterns do you see? Have you seen this pattern before? What are some words that you don't recognize? Are you sure about the meanings of all of these words? How do you know? Can you explain their meanings in your own words?

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,  Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,  Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air  Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,  And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.  The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet  Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit  Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed  In a tumultuous privacy of storm. 

Come see the north wind's masonry.  Out of an unseen quarry evermore  Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer  Curves his white bastions with projected roof  Round every windward stake, or tree, or door. 

Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work  So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he  For number or proportion. Mockingly,  On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;  A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;  Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,  Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,  A tapering turret overtops the work. 

And when his hou…

Using Poetry with Struggling Readers

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold, written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen, is a collection of original poetry in a picture-book anthology. It is one of millions of poetry texts that is great for using with struggling readers.
Part of teaching reading is simply to motivate students to read. There is no better way to do that than with poetry. Try introducing a new poem to the class each day. Have them practice their fluency with poems. You might want to pick poetry that goes along with the other texts that you're reading in class. Pass out a poem and have the students follow along as you read it aloud. Read the poem chorally with you as the leader to keep the class together. If there is vocabulary that crucial to understanding the poem, discuss it when the poem is introduced. As new poems become old poems, use them to work on word skills.

During the Commonwealth of England government under Cromwell, the Rump Parliament prohibited the practice of singing Christmas Carols as Pagan and sinful. Like other customs associated with popular Catholic Christianity, it earned the disapproval of Protestant Puritans. Famously, Cromwell's interregnum prohibited all celebrations of the Christmas holiday. This attempt to ban the the public celebration of Christmas can also be seen in the early history of Father Christmas.
The Westminster Assembly of Divines establish Sunday as the only holy day in the calendar in 1644. The new liturgy produced for the English church recognized this in 1645, and so legally abolished Christmas. Its celebration was declared an offence by Parliament in 1647. There is some debate as to the effectiveness of this ban, and whether or not it was enforced in the country.
Puritans generally disapproved of the celebration of Christmas--a trend which continually resurfaced in Europe and the USA through the ei…

Fluency 1

Fluency There are three components to fluency: speed, accuracy, and prosody.
Speed is the rate of reading determined by words read per minute.
Accuracy is the student’s ability to recognize words correctly, without omissions, insertions, or substitutions.
Prosody is the student’s ability to read using correct phrasing, intonation, tone, and pitch so that the reading reflects the author’s intended meaning.
What does the research say about fluency? While fluency is an extremely important reading goal, it is the most neglected one. It is the one that is most left out of the reading curriculum.
Automaticity is the ability to read without having to think about the words on a conscious level. Struggling students have not yet developed this automaticity.
The most effective and widely researched instructional activity is repeated readings.
Intervention Readers should practice fluency daily in small-group settings.
Small-group fluency strategies: Choral reading Partner reading Whisper reading Lead reading

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Banana Bread Recipe

Banana Bread Ingredients½ cup butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 4 bananas, finely crushed 1 ½  cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon vanilla
Directions Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and crushed bananas. Combine well. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.


Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. he is known as the reputed author of Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, and as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.