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Squirrel Text Sets

Squirrel Text Sets

Text sets allow students to build background knowledge about a topic as they read each new text. Discover books and articles to create squirrel text sets for students to read. Nonfiction Books About Squirrels Squirrel Emergent Reader and Decodable Books – Learn facts about the squirrel. This squirrel text also comes with a long and short vowel one page decodable book. Heggerty Frog Series: I Have Soft Paws– Readers learn about similarities between squirrels and other animals. Uses short vowels: a,…

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Building Background Knowledge with MLs

Building Background Knowledge with MLs

Students that have background knowledge about a topic are typically able to read more complex texts, participate in classroom discussions, and retain new information faster than students that are learning about an entirely new topic. Use Text Sets Group materials together by topic. This can be as simple as showing a video clip about the moon or reading a picture book before giving students an article to read on the same topic to having students read multiple books on the…

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Using Decodable Texts with MLs

Using Decodable Texts with MLs

Decodable texts are an important tool in helping beginning readers. A decodable text is one where a student is able to decode the majority of the words used. It is important to keep in mind what phonics skills a student has learned when selecting decodable texts. Decodable texts are one tool in helping students learn how to read. Younger MLs may be able to mostly read decodables as they are building their phonics knowledge. For older MLs they will still…

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Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing a detailed sentence can be challenging for students that are learning English as a second or additional language. Beginning writers benefit from explicit instruction in writing sentences as well. Here are some strategies to help students improve their writing at the sentence level. Question Words Use question words to help students practice writing sentences. Choose a topic and then have students answer questions. Next model how to take the information and put it together into a detailed sentence. Question…

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The 5 Best Cicada Books

The 5 Best Cicada Books

Introduce students to the fascinating cicada insects. These bugs emerge from the ground at different intervals. On the east coast of the US, they typically come out every 13 or 17 years. Create a text set with cicada books and videos. Friend to Cicadas is a website designed by scientists to share information with children. It has videos, a workbook, and other educational materials. Here is a list of cicada books to use with students. What to Expect When You’re…

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Phonics Writing Practice

Phonics Writing Practice

Using phonics writing activities is one way for students to practice their phonics skills. Writing helps students segment words and then write down the sounds that they hear. Students with more advanced phonics skills can practice vowel patterns, silent letters, and other letter combinations. When students are writing, they are practicing letter sound knowledge or encoding. Have students write words to practice a spelling pattern. Word Chains or Word Ladders Writing words with the same spelling pattern will give students…

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Using Poetry to Teach Reading Fluency

Using Poetry to Teach Reading Fluency

Poetry is a genre of reading that opens many doors for students. The text often flows like a song. It can be short but still hold complex meaning. Poetry lends itself well to repeated reading and fluency practice. It is a wonderful way for ELLs to practice oral language skills. When you are selecting poems to read with students make sure to include diverse poems that highlight a range of cultures and topics. Here are some tips for using poetry…

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Engaging ELLs in Virtual Learning

Engaging ELLs in Virtual Learning

Virtual learning is both highly engaging (think TV shows) and highly unengaging (staring at a screen for hours on end). Here are some tips for engaging your students during distance learning. Build Relationships Building relationships with students is important any year. If you are teaching virtually it is even more important…and for many students much more challenging. Share your own interests. If you are teaching from your house show students your pet, a favorite mug, or other anything that is…

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Best Online Sites to Buy Used Books

Best Online Sites to Buy Used Books

I have been relying on ordering books online much more during the past few months (Boy do I miss going to my public library and thrift stores!) Amazon is probably one of the best-known sites for books. There are many others, including sites that offer used or overstock books at a low cost. Here is a list where you can buy used books online or get them for free. Online Used Book Stores Thrift Books– This site has a large…

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Why Cut Apart a Worksheet?

Why Cut Apart a Worksheet?

Worksheets are one way to give students practice with a specific skill. One way to take a traditional worksheet and make it more interactive is to cut apart the worksheet. You can then use the cut up questions in a number of ways. This can help keep some students more engaged then completing worksheets in the traditional way. Interactive Notebook After completing a worksheet how often do students look back at them? If the answer is never, consider setting up…

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