Readbox Re-Launch

May 27, 2020

Distance Learning is not a term I thought I would become familiar with during my 2019-20 school year.  I'm sure it looked very different for all of us.  But one thing we probably all have in common...these past few months have not been easy.  Stepping into summer, I can look back and say, for certain, that I have learned a thing or two.

Learning through distance learning

Teaching Deep Thinking and Emotions

Feb 20, 2020

Emotional Charades

 How does the character feel in this story?  How do you know?

These are comprehension questions that we ask our very youngest readers.  Many times the answer to the first question is "good" or "bad."  And to the second question, students have a difficult time explaining how they know that a character is feeling that way.  Reading facial expressions, restating evidence in text, and (in more complex texts) inferring are skills that require prior experience, practice, and (for some) explicit teaching.

To help students think deeply about the characters in the books read, they need the vocabulary to do so.  Let's look at one way to do this.

Cultivating Genius

Jan 13, 2020

Scholastic recently asked if I would like to read and review the new book "Cultivating Genius" by Gholdy Muhammad.  The back of the book explained that Dr. Muhammad would offer an approach to address the students who have been traditionally "marginalized by learning standards, government policies, and school practices."  I knew this was a book for me to dig into.

In her book, Gholdy Muhammad sends out an urgent call to educators for action. We need to make a change or the shift.  She says we need to have...

Pigeon Math Story Problems-FREEBIE

Jan 4, 2020

I am all about themed story problem units!  They engage students and keep them invested in the story being told.  So when I read Pigeon Math by Asia Citro, I knew that it was a great springboard for a new themed unit.

pigeon math story problems

The book introduces story problems by adding and subtracting pigeons in and out of the story.  The characters have silly faces and funny situations, so it will get students invested and interested.  Once this is read, I would dive right into students solving problems with birds on and off a telephone wire.