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Writing Friendly Letters in First Grade

Nothing brightens your day more than a letter, much less a letter from a child, and this week, I'm getting to spend some time with some amazing short people in first grade. (Have I mentioned how much I love first grade?? ) Writing with Firsties is very eyeopening, and letter writing Is sure to create a little buzz. In a few days, I will upload our finished products to the post. For now, I thought I'd share a few of my teaching ideas for the week.

Making a Difference with Text Sets in the Classroom

Do you have kiddos that seem to have a hard time remembering content? Or maybe your text book is just not accessible to your student due to the reading level? If this sounds like your reality, then you might be interested in using text sets as a way to better get the teaching points across. To learn more about using text sets, [CLICK HERE] or on the image at the top to read my post over on Classroom Tested Resources.

Drawing Conclusions (and more) with The Amazing Bone

Of the many authors to choose from, William Steig is a go-to for mentor text lessons in the upper grades. Finding picture books that work well for older readers can be tough, and although these books appear to be simple if you judge by the cover, they truly are not. William Steig's writing style and rich vocabulary make them more appropriate for grades three to five.

Teaching Questioning Skills with The Days the Crayons Quit

When I am selecting a mentor text, I often look for books with the teaching points I want to address, but also books that carry a deeper meaning. The Day the Crayons Quit is one of those books. The book uses analogy and personification to teach the importance of valuing others and friendship. In fact, not only could this book work with questioning, teachers may find it works well for teaching theme too.

Today, I'd like to explore the importance of questioning with this book. Questioning begins in the primary grades with the Virginia standards, but each year, students are expected to do more and respond more deeply. Questioning drives our instruction in all subject areas, and the depth of questions teachers use makes a big difference in engagement and in the dialogue within our classrooms.

Characterization with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Teaching kids to think deeply starts with analyzing text elements. We do this by comparing and discussing characters, setting, plot, author's use of language, what we learn from our reading, and so much more. As we think about characterization, we also need to consider our kids' understanding of character language.


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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. I share what has worked in my classroom and what I've learned through my reading program and from my experience. I will only endorse products or services that I have used and found beneficial, based on my expertise, which I feel are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

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