Building Questioning Skills with Winter Research

Asking and answering questions and using questions for exploration and research help students deepen understanding of material read and learned. In this post, questioning strategies are shared to help provide readers with a variety of teaching methods. Check it and all the other blog posts from a literacy team called The Reading Crew.
Kids are naturally fascinated by animals, and I can honestly say that I've never met a kid who didn't love visiting a zoo. They are always filled with questions, and of course, the scarier the animal, the more questions they have.

Asking and answering questions is an important skill no matter what grade level you teach or the subjuct you're working on. As students progress, questions deepen in complexity and purpose. Questions check comprehension and deepen understanding of material read, but questions also guide student research and exploration too. As adults, of all job related skills we need, asking and answering questions is probably at the top no matter what career path you take.

In this post, I thought I'd share questioning strategies that have worked well for my students and I as well as lesson tips using a few resources I've created.

Using Twas the Night Before Christmas as a Mentor Text

There are many versions of Twas the Night Before Christmas, and that means many teaching options too. Check out this post for ways you can use various versions for teaching reading skills and writing.
There are many different versions of the tale, Twas the Night Before Christmas. Since I'm a huge Jan Brett fan, I thought I'd share her version of this story and a few things you can do with it.

Teaching Tips with a Bear Theme

Kids, like us, really are fascinated by bears, so why not use some time this winter to explore bear fiction and nonfiction. Check out this post for ideas, resources (free and paid), and fun ideas. Freebies included.

Bears are just so interesting, aren't they? They look so cuddly and seem like they are just gentle giants. Or are they? Well, of course, we know they are not. We also know that you shouldn't tangle with them. Kids, like us, really are fascinated by them, so why not use this winter to explore bear fiction and nonfiction with some of these fun resources and ideas.

Teaching Narrative Elements and Theme with Thank You Mr. Falker

This post features the book Thank You Mr. Falker for teaching narrative elements. Check it out for teaching ideas and an exclusive free resource.

With Thanksgiving just passed and with my latest instagram post on my mind, I thought I'd share how I use my favorite title, Thank You Mr. Falker, for narrative elements and theme. This book gives me "all the feels" every single time I read it. I get to the end, and I grab the tissues. I just can't read it without them!

Teaching Kids to Infer with Silver Packages

This post featuring Silver Packages as a mentor text for teaching inferences steps you through a print and go lesson perfect for December.

One of the toughest skills for young readers to learn is to infer what isn't stated by the author. For students who lack experiences or who don't pick up on story clues authors share, explicit instruction is needed to help make sense of the unknown. Through think aloud and targetted instruction, we can help struggling readers improve. Today, I'm going to share how you can use a lovely Appalachian Christmas story to model making inferences.

Wintery Resources to Help with Long Range Planning

Planning ahead for the winter? Check out this post for book recommendations and teaching tips you can use in the coming months.

Winter days may be shorter and there may be days cancelled by snow, but winter also brings the opportunity for LOTS of wonderful literature options. Today, I want to share some of my favorite winter reads and why I love them.
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