Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Foldables FoldiFun Factory, by blogger Mor Zrihen

A quick heads-up to all of you who use and love foldables (and those of you who soon will!) Mor Zrihen, a teacher in south Florida, blogs over at A Teacher's TreasureShe shares her own collection at the Foldables FoldiFun Factory tab on her blog. 

Giving credit to Dinah Zike, who holds the registered trademark for foldables, Mor describes them as "interactive 3D graphic organizers (that) encourage student ownership of study material, provide a kinesthetic component to teaching strategies, and promote long-term retention of academic lessons." 

Below are just a few pics of Mor's cool ideas:




Click on over and see what you can use, offered FREE from this great blogger!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Common Core Writing? Help is Here!

A truly amazing Common Core resource was just released this summer! 

Achieve the Core now offers on its website a FREE book - the 686 page In Common: Effective Writing for All Students Collection of All Student Work Samples, K-12, by The Vermont Writing Collaborative, with Student Achievement Partners and CCSSO. It is a PDF document that you can download and print. Before you think, "PRINT 686 pages?!" remember that no one will need to print the entire document. Instead, you can pick and choose the parts that you need, and print them as you need them.

If you teach ELA, I believe you'll find it invaluable. Check out the Table of Contents:

Dr. Jim Patterson, a lead writer of the ELA/Literacy Common Core State Standards, says that while CCSS Appendix C "sought to illustrate by example what it meant to say that a given piece of writing met the Standards, the included works had not been written expressly to the Standards. In Common advances the work begun in Appendix C."

Joanna Hawkins and Diana Leddy led the effort to complete this project and make it available to teachers across the nation. Patterson explains its value in several ways:

  • It has more than twice as many samples as Appendix C, all "planned, drafted, revised, edited, and published by students working over extended periods of time."
  • It is the result of "an intriguing real-world 'experiment' in on-demand writing."
  • The writers "crafted grade-specific argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing prompts...based on source texts and intended to elicit student samples written to nearly uniform tasks across broad grade bands." 
  • The result is "a stepwise progression of ever-more-sophisticated writing samples with a common baseline."
The switch to the CCSS is huge by anyone's standards, and resources like this one should help to make the transition easier for everyone who teaches writing. I hope it helps you!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Booklists for the Common Core from Reading Rockets

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the many resources available from Reading Rockets, the national multimedia literacy initiative of WETA's Learning Media

With the current transition to Common Core State Standards, one of the most useful resources for those of you who teach K-4 is their Themed Booklists. As you create your CCSS ELA units, you will be searching for stories and informational text that you can sequence appropriately for your kiddos. 

And while your reading textbooks will provide a starting point, you will need to search out other quality texts, a daunting task to accomplish on your own! The 150+ booklists found on the Reading Rockets site can help. Below is just a sampling of booklists you'll find there.

Every list I previewed consisted of ten books, with a nice mix of fiction and informational text. Check it out - just another awesome FREE resource from this great site. And while you're there look at what else Reading Rockets offers! 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Common Core Resources for ELLs at Colorín Colorado

I have great news for anyone who teaches English Learners, via Lesli A. Maxwell at Education Week. In a blog post yesterday, she reported that Colorín Colorado has added a wonderful new CCSS resource for teachers of ELLs. Lesli had previously reported about the work that Albuquerque, N. M., teachers were doing to "ensure that the district's large number of English-learners would not be left to languish under the more demanding requirements of the common core." Now she reports that "anyone can see the full lesson plans those teachers created, videos of them teaching in the classroom, and interviews of them talking about how it worked." Lessons created by teachers, for teachers? Bravo!

And another "Bravo!" to Colorín Colorado. As an ESL teacher I consulted this amazing website often, and it's no surprise that these resources are now available here. In addition to the work done by the Albuquerque teachers, you'll find information for teachers who "might be trying to figure out what their role in supporting students and content teachers should be in the common-core era" as well as parent resources.

Hurry over and see what you can use, and enjoy the work of teachers who are willing to share - the BEST kind!