Classroom strategies

March 31, 2009

Susan Hall, co-author of Straight Talk About Reading and more recently the editor for Implementing Response to Intervention: A Principal's Guide gave a workshop at the Center for Development and...

March 26, 2009

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that I was in Chicago at a conference sponsored by the Center for Development and Learning. I've got lots to share from the conference; there were several great speakers and exhibitors. Many attendees came by the Reading Rockets booth to tell...

February 26, 2009

Behind the scenes here at Reading Rockets we're hard at work on a new Classroom Strategies section.

It's going to be a terrific addition to the resources we already offer. We're pulling together recommendations from our experts at LDOnline as well as from our children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, who writes our...

January 6, 2009

Being January, I know lots of parents and teachers have resolutions that include getting kids to read more and different kinds of books.

Around our house, one sure-fire way to pique Molly and Anna's interest in a book is to put it on my nightstand! I usually have quite a stack there...books I plan to read or re-read before handing them over to the girls. Like...

November 12, 2008

Knock, knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana in my cereal.

Yep. That's our six year old at the dinner table. She so desperately wants to make up her own side-splitting knock knock jokes, but she's not quite there yet. She loves jokes and all things silly, but she's just not at the point of being able to come up with her own word play to make up a (really) funny one.

The...

September 9, 2008

Sometimes parent volunteers require a lot of extra work for a teacher. Other times, parents work as a second set of hands but don't really work one-on-one with kids. Somewhere in the middle is a setting in which the time flies by with both the volunteer and the students benefitting from spending time together.

Here's the system I used for volunteers when I taught second grade. I put a...

July 14, 2008

Summer is a great time for planning big projects for next year's class. In today's climate, a teacher would be hard pressed to plan for a big project without considering having students research a topic online.

The problem is there are too many websites! A quick Google search on just about any topic returns hundreds (if not thousands) of results. Where's a student to begin?

The...

June 24, 2008

I've written twice before about reading logs: back in August 2007 with "Reading logs, reading blahs" and then again in April 2008 with "Should reading with parents count?"

Those two posts have sparked lots of comments, all of which carried valid...

March 11, 2008

A question came to me via the Ask the Expert service that Reading Rockets provides. With the teacher's permission, I'm including it here to get your opinion.

Question: We were recently told by an administrator that research shows that crossword puzzles and word search...

February 26, 2008

A few weeks ago I blogged about a kindergarten lesson where the students were confused by the word pause, thinking the teacher meant applause or paws. I promised that teacher I'd send her some materials about vocabulary development with second language learners. I thought I'd share some of the resources I like.

Our sister site, Colorin Colorado...

September 17, 2007

For six years I trained and observed preservice elementary education students. I vividly remember one lesson, observing a student teacher whose lesson plan included using timed repeated readings to increase her students' reading speed.

Everything started off well until I saw the text she planned to use: A POEM. For timed repeated readings! I watched as she worked with students one-on-...

August 29, 2007

Many of us are back to school by now. And for most of us, that means daily reading logs, where a parent signs a log each night confirming that her child has read at home that day. For us, we're on day five, and we're already a little bored.

In the spirit of starting the year off on the right foot, here are a few ideas (hopes? hints?) for teachers and parents that may make reading logs...

May 8, 2007

My daughter Anna LOVES to write. It's something she's always enjoyed doing. Her kindergarten class has Writer's Workshop several times a week, and she eagerly publishes her stories. During our school's Author Share later this month, Anna's planning to share a book of short stories she's penned.

She has fantastic skill with dialogue, word choice, and even a surprise ending or two. Where...

April 3, 2007

6:17 A.M.

Anna: Mama, you know how it says "The Solar System" on the wall of my classroom? Well, it really says 'The space solar space system space.'

Me: (Yawn) Um, what sweetie?

Anna: On the wall. It really says, "The space solar space system space." You know, you have to put a space in-between words otherwise it just says gobbledy-gook.

Me: Oh, right!...

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"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain