My plan for learning and practicing next week is…
A listening center would consist of a quiet area of the room where the teacher would place a
tape recorder with head phones and books on tape. This center allows students to listen to the
book as well as read it.
The “living books” are interactive multimedia CD rom books that allow students to click on
words and hear them spelled and pronounced. Also, a feature of the books includes matching
vocabulary and having interaction with the pictures on the page.
Making and Breaking
Using magnetic letters, tile letters or foam letters the teacher can demonstrate how words
work. When children understand how words work, they can use what they know about one word
to construct or take apart another. For example, when the children know “the” and “cat”, they
might be able to put together “that”.
Concept maps show the “shape” of the subject, the relative importance of information and ideas,
and the way that information relates to other information. They can also be used to summarize
information, to consolidate information from different sources, to think through complex problems
and as a way of presenting information that shows the overall structure of your subject.
A basic Concept Map is drawn in the following way:
1. Write the title of the subject in the center of the page, and draw a circle around it.
2. For the first main heading of the subject, draw a line out from the circle in any direction, and
write the heading above or below the line.
3. For subheadings of the main heading, draw lines out from the first line for each subheading,
and label each one4. For individual facts, draw lines out from the appropriate heading line.
Tips: Use single words or simple phrases for information. Print words. Use color to separate
different ideas. Use symbols and images. Use shapes, circles and boundaries to connect information.
Use arrows to show cause and effect.
Survey, question, read, recall and review is the SQ3R technique used to learn from a document
by building a mental framework into which facts can then be fit. The stages are explained
Survey – Survey the document: scan the contents, introduction, chapter introductions and chapter
summaries to pick up a shallow overview of the text and form an opinion of whether it will
be of any help.
Model SQ3R (cont.)
Question – Make a note of any questions that come to mind or particularly interest you about the
subject as a result of your survey. Perhaps rescan the document to see if any questions stand
out. These questions can be considered almost as study goals – understanding the answers can
help you to structure the information in your own mind.
Read – Now read the document. Read through it in detail, taking care to understand all the
points that are relevant. In the case of some texts this reading may be very slow if there is a lot
of dense and complicated information.
Recall – Once you have read the document, or a section of it, run through it in your mind a
number of times. Isolate out the core facts or the essential processes behind the subject, and
then see how other information fits around them. Some things may require more recital than
others for them to sink in.
Review – Once you have run through the exercise of Recalling the information, you can move on
to the stage of reviewing the information. This review can be by re-reading the document, byexpanding your notes, or by discussing the material with someone else. A particularly effective
method of reviewing information is to have to teach it to someone else.
The study of the formal characteristics, shapes, and variations of words or lexical units.
Onset and Rime
The onset is the beginning sound in a word. The rime is the “chunk” of the word that is common
to many different words. For example, in “look”, the onset is the “l” and the rime is “ook”.
Teachers can demonstrate how to make analogies by using words they know to build new words.
If the student can write “look”, they can also write “book” and “took.”
A typical “paired fiction” writing class begins with students being paired. Instructors should participate
as writers whenever possible, but primarily instructors will lead students through some
basic story writing steps. The instructor’s initial instruction lets students know that in this particular
class they will write short stories, and that each writer will be writing and reading two texts.
The instructor should then let the students know that what they will write need not be great fiction,
but that it should just make sense – that each sentence follow the preceding one. The instructor is
simply trying to encourage causality and imagination in the writing activity, and should employ the
following free-writing guidelines: the writing will be ungraded, everyone should keep their pens
writing as much and as fast as possible, and no talking (but laughing is permitted).
Each pair writes two coauthored stories by switching texts (text switching can be as basic as
switching paper or computer stations, or easily work within small InterChange conferences) with
his or her partner, back and forth at the instructor’s prompting. The writing and reading time is
divided with prompts designed toward writing “parts” of a story.
The instructor’s prompts, in effect, structure the students’ stylization of possible narratives. Instructors
will want to emphasize playful writing attitudes and the freedom to employ wild creativity,
as well as the fact that the texts are forms of communication and need to demonstrate clearOne of the most effective structures for paired fiction writing is to suggest switching at the five
classic elements of narrative structure; 1) creating settings, 2) creating characters 3) creating
incidents and complications, 4) bringing story elements to a crisis, and 5) bringing story elements
to a resolution. Or, more character-centered narratives could be created with prompts like; setting,
main character(s), character dialog, complications, villains, unexpected twists, and resolution.
Narrative elements can also be developed by prompting students to write with particular points of
view, tones, or even using specific words. Utilizing themes already discussed in previous classes
can easily tap a wealth of background data in each student writer and can be set up as part of the
stories’ preconditions. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the actual structure and
texture of the story construction can be customized to achieve a variety of classroom and literacy
Paired Writing (cont.)
Typically, students write between five and ten minutes before switching texts; however, the timing
for writing and reading through the prompts can easily be adjusted to available class time. The
instructor is also the timekeeper and will need to give warnings when the writing time for the
particular prompt is running out. In the last few seconds before the next switch and prompt, the
instructor should request that each student finish the sentence he or she is writing and stop.
The fact that story creating is a flexible process, allows K-16 instructors to create a sense of
community in their particular classes by developing their own imaginative and powerful prompts.
For example, one instructor who is experiencing a class of students who aren’t certain they want
to be in school might prompt students to create a school setting that they wish they could really
have, describe a principal, teacher or professor as a hero (or villain), describe teachers and students
who would be part of this imagined “school,” suggest a fair alternative to going to school,
develop a learning situation in or out of school, and resolve the learning situation.
Another instructor might want to set up a reading or discussion of Lord of the Flies by using paired
fiction writing with such customized prompts as describe an island, introduce yourself and some
other classmates as the island’s only inhabitants, explain what it’s like to live without adults, imagine what possible conflicts arise, imagine a particular crisis, and imagine a possible resolution
to your island situation.
Instructors and students don’t have to be experts in fiction writing. Building on such basic elements
of fiction writing as setting, character, conflict, crisis and resolution will guarantee the success of
this in-class activity because story telling is a form of thinking most people learn to understand and
practice at a very young age. Most writers have innate narrative skills since so much our discourse
uses stories to make sense of our worlds.
The divided writing parts can be created from an endless variety of prompts and time constraints,
and can be focused on particular learning goals. For example, students can practice
cohesion and coherence by being prompted to switch after each sentence or paragraph. With
Paired Writing (cont.)
sentence switching, students will learn to concentrate on each sentence and anticipate what may
come next. With paragraph switching, students will learn to think about linking ideas with
possible transitions. There are an incredible amount of learning possibilities for writers of
paired fiction because students’ innate sense of narrative almost always makes this writing and
reading activity feel natural and easy.
The following three-step pair-share process will help incorporate collaborative learning in class.
Demonstration Pair. Select a volunteer to help with your demonstration. Show the class what
you did; appear to be talking mostly to your partner, even though you’re really talking to the
whole class. Now ask your partner to do the same. For example, if you’ve just done a journal
activity to open the day, call someone up to the front, then explain what you did, holding up your
book so everyone can see. Now ask your partner to share her work. She’ll probably do it much
like your model.
Actively interact and share with your partner to model how we get ideas from each other. Forexample, in recapping a journal activity, say things like, “Wow, that’s a good idea! Can I borrow
it?” Then add it to your own work by writing or drawing it in your journal, and let everybody see
you do it.
When you’re demonstrating new skills or techniques, use a similar process. If you’re showing
kids a new piece of software, for example, select a partner to repeat your work in front of the
group, in his or her own file, after your demonstration. In addition to its other benefits, demonstrating
in this way will help make sure that you don’t introduce too many topics at once. Always
ask lots of questions during your demonstration, and give good directions.
When you’re doing a pair-share activity, always start by modeling the deciding of who goes first.
Ask the class before you begin sharing your work, “How can we decide who goes first?” They’ll
say things like “ask who wants to” or “flip a coin” or “ladies first.” Take one of their suggestions.
It teaches them respect and communication skills.
Step 2: Model Pair. Now ask two other students to share their work with each other aloud in
front of the class. Note that although they are doing it in front of the group, you should encourage
them subtly in your instructions to share with each other, even though they’re doing it aloud.
Listen to them as they explain their work to see if they understood your instructions and the
concepts involved. As you select people to model different activities, keep shifting the patterns
for how you choose them—sometimes two people at one table, sometimes two people from two
adjacent tables, sometimes two people across the room from each other and so on. Doing so
will help you build a broader sense of community in the class, get kids to interact with more of
their classmates and force kids to pay closer attention.
Step 3: Class Pairs. Now have everyone turn to someone else and share his or her work.
Give them one or two minutes then walk around, listening and participating. Keep
alert for students who seem to be having difficulty so that you can help them later. If someone
has done something exceptionally creative, hold it up for the group. If there seems to be anybroad confusion, remodel the activity or technique before moving ahead, and repeat the entire
pair-share process, paying particular attention to your directions and areas in which people
seemed to have difficulty.
Once you’ve reached the end of a project or a milestone product within a larger project, always
have a group share so that everyone can spend more time examining and learning from each
The patterned language approach addresses word identification skills with an emphasis on word
meaning. It is intended for use by teachers helping students to read. Connections between oral
language and the written word are made by reading texts with patterned language, such as
nursery rhymes or Dr. Seuss books. Students are encouraged to recognize the printed word.
Patterned Text (cont.)
To use the patterned language approach, follow these steps.
1. Select the reading material. The teacher selects appropriate reading material with patterned
language. Look for highly repetitive and predictable materials that allow for choral
2. Read the selected material. The teacher and student(s) read the material together. At this
stage, students should be making connections between verbal and written language.
3. Make and match text strips. Portions of the text are written on strips of paper (this can be done
ahead of time if desired) and students are asked to place the strip next to the matching text in the
book. If the students appear to be using picture clues to match text, copy the text on chart paper
and have the students match strips to the chart instead.
4. Write word cards. Word cards are made from the text, and students match words to the chart.
The teacher breaks the group into smaller groups to revise and edit student writing. Specific
tasks should be assigned to peer editors to elicit the most helpful responses and non-judgemental
responses. Questions that can be posed during peer-editing include the following: Can you determine the papers audience?
Is the purpose of the essay clear?
Does the introduction give the reader clues about the subject of the essay?
Does the writer have transitions to help connect ideas?
Use the following markings for revisions:
Draw a straight line under words or images that are effective. These words would include
strong verbs, specific details, memorable phrases, and striking images.
Draw a wavy line under words or images that are weak or unconvincing. Put these lines under
words the writer repeats too often, ideas that seem vague, flat, or unnecessary.
Put brackets around sentences or groups of sentences that you think could be combined.
Put parentheses around sentences that are awkward or don’t make sense.
Phonemic Awareness is knowledge of words, syllables, and phonemes (individual speech sound)
along a developmental progression, and includes rhyming, recognition and production, blending
and matching of phonemes, segmentation and substitution.
Implicit teaching of phoneme awareness involves word play through rhyme and alliteration, and
games that involve manipulation of sounds in names, songs, poetry and drama. Students who
are not progressing with implicit teaching will benefit from structured teaching about halfway
through the kindergarten year.
Syllable awareness – Children clap syllables in their names and in familiar words.
Phoneme Recognition – Students recognize rhyming pairs in a series of words: fish, house dish.
Students supply a rhyming word: What rhymes with cat? Students indicate which word does
not rhyme: cat…rat….pig…hat…bat
Sound Blending – Students blend individual phonemes or onsets and rimes to form words. s…i…t
sit m…a…t mat bl…ack.. black
Phoneme Matching – Students identify words that begin/end with the same sound: mat….mouse…dog.. train.. hat…pan
Phoneme Segmentation – Students separate phonemes within a word: dog d…o…g
Phoneme Substitution: Students substitute phonemes to create new words: pig…rig…jig…fig…
Phoneme Definition – Students remove phonemes to create new words: say wheat without the
“wh” – eat.
Pictionary is a form of visual communication. Players identify unknown words through sketches
in the shortest time possible (usually under one minute per drawing). Prefixes, root words,
shapes, math and science vocabulary words are good subjects for a pictionary game.
Pictures are used instead of words to define target vocabulary. This dictionary is especially
helpful to younger children before they are able to read or ESL students for the first words
learned in English.
Before reading a book, students would look at the pictures in the book examining their content
and possibly (depending on grade levels) the captions and graphics that accompany them. This
establishes a background knowledge for discussion for predicting what the story is about.
Mnemonics are methods for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall.
A very simple example of a mnemonic is the “30 days hath September” rhyme.
The best kind of books to use for shared reading are those with repeated patterns, refrains,
pictures and rhymes. This allows children to “pretend read” a book that has been read to them
several times. Some examples of these type of books are: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. or Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
Overall prior knowledge is the sum total of learning that students have acquired as a result of
their cumulative experiences both in and out of school. Specific prior knowledge is the particular
information a student needs in order to understand text that deals with a certain topic.
Specific prior knowledge is of two types: text-specific knowledge calls for understanding about
the type of text—for example, a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end; topic-specific
knowledge entails understanding something about the topic—for example, knowing about dinosaurs
before reading a book on prehistoric animals. The more students read and write, the more
their prior knowledge grows which, in turn, strengthens their ability to construct meaning as
Drama that is meant to be performed as a group reading, not as a fully staged production. It is
useful oral reading practice to improve fluency and pronunciation practice for Second Language
Artifacts from a particular region, culture, or activity.
Mexico – Zarape, sombrero, bullfighting posters, maracas, pesos
Rodeo – Lasso, saddle, buckles, barrels, rodeo clowns
Football- Jersey, shoulder pads, cleats, video of game, football
In small discussion groups of four to six students, one student is selected to be the teacher. The
“student teacher” facilitates the group discussion of a text selection by using the following steps: 1. Predict. Help the group make a guess about what the paragraph will say. 2. Read.
Read aloud the selection. 3. Clarify. Ask whether there are any words or ideas that are unclear.
4. Question. Ask questions about important information in the selection. 5. Summarize. Paraphrase
in one or two sentences what the selection was about.
Retelling is a reflection tool that requires readers to organize information after reading a piece
of text in order to provide a personalized summary. Students engaging in retells must review all
they know about a text; select key points that reflect main ideas; consider key events, problem,
solution, characters, and setting. They are then able to put together those ideas to communicate
them in an organized fashion.
This is a word game of categories where all answers have to begin with the same letter. For
instance, if the letters selected is “R” then for each of the 12 categories, the words must begin
with “R.” Categories could include things such as an ice cream flavor, a president, something you
find in the refrigerator, countries, a noun, a verb, etc. After three (3) minutes answers are
compared and duplications score nothing, but original answers receive one point each.
Semantics is the meaning that words have in relationship to each other as well as on their own.
A process in which the teacher and children read together with a big book or an enlarged text. The
text is read and reread many times by the teacher. As the children become more familiar with the
book or text, they join in and “share.”
A process in which the teacher and children write together. Usually the teacher will lead the
children in a discussion to share ideas and will record the children’s ideas as they watch. Shared
writing can be used to write a wide variety of things such as: retellings of stories, class observations
of pets, plants, science experiments, news of the day, wall stories and big books. Sheltered Content
To teach academic subject matter to English Language Learners using comprehensible language
content enabling information to be understood by the learner.
Silent Sustained Reading (SSR)
SSR is a special time set aside each day when every students (an every teacher and staff person,
including the principal and the custodian) is expected to “drop everything” and read silently to
demonstrate to students that pleasure-reading is something to be valued by all. SSR can serve
•Most school reading is assigned reading. SSR offers students an opportunity to read material of
their own choice.
•During SSR time, many students learn that they can use their word attack skills to figure out new
words — on their own.
•SSR can build students’ confidence in their abilities to work through reading trouble spots.
•Many studies of whole-class groups and of select groups of unmotivated readers show that SSR
can result in students wanting to read more.
•The amount of time that students spend reading independently outside of school often increases
as a result of SSR.
•SSR can be one more element in a reading program aimed at demonstrating the joy that reading
can bring and developing lifelong readers and learners.
Skimming and Scanning
To skim, a reader glides over the surface of a text, reading selected important parts rapidly in
order to get an overview of content and organization. To scan, the reader looks through the text
rapidly to locate specific information.
A writing frame consists of a skeleton outline to scaffold students’ nonfiction writing. The skeleton
framework consists of different key words or phrases, according to the particular generic form. The template of starters, connectives and sentence modifiers which constitute a writing frame gives
students a structure within which they can concentrate on communicating what they want to say
whilst scaffolding them in the use of a particular generic form. However, by using the form students
become increasingly familiar with it.
The use of a frame should always begin with discussion and teacher modelling before moving on to
joint construction (teacher and students together) and then to the student undertaking writing
supported by the frame. This oral, teacher modelling, joint construction pattern of teaching is vital
for it not only models the generic form and teaches the words that signal connections and transitions
but it also provides opportunities for developing students’ oral language and their thinking.
Some students , especially those with learning difficulties, may need many oral sessions and sessions
in which their teacher acts as a scribe before they are ready to attempt their own framed
It would be useful for teachers to make ‘big’ versions of the frames for use in these teacher
modelling and joint construction phases. These large frames can be used for shared writing. It is
important that the child and the teacher understand that the frame is a supportive draft and words
may be crossed out or substituted. Extra sentences may be added or surplus starters crossed out.
The frame should be treated as a flexible aid not a rigid form.
Frames are helpful to students of all ages and all abilities (and, indeed, their wide applicability is
one of their most positive features).
Use of writing frames should be focused on particular children or small group of students, as and
when they need them. They are not intended as class worksheets, for within any class there will
always be students who do not need them.
A DISCUSSION FRAME
There is a lot of discussion about whether _____
The people who agree with this idea, such as _____ claim that _____
They also argue that _____
A further point they make is _____
However there are also strong arguments against this point of view. _____ believe that _____
Another counter argument is _____
After looking at the different points of view and the evidence for them I think _____ because _____
A RECOUNT FRAME
Although I already knew that
I have learned some new facts. I learned that
I also learned that
Another fact I learned was
However the most interesting thing I learned was
A detailed traditional narrative outline of a lecture. Key words and phrases are left blank to be
filled in by the student as the presentation progresses. This promotes active listening as the
students fill in key words and phrases from the lecture.
A substitution drill would consist of a patterned sentence or model that is modified in some way to
have students change grammatical structures. EX: The dog is __________. (barking) The cat is
_____________. (meowing) The girl is __________. (laughing) This substitution drill would be
used to increase comprehension and word meaning of -ing verbs. This works well to learn inflections
for verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs in the early stages of language acquistion.
The function and relationships of words in a sentence.
A graphic organizer used to compare and contrast subjects, themes, books, events, etc. during a
barnstorming session before writing.
Example: Football and Soccer
Use balls Goals
Have teams Rules
Have players Uniforms
Played outdoors Use of body
Have penalties Officials
Have Halves Positions on teams
Have time-outs Periods
Retelling is a reflection tool that requires readers to organize information they’ve gleaned from
the text in order to provide a personalized summary. Students engaging in retells must review
all they know about a text; select key points that reflect main ideas; consider key events, problem,
solution, characters, and setting, then putting together those ideas to communicate them in
an organized fashion.
Text Scavenger Hunts
A guided reading strategy in which students may work individually, in pairs, or in teams to
“hunt” for answers to questions. The teacher may prepare questions from a book (expository,
narrative, or reference) the internet, maps, word walls, etc. for the students to look through and
hunt for answers. http://users.massed.net/~
The Writing Process
One way of modeling learning for students is with the think-aloud approach where the teacher’semphasis is on the actual thinking process that he or she goes through in approaching and
carrying out a cognitive task such as inferring a main idea.
Think, Pair, Share
Think, pair, share is a simple technique with great benefits. It results in increased student
participation and improved retention of information. Using the procedure, students learn from
one another and get to try out their ideas in a nonthreatening context before venturing to make
their ideas more public. Learner confidence improves and all students are given a way to participate
in class, rather than the few who usually volunteer.
Step One: Teacher poses a question
The process of think, pair, share begins when the teacher poses a thought-provoking question for
the entire class. This may be a straightforward question or a problem the teacher wants to pose
to the class for solution. For example, “What is symbolized in the story of Snow White?” Low
level, single right answer questions are to be avoided in this model. Questions must pose problems
or dilemmas that students will be willing and able to think about.
Step Two: Students think individually
At a signal from the teacher, students are given a limited amount of time to think of their own
answer to the problematic question. The time should be decided by the teacher on the basis of
knowledge of the students, the nature of the question, and the demands of the schedule. It may
be helpful, though it is not required, to have students write out their individual responses and
solutions. Students should understand that while there may be no one right answer, it is important
that everyone come up with some reasonable answer to the question. This step of the
procedure automatically builds “wait time” into the classroom conversation.
Step Three – Each student discusses his or her answer with a fellow student
The end of the think step signals to the students the time to begin working with one other
student to reach consensus on an answer to the question. Each student now has a chance to try
out possibilities. Together, each pair of students can reformulate a common answer based on
their collective insights to possible solutions to the problem. At times, the process can go onestep farther by asking pairs of students to regroup into foursomes to further refine their
thoughts before sharing with the group at large. These small group settings are less threatening
to individual students than venturing forward before the whole group with an untried answer.
The pair step in the model also promotes much more conversation among students about the
issues entailed by the question.
Step Four – Students share their answers with the whole class
In this final step, individuals can present solutions individually or cooperatively to the class as a
whole group. Where pairs of students have constructed displays of their answers., as in a chart
or diagram, each member of the pair can take credit for the product of their thinking.
The final step of think, pair, share has several benefits to all students. They see the same concepts
expressed in several different ways as different individuals find unique expressions for
Think, Pair, Share (cont.)
answers to the question. Moreover, the concepts embedded in the answers are in the language
of the learners rather than the language of textbook or teacher. And where students can draw
or otherwise picture their thoughts, different learning modalities and preferences can come into
play in the attempt to understand the ideas behind the answers.
The success and quality of the think, park, share activity will depend on the quality of the question
posed in step one. If the question promotes genuine thought for students, genuine insights
are sure to emerge in successive steps.
The proficient reader uses three major cueing systems in making sense of text. These cueing
systems are not used in isolation; the proficient reader integrates the three cueing systems so
quickly that the process appears simultaneous. Teachers should encourage all readers to use the
three cueing systems appropriately.
The three cueing systems, which are the foundation used in the process of reading, are syntactic,
semantic, and graphophonic.
Syntax is the frame or grammatical structure of a language. It is the arrangement and interrelationship
of words, phrases and clauses in sentences, and paragraphs. This cueing system is based
on the structures and patterns of the language. Learning experiences should include activities
such as the following: patterning, cloze, innovations, and masking.
SYNTACTIC CUES include the following:
1. word endings
2. function words – parts of speech, parts of sentences, transition words
3. word order – structure for sentences such as the following:
a. where to put subject and object in sentences
b. which pronouns to use in relationship to these subjects and objects
c. where adjectives occur in relationship to nouns
4. sentence patterns
9. 2nd language processing, e.g., adjective after noun as in a sentence in French
10. intonations (correct reading of punctuations)
12. cues to word identification
13. one or more meaningful words substituted for the appropriate part of speech (they may or
may not support original/meaning of text)
Semantics is the meaning that words have in relationship to each other as well as on their own.
This cueing system assists the reader in deriving meaning from text and illustrations. A reader
must have sufficient life and language experience to make sense of what is being read. Learning
experiences should include activities such as the following: predicting, participating, discussing,
illustrating, representing, and reproducing. SEMANTIC CUES enable a proficient reader to:
1. preserve essential meaning
2. make sense of text
3. grasp main ideas and thoughts
4. use intonation for meaning
5. read punctuation appropriately
6. substitute one or more meaningful words, e.g., pail = bucket
7. make sequential association appropriately (does not make the error of saying happy birthday
when text reads “another happy occasion)
8. self-correct a miscue based on preceding context
9. interpret appropriate meaning of text making allowance for cultural connotations or influences,
Graphophonics is the relationship between letters and sounds. This cueing system helps the
reader to make sense of text by dealing with the relationship between the sounds of language
and the written form of language. The two parts are graphemes for printed symbols and phonemes
for sounds (phonics). Learning experiences should include modeling by teacher, using the
newspaper, writing daily, and using manipulatives.
GRAPHOPHONIC CUES include:
1. word configuration – shape
2. correspondence between letters and sounds
Total Physical Response (TPR)
TPR is a language learning method based on coordinating speech with action. Using physical
response to internalize any new vocabulary or grammatical feature in the target language, this
method uses psychomotor systems to teach vocabulary and sentence forms and supports kinesthetic
learning. Its strengths are 1. High speed understanding of the target language, 2. Longterm
retention of the target language, and 3. zero stress. The goal is meaningful communica-tion.
Steps in TPR:
1. Teacher says command and performs the action.
2. Teacher says command and both teacher and students perform the action.
3. Teacher says command – students perform action
4. Teacher tells one student to perform action.
5. Reverse the roles or students give each other the commands.
A graphic organizer that helps children to see important relationships in the information they
are reading. A Venn diagram is a useful tool for comparing and contrasting ideas.
A useful graphic organizer to help organize information on a topic/subtopic level.
This is a list of possible answers to fill-in-the-blank items on tests, activities, or worksheets.
The vowel and following letters These are also referred to as phonograms or spelling patterns.
At, cat, rat, hat are examples of a word family.
There are many kinds of word sorts. Students would copy words onto flashcards or strips of
paper to physically place in groups or piles by categories. Some possible categories that students
can sort for are rhyming words, words with the same initial letter or final letter, words with the
same number of syllables, categories of words, (colors, places, food, things to do). Words with
inflectional endings (playing/walking, runs/jumps), words with the same vowel sound.
The word wall is a display of high frequency words above or below the alphabet in a classroom. The words are used as resources for writing and reading.
Materials: A large area (bulletin board, blank wall, cupboard doors) for posting the words.
Some teachers use colored background cards, other use colored pens to help the children differentiate
confusing words. Words come from lists of high frequency words and content area words
after consulting the children’s reading stories for the week or their needs in writing. Some
people have high frequency words and content area words listed on the walls separately.
Underling commonly used chunks of words e.g. tell, like, and putting a star or sticker by those
words which belong to large word families helps children focus on mixing and matching parts of
words to make or recognize new ones e.g. tell, bell, well, fell,; or like bike, strike.
The Goal: Children learn to immediately recognize and spell high frequency words and use
their elements (chunks, onsets, rhymes) to read and spell other words.
To Make It Work: “Do” the words, work with them often, not just “have” a word wall and refer
to it when children misspell.
Procedure: Introduce up to five words per week, posting them by initial letter. The words on
the wall must be large enough to be easily seen from all parts of the room.
Have the children chant and clap the letters and sounds of the words, grouping the chunk; e.g.
“t-h”and “i-s” for “this.” Children should write the words using a finger on the table, carpet or
air or with paper and pencil (and perhaps include a handwriting lesson). Attach meaning to the
words and help the children differentiate them from similar words, e.g. “me” and “my.”
The first two days of the week are usually for the week’s new words. After that, any of the word
wall words can be used – reviewing the new ones occasionally. Each selected word can be
clapped, chanted, and written.
As the year progresses, this process takes less time and some additional word wall activities can
be introduced. These are usually done on the back of the paper used for writing the words.
These “on the back” activities include endings, rhymes, cross-checking, and “Be a Mind Reader.” On-the-back Endings: You call out five words that can have a suffix for the children to find,
chant, and write from the wall. (e.g. want, play, walk and day). The teacher states sentences
such as “Bill wantsa dog.” “He played at my house.” “We are walking.” “We can go in two
days.” After each sentence, the children locate the word, determine how to spell the ending, and
write the whole word on the back of the practice paper. Begin with all the same endings (-s, -
es, or -ing) for the words and gradually work to a variety of endings.
On-the-back Rhymes: The words on the front are ones with rhymes that can be used to make
more words such as “best, look, come.” The teachers says sentences that use a word which
rhymes with one on the front of the paper. The children decide which spelling pattern to use to
make the new word. For example: “My brother is a pest.” “I am a good cook.” “I ate some
eggs.” In the beginning, several variants of one word family/rhyme only may be used and
spelled: tell, well, sell, spell. The teacher needs to provide the rhymes so that the children will
not come up with rhymes with different spellings such as “ride” and “cried.” Remind the children
that in their writing, they can use known words to spell unknown words.
On-the-back Cross-Checking: The teacher dictates five words that begin with the same letter on
the front and for the back says a sentence that omits the target word. The children decide which
word makes sense in that sentence and writes the word.
Be a Mind Reader: The teacher decides on a word wall word and gives five clues about that
word. As the children narrow down the possibilities, they scan the word wall and pay attention
to many words. They write down their guesses as the clues unfold. The first clue is always “It is
on the word wall.” The other clues focus on features you wish them to notice such as it has more
or less than ____number of letters or it has ______letters;; silent “e” at the end; number of
vowels or consonants (when they are ready for those labels); beginning letter; rhymes with _______; fits in the sentence “I went for a _______.”; or for clue number five, you can dictate
the word. The clues given depend on the knowledge and needs of the children.
The writers workshop consists of a prewriting session where students write on topics based on
their own experience. Students must identify the audience to whom they will write, the purpose
of the writing, and the appropriate from for their composition. The next step includes the first
draft. Students write a rough draft where content rather than mechanics is emphasized. Next,
the revising stage begins where students share their writing in writing groups. Students should
participate constructively in discussions about each other’s writing and make changes in their
own compositions to reflect the reactions and comments of both the teacher and classmates.
Between the first and final drafts, students make substantive rather than only minor changes. In
editing, students proofread their own compositions identifying and correcting their own mechanical
errors. Next comes the publishing or sharing part of the writer’s workshop. Students
share their finished writing with an appropriate audience.
The writing situation is a one to three sentence orientation to the topic. The directions for
writing are usually shorter and composed of three elements:
1. a suggestion about how a student might think about the topic to get started,
2. a concise statement that names the audience and
3. cue words (also called key words) indicating whether the writing should be expository or
persuasive. Expository: tell, describe and explain. Persuasive: convince and persuade.
Students are not given reminders about these cue words nor any other aspect of the prompt
which is presented without headings, numbers or labels.
When Writing Your Own Prompts:
1. Check for readability and conciseness.
2. Avoid bias and any wording that suggests that the student should take a particular position.
3. Try to keep the structure of your prompts consistent with the example below so students will
be comfortable with this format at the time testing.
The principal at your school has been asked to discuss the effect of watching television on