Archive for March, 2008

Comprehension Strategies 101: Into the Book

I’m on a reading comprehension kick these days, so I’ve been on the look out for useful websites and research articles on the topic. This morning while reading a study on comprehension and vocabulary strategies titled, “Instruction of Metacognitive Strategies Enhances Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Achievement of Third-Grade Students” by Boulware-Gooden, et. al. (2007), I was reminded of a resource my colleague Ettie mentioned to me last week called Into the Book.

This website is an awesome resource if you are looking for ideas on how to incorporate comprehension strategies into your daily literacy teaching practices. You can find resources to help students make connections to the texts they read, learn to question, infer, summarize and more! Plus, there are many video examples of teachers teaching comprehension and vocabulary strategies, so that you can get a taste of what the lessons would look like in your classroom!

Thanks Ettie and thanks to the teachers in Kentucky that shared Into the Book with her.


PS If you are interested in learning more about comprehension strategy instruction, I highly recommend attending the Teachers College Reading Institute this summer. I went last summer and had a ball discussing reading comprehension with K-3 teachers from around the country!


Integrating Themes from Science, Social Studies and More into your ELA Block

While exploring the Teaching Matters Top-Ten Resources page, I learned about Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature site. My favorite part of the site is a section titled, Curriculum Areas. Carol writes, “The curriculum areas listed here each have one or more pages on this site with information such as: related children’s books, activities, related professional books and links to related sites on the internet.” The following is a sampling of some of the curriculum areas she features:

1) Appalachia

2) Flight and Planes

3) Fools and Tricksters

Carol’s list is super extensive! Whether you’re interested in doing a unit on quilts or buildings, Carol’s got a book and activity recommendation that is sure to make your students excited to read and explore!


Grim Fairy Tales

I am currently working on Fairy Tale Unit with my students. I have been searching for a good technology activity to do with the unit, and I just found This interactive site has lots of activities for primary students. They can read a short, factual biography on the Brothers Grim. They can read an interactive, flash version of The Brementown Musicians and Faithful John. Or click on Fun Stuff to play a game or print out a coloring book. I know my kids will have fun making silly outfits for Puss N Boots!


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Thinking about incorporating technology into your classroom?

This video will seal the deal! Ignore the overly dramatic music. Just read the stats about youth and technology, as well as the ideas for how to incorporate podcasts, ipods, and cellphones into your lessons!

Thanks Busy Teacher Cafe for sharing this on your blog!


Need to brush up on your education trivia?

What is A Nation at Risk? What does FAFSA stand for? Who is Wendy Kopp? Find answer to these questions and your own on the SchoolNet K12 wiki!


Top Eight Tips for Reading Teachers

Learning First is a great place for teachers to find all kinds of classroom resources.The Learning First Alliance is a permanent partnership of 18 leading education associations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. We share examples of success, encourage collaboration at every level, and work toward the continual and long-term improvement of public education based on solid research.Browsing through their publications, I found many useful resources for teachers. In the document Every Child Reading: An Action Plan, I found these top tips for reading teachers.

  1. Rely on good research.
  2. Push for good professional development.
  3. Make success schoolwide.
  4. Team up with parents.
  5. How’s it going? (assessment)
  6. Small classes pay big dividends.
  7. Be alert to older nonreaders.
  8. Use help wisely.


Looking for literature recommendations for your elementary school students?

My colleague Cynthia shared this link with me today. eMINTs National Center has compiled a list of recommended reads including great books for boys, great books for girls, and more!

Happy book recommending!


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