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Top Teaching: Reading

Helpful reading tips and strategies from Scholastic Top Teaching bloggers.

Test Taking Strategies in Reading Workshop. As I begin to dive in and begin this work with my students, I revisit some of the strategies that I taught last year and devise a plan to rollout to my students. The tips that I am about to share are developed from the collaborative work with my fellow teachers.

Happy and Engaged Writers: Graphic Novels and Underpants. Picture reading a book to your class while they all sit on the edge of their seats, anticipating the next word. Picture hearing your class roar with laughter when you get to the punch line in a novel. Imagine a text so compelling that even your most reluctant writers are inspired to create their own books upon hearing it. Sound impossible? Then you haven’t had Captain Underpants visit your class.

Tips for Teaching Sight Words and High-Frequency Words. The terms sight words and high-frequency words are often used interchangeably, however there are differences between the two. To explore how they vary, first we must remind ourselves that there are six types of syllables. In addition, The Wilson Reading System systematically introduces one exception to each of these syllable types. There are also several spelling rules.

3 Interactive Resources for Reading Month! March is National Reading Month! With that thought in mind, I’d like to share some great items that I use both at home and in my classroom to help students develop a love for reading.

Test Prep Tips Using Academic Olympics. It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again . . . state testing! Standardized testing is a reality in today’s teaching world, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded annual event, nor does it mean you must “teach to the test.” You have been teaching your heart out all year, and your kids are ready. Your “academic athletes” just need a little “coaching” to help ease their nerves, review concepts taught, and prepare them for the big event.

Kinesthetic Learning — Not Just for Dyslexic Learners. There are lots of strategies for helping students with dyslexia that can actually be used with the whole class, benefiting all students. One...

100 Books That Build Character. This week I would like to share with you some of the titles from my character values collection. If you have read some of these books, you'll understand that many of the titles fit equally well in more than one category and it was tough for me to choose just one. I hope you will find my list useful in your classroom, or even in your homes.

10+ Resources to Expand Your Students' Vocabulary! Expanding a child's vocabulary has such a positive impact on their overall academic performance. Often, vocabulary holds the meaning for the content they're digesting. Without understanding the words they're reading about, children often become lost in their stories and studies.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges as Mentor Text. I am using this text as a springboard for the primary social issue that the students will be exploring. For our book clubs, the students will be reading either Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood and The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. Each group will consist of no more than four students.

Hit a Home Run: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Kick off Chinese New Year and Black History Month with the novel, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Hit a home run with Common Core State Standards extensions and free resources!

Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy. As my class and I prepare to celebrate the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are inspired to become active in our communities and look for ways in which we can help others. In our school, like many others, we have participated in food drives for local food banks and raised money to help those affected by natural disasters in the United States and abroad.

Incorporating MLK Into Your Teaching Day. January brings an opportunity to learn, reflect, and share as a class an understanding of a man that stood for peace in this world. Read on to find a lesson that works best for you and your class when honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Boost Your Book Orders! I love Scholastic Reading Club orders and Book Fairs for countless reasons. Of course, it brings the joy of reading into the homes of my students, but (let’s be honest) it also helps me earn freebies and teacher reward points that can be used to purchase more books and goodies for my classroom and professional libraries. Take a peek at my tips and FREEBIES for boosting student book purchases and making the most of your experience with the book fliers!

Getting Kids Excited to Read From a Kid's Point of View. We all have different types of readers in our classroom. They range from the enthusiastic reader who can’t put a book down, to the reluctant reader who would rather do anything else but read. To them, reading equates to pain and suffering. This is the group that gives me pause and heartache. I love to read and aspire to encourage my students to develop or strengthen their approach to reading.

Common Core Kindness. Every month in the school year is a great month talk about being kind to others, but I use December to emphasize this idea because of all the joy that surrounds the idea of giving. This is a wonderful time to share with students about the greatest gifts that one can give and how priceless they can be. Here are three wonderful ways you can incorporate random acts of kindness into your holiday planning.

Get Crafty With Your Common Core Reading this Holiday Season. The winter season is filled with rich topics that can help your students meet Common Core State Standards.

Note-Taking Using Graphic Organizers. For our class, note-taking is defined as any method used to jot notes in our notebooks to help us understand what we have read. Interestingly enough, the students have noticed that this strategy is not just for nonfiction, but can be applied to fiction reading as well. It is my hope that allowing students to “own” the method that speaks to them, it will cement the learning of the text and offer them success and growth in their reading.

Getting Kids Excited to Read From a Kid's Point of View. My colleagues and I have shared ideas about how to motivate and excite our students to read more.

Gustav Gloom and The People Taker: A Fantasy Study. A genre study on fantasy stories is a great lesson that can tie into this read. Because the book is fiction, I was able to study fantasy and teach literary elements at the same time. I was able to cover story elements, tie in writing prompts, and end of the book reflections.

Hana’s Suitcase: Unpacking Engaging Response Activities. While this blog post will focus primarily on specific hands-on and tech-based activities to enhance your literature study of this text, download a FREE complete literature study unit recommended by the official Hana’s Suitcase website to guide your exploration of this amazing story.

Setting up the Middle School Classroom Library. One of the things in my classroom of which I am most proud is my classroom library. Actually, the classroom library setup is one of my non-negotiables for my classroom setup at the start of the year. Once the classroom library is completed, usually everything else falls into place.

4 Tips to Promote Student Learning in the Library. 21st-century-learners need 21st-century research skills. In an effort to enhance student use at the library and incorporate more meaning and purpose into class library trips, I use the following ideas in my classroom.

Scholastic Book Wizard Goes Mobile.The Scholastic Book Wizard offers a searchable database of over 50,000 books from all publishers as well as a huge selection of teaching resources to help you match the right books to your students.

Fun and Easy Vocabulary Activities. Everyone loves to play games. We do some of our best learning through them. I find that when it comes to playing games in the classroom, my “grown-up” preteen sixth grade students become eager and ready to learn.