Read Theory for Progress Monitoring is a website that allows students to practice reading passages at their independent reading levels.  Students take a placement test when they first logon and the program determines their reading levels.  They are then provided with reading passages and questions based on their level of placement.  As student become proficient at one level, they […]

Picture Books in Middle School

Picture books.  They are not just for elementary.  Even if your middle schoolers think they are too old for picture books, trust me, they are not.  Picture books have something for every kind of reader, from your highest to those who struggle.  So why do I think picture books are so important for these “big […]

A Space to Learn

Every year I promise myself that this is the year I’ll not spend much money on my classroom.  It’s common knowledge how little money teachers earn. But every year, walking back into my empty classroom, I am inspired to make that space the best possible space to learn.  That usually means loads and loads of […]

An Old Friend

An Old Friend An Old Friend — Read on

An Old Friend

An Old Friend An Old Friend — Read on

2 Reasons Graphic Novels are Helpful in Working with Struggling Readers

A question I am often asked by parents, and have even asked myself, is whether graphic novels are helpful or a hindrance when it comes to literacy instruction.  My experience with struggling readers has given me an answer.  Graphic novels have been enormously helpful in my classes of struggling readers.   Here are my thoughts are […]

International Dot Day!

Give me any excuse to celebrate a book with my students.  Last week it was International Dot Day.  The Dot is a short, sweet story full of possibilities.  This is probably why it’s so widely celebrated. Without giving too much away, the story is about a young girl who believes she cannot draw until her art […]

Literacy Lesson Fun

Student engagement during a literacy lesson is a must. It’s also something that’s incredibly difficult with middle schoolers. And even more difficult with Deaf and Hard of Hearing middle schoolers.

Accountability During Independent Reading

Independent reading sounds like a great idea, but how do we know if the students are actually reading?  And if they are, how do we know they understand what they read?  This is especially important in classrooms that include special populations.  My philosophy of teaching reading to struggling readers is that they need to be […]

Teaching Characterization

At the end of last week, I introduced (for some) and reviewed (for returning students) the plot diagram.  I was incredibly proud that my returning students remembered the elements of plot, and impressed that my new students were at least somewhat familiar with the plot diagram.  Even better was that, today, after a long week […]

Benefits of Independent Reading During the First Week.

Independent Reading The first weeks of school are a little crazy.  Especially for sixth graders.  They are new to middle school culture and often overwhelmed by the different teachers, class schedules, and lockers.  As their teacher, I’m overwhelmed too.  The beginning of the year “must do’s” seem never ending.  By beginning an independent reading routine […]