Genius Day Progress

I hope you’ve all had a great off-track time. As advertised on our track off day, I’ll offer a “Genius Day” to any student who reads 31 articles during our 31 day, off-track period. I’m posting an image with the tally so far. There is exactly one week left to meet this challenge.

Students who read 31 articles and quiz on them will receive one full school day to work on a project of their choosing. These are all the students who are in the double-digits. It’s not too late to make the goal. Keep reading! 🙂Screenshot 2016-03-28 15.38.12

Homework: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Spelling: Spelling test tomorrow. Do the best you can with your Spelling City work. I’m still working out a few bugs with early submissions and resetting work. Not every activity will be compatible with a tablet or phone. Sorry, but that is beyond my control. If you are getting error messages saying an activity won’t load, let me know?

Reading: Read Arctic walrus go where the ice is, meaning fewer for Alaskans to hunt. Try the 820 Lexile first. This is a 6th grade Lexile. If it’s too challenging, drop down a level to 690 Lexile which is 4th grade.

Annotate text ONLY for What information/ideas are presented at the beginning of the text? and What words or phrases stand out to me as I read? 

Highlight text yellow. Annotate (write notes) in margin clarifying why you selected that text as significant (important).

Did you forget your guidelines? Here is a copy below. Need to print out a copy? Click HERE for the link to print your own copy.  No excuses. READ. THINK. ANNOTATE. 🙂

Reading Progress!

Close reading is a term used when a student reads a text multiple times for different features each time.

We’re using Newsela as a nonfiction source of text that’s available at different Lexiles (text complexity levels). I assign Newsela articles and recommend a Lexile for students.

We are using the Odell Education Close Reading Guidelines to focus students’ reading.

We’ve been annotating text looking for ideas that stood out during a first read and words or phrases that stood out. As we annotate, we underline or highlight text and then make a note in the margin why the text seemed significant. We discuss these and make sense of any confusion we have.

Your students have been doing this more and more the past week and will continue to do so over the next two years. 🙂

The results?

It’s working!!!!

Here’s a pre-test and post-test snapshot. The lower class average score was before using the close reading guidelines. the higher class average score was after using and learning the guidelines.


Homework: Thursday, September 3, 2015

Math: Finish SPB 1.7. We took the mid-chapter checkpoint and most of you did REALLY well! 🙂 Yay! For those who struggled, good news is this: we will always review, reteach, and learn from our mistakes. Always.

Reading: Read the Newsela article “Despite drought and bugs, “we’re farmers and we’ll continue to farm.” at the 740 Lexile to start. If it’s too hard, drop down to the next Lexile, read, then return to 740 and see if it’s easier to read.

Identify ONLY main ideas in the article by highlighting them green like we have been doing in class. IF…IF you want to move ahead and identify details, reasons, or facts in yellow do so.

Do NOT take the quiz. We will do that and the writing portion tomorrow.

Homework: Monday, August 31, 2015

Math: Finish Big Book 1.6 if not finished in class. Finish standards practice book, too.

Reading: IF…IF…you have reliable internet access. PLEASE read the Newsela article Miners want to explore ocean’s deep floor for precious rocks and minerals article at the 910 Lexile if you can. If it’s too challenging drop down to the 590 Lexile. DO NOT take the test yet. DO PLEASE read it carefully at least 2 times to get the gist of it.

~Taste Test Update~

We need a few more bottles of Dasani and Arrowhead water if you have them to share. We will structure blind taste test tomorrow and begin storyboarding the story we want to tell.

Ask your students about the QFT (Question Formulation Technique) we started today in class. We are working hard to learn protocols (structured thinking routines) in order to make our thinking visible. Want to know what the QFT should look like? Click the link above to see for yourself. 🙂

If you’d like to know more about the thinking moves we’re doing and why we’re doing it, you can Google search Ron Ritchart, Mark Church, or Karin Morrison, the authors of Making Thinking Visible: How to promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for all Learners. Or you can pick up the book from Amazon. (But they’ve written enough papers and blog posts online that you can get the gist of it from free looking around the web.)


Homework: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Math: Finish Big Book (if not finished in class) and SPB (standards practice book) for lesson 1.4. Remember: exponents show repeated factors.

Reading: Read the Newsela article about a program that’s sending pencils half-way around the world! Click HERE to view the article. PLEASE read the note from me at the top of the article. You’ll want to decide which Lexile is best for you.