I am a fan of Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week. His website is loaded with weekly articles you can use to give students interesting topics to which they can write.
I recently read an article in Education Week and asked the author, Anothy Cody, for permission to turn his article, Color Coded High School ID Cards Sort Students by Test Performance, into an assignment for students.
I set up the assignment in a modified version of Article of the Week. I modified the directions and numbered each of the lines in the text. The numbered lines support students in citing the text during classroom discussions.
Download the assignment: Assignment: Argumentative Paper
The assignment includes a Writing Checklist, which you can download separately.
Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing. Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples? We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more. We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details: compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more. As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).
Content Card, Details
Motor Mouth is simply an engaging strategy for students to review important vocabulary. This can be used in any class at any grade level. Did I mention that this is also fun?
I’ve included the PowerPoint with directions and a template that is ready to modify for your own use.
Click here for the Powerpoint!
Exit slips are as tool to check for understanding and get a sense of where your kids are on just about any topic you want. They are so easy to implement.
I’ve written basic directions and examples for using exit slips in your classroom.
Don’t let this idea slip away!
Click here to download the three-page document for working with exit slips.
There are so many times we can help students learn to read for meaning – and using an advanced organizer is just one simple strategy we can use.
Here’s one way to use the technique, with a reading from the Chile mine rescue.
Download the activity which includes directions, the advanced organizer, and the reading.
A quick-write is a literacy strategy that can be used in any content area. In this activity you give students a topic or let them choose one of their own and then give them five minutes or so to write quickly about the topic.
I’ve included brief directions for using Quick-Writes with your students and an example of how to have students fill in their writing logs.
Download the materials now and give the technique a try!
Writing is a tool for thinking and learning. It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing.
This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph.
Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write about data.
In this pdf, I’ve included examples of analysis questions for two different line graphs. Both of these are for the elementary level. For each set of questions, I’ve also included a large size of the graph that you can project and/or give students as they work to answer these questions.
Download the pdf of the Analysis Questions for a Line Graph.
Remember the Success Sequence: Draw, Talk, Write. Have the students use the visual and talk about the answers – preferably in a structured way as you call out the question. Then have students write about the graph.
One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students. This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look. (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)
Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs
Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices
Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies
After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says. You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph. When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.
Use the graphs. Get students talking about the information in the graphs. Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material. And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions. You may even want to add some here!
Use this activity to help your young students learn to tell time. This is called Time on a Line because the clock cards are designed to hang from a string or clothesline. I’ve got a few options for download and use:
Download the entire file at one time.
Download time to the hour.
Download time to the half-hour.
Download the set that has the hour and half-hour in sequence. You can project this set and students can practice reading the times with you.
Download the label cards. The use of the label cards are good to help students with vocabulary related to time.
As always, please share your ideas for using this activity.