Coaching Corner

Volume 1 / Issue 9: Tips, Tools and Resources

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These recipe cards from @1smalltweakAde are great. This is perfect for our STEM challenge of using Stop Motion Studio to make your narrative writing come alive!

Click here to follow @1smalltweakAde on twitter to get more ideas on making small tweaks to your instruction!

See below for the STEM Challenge. Share your students stop motion animation videos using #tusdstem or @tusdstem.

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iPad Teacher Hack: Close Reading Passages from iBooks

Taken from

By: Monica

If you’ve ever searched online for close reading passages, you know it can be hard to find high-quality short texts to share with students. You might try a website like Learnzillion or ReadWorks to grab short passage, but what if you want an excerpt from a longer book? There is an iPad teacher hack that will help you locate a few pages of favorite texts to use with your students.

Anytime you search for a book in the iBook Store (on iPads or Mac computers) you’re able to click on the title for more information. In addition to accessing reviews or related content, you can also download a sample of the book. When you download the sample of a book you are given access to a handful of pages – an excerpt – that will be automatically added to your iBooks library.

With this sample your students not only get a taste for a book they might want to explore in more depth, they also have a short passage to access for a close reading lesson. By using the samples of books this way students (and families) can be exposed to high-quality text that is easily accessible on their device. It also lets you quickly put a copy of a reading passage in front of the eyes of all of your students.

Grab a sample passage from one of these books:

Obviously, if you love the books I mentioned above and want to introduce the full text to students you can purchase the book in the iBook Store or on Amazon. The three on the list above are perfect for literature circles and independent reading as well as a close read of different excerpts from the text – they are also three of my personal favorites.

Link to originally article

I'd also add that in iBooks students can look up a word, highlight the text, and jot down a note!

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Whiteboard Table Hack!

Use dry erase adhesive to make every table/desk in your room a whiteboard. Don't worry, it peels off if you need it to.

Amazon: $4.47 for 20 inch x 10 feet.

Or a cute alternative would be to add these whiteboard dots on a horseshoe table.

Amazon: $6.37 or Target: $6.39

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SolveMe Mobiles

Did you try to solve the puzzle above? Fun, right? And they just get harder! This would be a great warm-up for your students to get their brains moving.

Check it out here: SolveMe Mobiles

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Using Seesaw in Writers Workshop

A 5th grade teacher has her students take a picture of their writing and post it to Seesaw. The benefits?

  • Parents can see what their child wrote that day (if you have it set this way, or approve it).
  • Teachers can then see all their students' writing without having to collect it.
  • Teachers can pull up the student's writing to highlight something in a Teaching Point.
  • Teachers can quickly glance through the writing to see what students need to be pulled for a strategy group.
  • Data, data, data.

Keepin' It Real

This might be one of my favorite pictures of Micah. He was sad and right away both of his cousins ran over to give him a high-five to help him feel better. They were in his corner ready to support him.

As I look at this picture, I am reminded that my goal as an instructional coach is wrapped up in this picture. I am here for you on a good day and on a day when you just need a high-five to pick you back up. I am in your corner and I am here to support you.