From the Desk of Kelly Harmon
March 2016 Newsletter
Thank you for joining us in this season of learning! Enjoy this month's newsletter focused on rigorous instruction and digital tools. Our summer 2016 workshops are right around the corner. Be sure to check them out and register early. Our seats are limited!
-Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
The Rigorous Spring Bunny
Use this Cadbury Bunny Tryouts commercial to practice making inferences about authors' message or viewpoint.
First, view the video without any questions. Then, replay the video and ask the questions below. It's important to let students discuss their answers with peers and see other's viewpoints.
Before Second Viewing Questions:
- Why are commercials produced?
- What does the title Cadbury Bunny Tryouts make you think of?
During Viewing Questions: (stop the video at the midpoint)
- What do you notice?
- How is the author appealing to the audience?
- How do you feel while watching this video?
- What does the creator of the video do to make you feel this way?
After Viewing Questions:
- What is the main message of this commercial?
- What does the author want the viewer to do as a result of seeing the commercial?
- How does the author illustrate the message?
- What connections can be made between other media or texts?
Teaching the thinking processes with videos before text helps students practice the steps for thinking at the analyzing or knowledge utilization level without the burden of also decoding words. We want student to develop the steps needed in the mental process of the higher order thinking skill before having to apply the thinking in complex texts. Teach the thinking process first!
Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more links to videos that let students practice the higher level thinking.
How Am I Suppose to Teach Grammar?!?
1. First Impressions Matter
Brain research tells us that the brain remembers things from the first time they encounter them. Students need to see the correct usage of the grammar rule the FIRST time. That is how their brain will remember it. Showing students an incorrect sentence the first day of instruction will be how students picture sentences in their brains. Show students correct examples first! Model write and show a variety of examples of the correct usage for students when introducing a rule or skill. This will be what is imprinted on the student's brain.
2. Provide Authentic Practice
Students need opportunities for real world practice. Very rarely in the real world do we sit down and correct 20 sentences full of grammar mistakes. Allow students opportunities to go on scavenger hunts to locate correct usage of a specific grammar rule. Use library books, signs in the hallways, and personal journals to locate authentic examples of grammar rules used correctly.
3. Be Intentional in Your Instruction
Grammar and mechanics doesn't have to be (or need to be) an hour lesson each day. Instruction should include a brief focus lesson explaining and demonstrating the rule with an authentic piece of writing. Students also need the opportunity to "prove" their findings. This is similar to reading instruction that involves making an inference and supporting it with evidence. Writing instruction is no different. Make students prove their answers. Get our grammar lesson planning template!
Tech Tool of the Month: Kahoot
Create a game as a formative assessment that helps students review foundational knowledge for state assessments. Teachers can download the results in a spreadsheet that details each students' answer to each question. The gaming possibilities are endless. Visit Kahoot.
From Phonics to Fluency: Developing Reading Proficency
Dallas, TXApril 8, 2016
8:30am - 3:30pm
Phonics and fluency go hand-and-hand because they are both essential components of a proficient reader. Join Kelly Harmon this April to boost your knowledge of how to take your students from just sounding out words to reading smoothly with expression! Explore engaging activities that will get your students fluently reading in no time. Plus explore ways to boost reading comprehension skills! Click HERE to learn more!
Marzano Essentials Series: Complex Learning
April 5, 2016
8:30am - 3:30pm
Teachers will learn to construct and implement research-based instructional strategies that ask students to utilize the TEKS student expectations they learn. Highly effective strategies will be modeled and recommended for use when facilitating students as they engage in cognitively complex tasks. Teachers will have the opportunity to strengthen the instructional strategies they currently utilize by practicing intentional planning to monitor for evidence of the desired result. They will also uncover other strategies and criteria required to engage students in complex learning to reach rigorous standards. Click HERE for more information!
Developing Language & Literacy: For Early Childhood Educators
April 22, 2016
8:30am - 3:30pm
Spend the day building your knowledge of the latest ideas and learning for the early childhood classroom. Kelly Harmon will guide educators through developing language through singing, talking, reading, and writing in the early childhood classroom. Learn about shared reading and writing, early literacy centers, and using music & movement to engage three through seven year olds. Also, enjoy make-and-take activities you can immediately use with your students. Click HERE for more information!
Summer 2016 Workshops
The First 25 Days of School for ELAR: Routines & Relationships
June 8, 2016
Learn how to plan and implement Reading & Writing Workshop at the beginning of the school year!
Starting the school year off strong is important and we are here to help! Join us this summer for a day full of learning and planning for your NEXT school year. Learn strategies and activities for building routines and relationships with your students. Don't miss out on this day! Click HERE for more information.
Developing Critical Readers
June 9, 2016
Imagine every student in your classroom engaged in critical thinking while reading! Join Kelly Harmon for a day full of authentic and rigorous reading strategies and activities to transform the way you differentiate reading in your classroom! Explore guided and close reading lessons that engage students and connect to real world literacy learning! Click here for more information!
Best Apps, Digital Tools, & Websites
June 10, 2016
Technology is great for providing explicit instruction, meaningful practice, and student-designed projects and presentations. In this interactive seminar, explore the best apps, digital tools, and websites that will engage your learners and accelerate their learning. Be sure to bring your device or laptop for the hands on make-and-take projects and ideas. Click Here for more information!
Charting the Future: Building Expertise 2016 Marzano Conference
Witness the future of our classrooms: At Building Expertise 2016, Dr. Robert Marzano joins formative assessment expert Dr. Dylan Wiliam and educational neuroscience researcher Dr. David Sousa for keynotes and breakout sessions to introduce startling breakthroughs in classroom practice. You’ll also choose among more than 50 practical workshops, for educators at all levels, devoted to topics like school transformation, change leadership, inspirational feedback, cultivating student autonomy, building collaborative school culture, and reframing classroom instruction to inspire learning like never before. Click here for more information
Marzano's Essentials of Rigor-Save the Date! June 27-July 1, 2016
Plan to join us and learn the best strategies for achieving rigor in your K-12 classroom. Register for each day on the ESC 20 iLearning site. I will have more information in the April Newsletter.
Two Day Intensive Title I Leadership Institute: Strengthening Your Title I Program
Plan to attend as a school or district team, a representative team member or district leader to increase the effectiveness of your Title I program. You will learn how to build on the success of your current program, identify the key components that have the greatest impact on student achievement and find the specific areas you need to target for implementation and improvement. Leave equipped with a wealth of the most effective Title I instructional strategies that will help accelerate your at‑risk students’ achievement in grades K‑6