From the Desk of Kelly Harmon

November 2016 Newsletter

Dear Educator,

Happy Thanksgiving month! We are thankful for your readership and the opportunity to collaborate with you. This month, we are focusing on guided reading, phonics fun, and helping students thinking flexibly. Also, be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to access our most recent "Thanksgiving" playlist!

Don't forget to check to out our upcoming workshops and take advantage of our 10% discount when you register 3 or more participants!

Happy Thanksgiving & Teaching!

-Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson

Text Suggestions for November

When we choose texts for our students to read, we should choose texts that require students to use the metacognitive strategies in our learning targets to process the text and capture students' interests! Texts can and should be used more than once. Think of how many times you have watched your favorite movie. Each time, you discover or learn something new. It's a great time of the year to use texts that focus on our American traditions and history while having fun reading various types of texts.

Great Read Alouds for November:

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving

Turkey Trouble

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

10 Fat Turkeys

T is For Turkey

Text Suggestions for Close Reading:

Kids Ditch Princess Costumes in Favor of Super Hero Costumes

Turkey Gets Presidential Pardon

Why Do People Get Phobias?

Any Turkey Can Tango (Song)

Text Suggestions for Fluency:

Albuquerque Turkey Poem

Thanksgiving Dinner

Gobble, Gobble

Texts for Comprehension Strategies:

Five New Balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Traditions

Habit of the Mind: Thinking Flexibly

The Art of Seeing Alternatives

Problem solving involves being able to think flexibly. When we think flexibly, we see other perspectives, generate alternative ideas, and make decisions about the best course of action. It's easy to say, "that's impossible" or "that will never work" but, being able to look at the situation and try to solve it by thinking flexibly is the sign of a growth mindset!

I have used Art Costa's "Habits of Mind" as a springboard for discussion.

Using children's literature or novel studies, we can help students identify with characters who demonstrate examples and non-examples of positive academic behaviors. Below are a few books you can read and discuss during the next few weeks of school.

Texts The Teach 'Thinking Flexibly'

Workshop Offerings

Marzano Center: Essentials for Achieving Rigor Series in San Antonio, TX

January 9, 2016 - Essentials for Achieving Rigor: Core Instruction

In Core Instruction, teachers will learn to construct and implement instructional strategies that help students build foundations when learning new grade-level specific TEKS content.

January 10, 2016- Essentials for Achieving Rigor: Deepen Core Instruction

In Deepening Core Instruction, teachers will learn to construct and implement research-based instructional strategies that support students as they expand, apply, and deepen their understanding of the TEKS student expectations.

February 15, 2016- Essentials for Achieving Rigor: Learning Targets and Measures

In Learning for Targets and Measures, teachers will learn to construct and implement rigorous TEKS-based learning goals and performance scales that not only help students understand what they are learning but also drive instructional decisions.

February 16, 2016 - Essentials for Achieving Rigor: Facilitating Complex Learning

In Facilitating Complex Learning, teachers will learn to construct and implement research-based instructional strategies that ask students to utilize the knowledge and skills they learn. Highly effective strategies will be modeled and recommended for use when facilitating students as they engage in cognitively complex tasks.

All sessions are offered at Education Service Center, Region 20.

Rounding Up the Rhyme

Rounding Up the Rhymes is a great phonics activity to use in the primary grades. Patricia Cunningham developed this activity to be used during the word work instructional block Here are the six easy steps to implementing this activity in your classroom!

Thanksgiving Texts to Use:

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

10 Fat Turkeys

T is For Turkey

Rounding Up the Rhymes (Cunningham)

Select a text that contains rhymes to read and reread.

  1. Round up the rhymes by asking the children identify words that rhyme. Write the rhyming words on index cards and put them in a pocket chart.
  2. Underline the spelling pattern in each word.
  3. Discard any rhyming words which do not follow the spelling pattern. (example: heard, bird)
  4. Use these words to read some other words. Write a word that rhymes and has the same spelling pattern as one of the rounded up pairs. Ask children to put it with the words that have the same spelling. THEN, read all three words together.
  5. Continue step 5 for other words.
  6. Complete the activity by having students attempt to spell some words using the patterns.

Like this activity? Join us at one of our From Phonics to Fluency Workshops this fall to learn more about increasing students phonics knowledge and fluency this year! Click here to learn more!

Kelly Harmon & Associates, LLC

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning. Our services are professional development, curriculum development, instructional coaching, grant writing, project management, and technology integration.