Literacy News from Sarah Pagogna

March 2022 Edition

Sparking Authentic Learning

  1. Curiosity- questions are the windows that lead to instruction

  2. Embrace the Mess- things don’t always go as planned. Student curiosity and questions can lead you down other paths on your journey with each lesson. “The Mess” is the part where you are learning more about what your students need

  3. Practice Reflection- what is going well? Why? What could have gone better? What will you try next time?

TRY IT! Walking Rainbow Experiment- easy to do, even with littles!

Start by posing questions to students: What do you think a walking rainbow could be? What do you know about rainbows? What do you know about mixing colors to make other colors?

Show the video to students

Set up the experiment in front of the class. Talk through the steps. Ask students to help you remember what to do next.

As the paper towels absorb the colors and turn into a rainbow, have students make observations, write about the steps, write about their observations, draw pictures of the end product.

Ask students for predictions for what will happen when the paper towel is left overnight. What if we added more cups? What other experiments are they interested in?

Make a classbook of the observations and learning captured during this lesson.

Science connected to literacy- read aloud ideas about rainbows

  • Compare and contrast text.
  • Copy change text. Make a class book.
  • Have students write and illustrate a page to go with one of these texts to make it their own.
  • Talk about the author’s purpose.
  • Talk about connections students may have to these texts.
  • Use the content area vocabulary to label drawings and practice writing in context
  • Directed Drawing lessons with Art for Kids Hub using concepts from content area

Connect literacy and science to art Art for Kids Hub directed drawing lessons

Essential Instructional Practice focus for March- Essential 7 Intentional efforts to build vocabulary and content area knowledge

The teacher:


  • selects vocabulary words to teach from read alouds of literature and informational texts and from content area curricula
  • introduces word meanings to children during reading and content area instruction using child-friendly explanations
  • provides repeated opportunities for children to review and use new vocabulary over time
  • encourages talk among children, particularly during content area learning and during discussions
  • teaches morphology (i.e., meaning of word parts), including common word roots, inflections, prefixes, and affixes

Links to previous Literacy Newsletters

September Edition- Essential 1: Motivation and Engagement

October Edition- Essential 3: Small Group Instruction

November Edition- Essential 4: Phonemic Awareness

December Edition- Essential 6: Writing Instruction

January Edition- Essential 5: Phonics Instruction

February Edition- Essential 8: Abundant Reading Materials

Let's Connect!

Monday at North Rd in Fenton

Tuesday, and Thursday at Weston in Kearsley

Wednesday 1/2 day at Torrey Hill and 1/2 day at West Shore in Fenton

Friday at West Shore in Fenton