What's going on??

Kagan Structures anyone??

Looking for some help implementing Kagan structures? I can help! I have access to videos that show you how the structure works in a real classroom! I also have many books that we can use for class building and team building! I have posters we can use! I have the Silly Sports & Goofy Games book! I would be happy to help you work with the kids on class building using structures before you embed content!

Common Language in writing!!

It is awesome to see how different departments are embracing the use of a common language for writing! The social studies, science and physical education departments have asked for the rubrics for information and argument writing! When we all speak the same language, the kids will be able to internalize that language and learn it all better!

If I can help you with using the rubric (or using part of the rubric), please let me know!

I'm here for you!

What I learned in New York!

First, always keep your head up and don't drive in New Jersey! Really, I went to listen and learn from Lucy Calkins herself! We heard a lot of great information about the Units of Study. The real learning, however, was not about the Units of Study. It was about how to be a better writing teacher (no matter if you teach math, science or ELA!)

Lesson One: It's about listening! When we truly listen to students, they feel heard. When you listen and ask a few, well placed questions, you can find the next steps for the student. What are you trying to do? How is it going? What strategies are you working on as a writer? Try to get as much information as possible to help you both decide what to tackle next.

Lesson Two: Be explicit. We have to tell the kids, "this is what I want to teach you." Connect it to what they did yesterday and tell them the teaching point!

Lesson Three: Structure is everything! When writing information pieces, the structure should be apparent. It helps the reader understand what you are trying to say!

Lesson Four: All kids can write and get better at writing if we are explicit and have high expectations.

Check out these videos from Teachers College Reading & Writing Project!

Studying Author's Craft to Learn Literary Techniques

Whole Class Instruction in Studying Author’s Craft and Intent: Reading a Mentor Text so Writers Learn Literary Technique (5-8)

Writers Developing Setting

Whole Class Instruction: Fantasy Writers Develop Setting (5-8)

And Finally

I know many of you are working on small, short research projects. This video from The Teaching Channel might help!

Let me know how I can help you!

Kelly Neylon

Gifted Coordinator &

Instructional Resource Specialist