The Literacy Lowdown

Seawell Elementary - December 2014

Happy Holidays!

'Tis the season for family, friends, and piles of cookies. We hope you get time over the break to snuggle up with a good book...or two...or three...


Here are some gifts from us to you. Scroll down for book recommendations, cool resources, literacy links, and important dates for your calendar. Enjoy!


- Tina & Dara

Teacher Treat

Thanks to 3-5 Coach Rosemary Campbell who made us aware of this free online site. You can find lots and lots of reading passages by grade level, lexile, nonfiction, or fiction genre with questions to go along with the passage. Take a look and enjoy! http://www.readworks.org

Focus on Reading and Writing Conferences

When we confer individually with a student, we interact with the child in a purposeful way in order to support and advance their ability to process a task.

  • Research – Have the child explain the work.

  • Decide – Think about what the child needs.

  • Teach – Give a focused, individualized lesson.

  • Make a Record – Keep track of what you have done.



How Do I Conference With Students? - Writing workshop nuggets in easy to read format.


Video of 4th Grade Writing Conference

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Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Follow the link for sample entries and official rules and guidelines. Or invite Tina in to talk it up with students. Deadline is mid-December. http://read.gov/letters/

Robust Vocabulary Instruction

Check out this exciting site about semantic gradients. Scroll down about halfway to see semantic gradients in action!

Important Dates