Coaching Corner

Volume 1 / Issue 10: Tips, Tools and Resources

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Writers Workshop: How-To Books

Take your students' How-To books to the next level by having them make it into a video. Create a physical space (small corner) in your room for your students to become YouTubers. Use the YouTube Capture app to make the video and add music. Upload the video to your channel and create a playlist for all your How-To's. Set your videos to "unlisted" and this will keep your videos private by letting the viewer only see the videos if they have the link. Try this with any age. See my son, Micah, below using the microphone to search for his favorite videos on YouTube Kids (He's saying "Ryan's Toys" - these kids love toy reviews!).

Need more support? Check out the links below:

How to create a playlist in YouTube

Using YouTube Capture

Video Privacy Settings

Micah and YouTube

Actively Learn

Actively Learn is a great tool for students to have the opportunity to interact and respond to rich text. I often used this to make sure my students were citing evidence when they were responding to what they were reading.

Check out Actively Learn here or watch the intro. video below.

Actively Learn - Teacher Intro

What is Shared Reading in Being a Reader (Grade K & 1)

Check out this Webinar archive (YouTube above): Part 1, Part 2 (two-part due to technical difficulties) on Shared Reading (Gr. K &1).
What is Shared Reading in Being a Reader 03/21/17 (Part 1 of 2)


Written by: Mary Lyons

Strategy groups are effective for all writers. Whether they are working at, above, or below standards, gathering your students together to help them stretch their skills is important!

Page 68 in Writing Pathways K-5 describes an effective structure for small group writing instruction. Note that this is only about a 10 minute session. Keep it brief! You are not trying to hit every teachable moment.

1 - 2 minutes: Teacher briefly introduces reason for small group

Be as direct as possible in explaining why students have been gathered together. Using language such as, “I think your writing will get a lot stronger if you…” helps children understand what is expected of them.

If you refer to a mentor text, be sure it is familiar. Do not introduce a new text within this format.

5 - 6 minutes: Children work (together or individually) as teacher coaches students

As you coach students while writing, “Aim for your commentary to lift their level of work a notch but not for it to solve all the problems you can possibly find.” Stay focused on the reason you’ve gathered students together and be encouraging in helping students persist while working. “You aren’t trying to make writing perfect; you are trying to help the writers practice more skilled work on the one trajectory you’ve chose to address.”

1 minute: Teacher concludes group

Encourage students to do this work across multiple texts. They should return to their other writing to continue this strategy.

Click here for more about Strategy Groups from Mary Lyons.

Too Many Tabs?

Use the Google Chrome Extension called One Tab. Check out the video above to see how it works!
One Tab Chrome Extension

Osmo Pizza Company

For those of you that have an Osmo, check out one of their new game, Pizza Company. Students own their own pizza company where they make pizzas by adding toppings and then as the customer orders they have to make change. Great real life application for working with money.

Keepin' It Real

My husband, Matt, was shopping for a new hat the other day and I couldn't help but notice Micah mimicking everything Matt was doing. He looks up to his dad, literally, with this giant hat on and says, "You see that, Dada?"

How much do we see this with our students? How much do we feel this way as well?

I see all the hard work you are doing for students. I see that.