From the Desk of Kelly Harmon

April 2016 Newsletter

Happy Spring!

Thank you for your loyalty and continued readership. This month we are focusing on phonics instruction, questioning for comprehension, and innovative technology! Also, be sure to check out our summer workshop offerings in your area. Register soon, space is limited! Happy Teaching!

-Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson

Questions Please!

Learners who are invested in the learning naturally question as they process new ideas or concepts. They ask interpretive, literal, evaluative, and universal questions.

Whoever asks the questions, does the learning.

Here are some ways to scaffold your students’ thinking over time so they become more aware of the act of questioning to learn.

  1. Show students a concrete object that is unusual or unfamiliar to them. Listen and list questions as they begin to flow from natural curiosity.
  2. Create a sensory situation. Bring in an unusual food for students to try. Brainstorm questions before eating that can be answered by eating the food. Connect this to reading a new text or learning a new concept. How does questioning help you understand the new ideas better?
  3. Create an anchor chart with question stems.

For more ways to scaffold your students and questioning lessons, click here!!

Technology Feature: QR Codes!

QR codes save time and keep learners safe!

Post a QR code for quick access to a specific website or internet link you want your students to visit. Teachers can include the QR codes in newsletters to parents as well. This is a safe way for learners to get to the correct internet address.

Students scan the code on the iPad app and go directly to the website or cloud file that contains the target media. While there are free QR code scanners in the App Store, many of these apps contain ads and are not safe for children to use. A paid scanner will be your best bet.

Check out how QR Codes are being used in classrooms!

Thank you Mr. Martin for letting us show off your kindergarten class!

QR Codes in Kinder

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QR Codes in Elementary

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QR Codes in Middle School

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Phonics Focus!

Rivet is phonics game that encourages students to create and build words with the end goal being that students will find the connections between the 6-8 words that they were guided into creating. Not only are students making words, they are taking their learning to the next level of complexity by finding similarities and differences based on word meanings, patterns, and more!

Download our Rivet game here! Instructions included.

Developing Language & Literacy: For Early Childhood Educators

April 22, 2016

San Antonio, TX

Spend the day building your knowledge of the latest ideas and learning for the early childhood classroom. Kelly Harmon will guide educators through developing language through singing, talking, reading, and writing in the early childhood classroom. Learn about shared reading and writing, early literacy centers, and using music & movement to engage three through seven year olds. Also, enjoy make-and-take activities you can immediately use with your students. For more information, click here!

Marzano's Building Expertise 2016 Conference

June 15th-17th

Disney World Resort

Witness the future of our classrooms: At Building Expertise 2016, Dr. Robert Marzano joins formative assessment expert Dr. Dylan Wiliam and educational neuroscience researcher Dr. David Sousa for keynotes and breakout sessions to introduce startling breakthroughs in classroom practice. You’ll also choose among more than 50 practical workshops, for educators at all levels, devoted to topics like school transformation, change leadership, inspirational feedback, cultivating student autonomy, building collaborative school culture, and reframing classroom instruction to inspire learning like never before.

For more information, visit Building Expertise 2016 Conference website!

Strengthening Your Title I Program

July 20th - 21st

Seattle, WA

Learn how to better lead your school or district Title I team in this strategy-packed two-day institute led by nationally acclaimed presenter, Kelly Harmon. You will discover how to work with teachers to identify and implement the most effective cutting-edge, research-based instructional strategies to increase school and district wide student achievement. You will learn how to develop teacher expertise in working with struggling students along with ways to continually monitor and adjust instruction based on student results. For more information, visit