Literacy Inspires Us @ CDS

A reference site to increase literacy RIGOR in our school

Get inspiration from the examples in this SMORE

Mayday! Mayday! A Coast Guard Rescue

First, we read the story “Mayday!Mayday!” We used the story to discuss the author’s purpose and also illustrated the academic vocabulary. Then, we were inspired to contact the United States Coast Guard. They sent us coloring books and photos of real life Coast Guard action. We are in the process of writing thank you cards and asking more questions to continue this sort of “penpal” relationship.
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Phoenix Children's Museum Field Trip! We were inspired to create a TOP 10 LIST!

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We "tweeted" at the Children's Museum and they tweeted back!

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears Bulletin Board

Or call it a "brag board."
This is your chance to show the evidence of learning in your classroom. Brag to your parents, visitors, students, and fellow colleagues. Show evidence of how you dissected the text- what were your students inspired to do?

On this board: We responded to the writing prompt, "The author tells us that Goldilocks was never heard from again. What do you think? Did Goldilocks have another adventure?" We displayed evidence of learned new academic vocabulary. We displayed photographs of the students in action.
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We were inspired to re-create the story

After reading Goldilocks, kindergarten students were INSPIRED to act out the parts of the story. We discussed the story elements such as character, plot, and setting and used cut outs to re-tell the story. Students were encouraged to use new academic vocabulary in their re-tell. Listen for the words: wee, middle-sized, and huge while you watch the video.

Later, students acted out the story using props and invited other classes to come watch.

Our elementary staff is required to create a FREE account with access to hundreds of grade-level printable social studies text. This will enhance our Social Studies curriculum and allow us to practice our close reading skills. Remember to Annotate as you go through your multiple readings and collect evidence to share!

Kindergarten Readworks example

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1st grade Readworks example

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2nd grade Readworks example

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3rd grade Readworks example

I chose a Readworks Social Studies passage entitled A Rally Against Poverty. I used this as an introduction to our new project for our fourth quarter platform of Leadership. The essential question this quarter is How do we demonstrate leadership by helping others? We read the passage annotating and highlighting the text following the guidelines for a close reading lesson. The children highlighted vocabulary, discussed the theme and meaning of the passage, and worked with partners to answer the comprehension questions. We had a discussion about Nelson Mandela’s quote “While there is poverty, there is no true freedom.” They were very insightful and saw the connection that people who live in extreme poverty and do not have their basic needs met, do not have the ability to do the things that we take for granted. The students then worked with partners to complete a t-chart of wants vs. needs. This theme ties in with our school wide “Hope for Haiti” project in which we donate backpacks and funds to support a school in Haiti. The third graders will be brainstorming ways that our class can support the goal of collecting 75 backpacks. They will be writing persuasive paragraphs to urge people to participate. This will allow them to have ownership and a personal stake in our school’s philanthropic project.

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5th/6th grade Readworks example

Here is what Mr. Hanson’s 5th/6th class did for the Closed Reading project. First, I found the article, “Presidents Come Alive”. This is an informational text that talked about George Washington’s home Mount Vernon and Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Library. Both of these sites use technology enhancements to make them more appealing to kids. After reading the article, I was able to show some of Mount Vernon’s special effects through pictures since we were there in Washington DC. Aiden has attended both places and was able to add insight to this as well. After discussing this in-depth, we went back through the text and highlighted key parts and labeled the answers of the questions in the text. Then I gave them their project. I took the 72 fun and creative ways handout and I asked that they choose one of these 72 ways and I wanted them to put together a lesson about something that they are passionate about in school and teach the class a lesson. I’ve been really impressed with their ability to present and their knowledge so this project really fit their talents. Ginger started this off by making an acrostic poem about acting. She then taught us key concepts on acting. My favorite part was when the class did an improv activity. Stella taught us how to draw animals and she made an impressive wolf. Harper is really enthusiastic about Germany. She made a pamphlet about interesting facts about Germany. One fact that I did not know is that Germany created Chinese Checkers. Aiden put together a PowerPoint on World War II. He went through key countries, key leaders, and key battles. It was very informative and exciting. Devon loves to bake and baked us different type of chocolate bark. The creative part was that Devon put a scavenger hunt together for us to find the chocolate goodness. She used poetic clues to make it challenging. The class was successful in finding all the chocolate prizes.

TDQ's listed at the end of this article- use for reference!

What our Pre-K students are expected to learn before entering our elementary program.

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Follow Up Activity

Friday, April 3rd, 3pm

This is an online event.

Find one grade-level article from to complete a close reading (multiple readings) during your social studies block.
Please remember to:
1. Annotate (circle words, write notes in the margin)
2. Ask and answer TDQs (promote conversations with peers or accountable talk before sharing aloud)
3. Complete a follow up activity that answers the question, “What does the text inspire me to do?”
4. Take pictures, or have a work sample as “evidence”- send to me, send to Linda for Facebook, and also display the evidence in your classroom.