Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources for Gathering Evidence

Close reading is a hot topic at both of our schools this year! It's been so much fun to watch our first and second graders at Atwood become engaged reading detectives through this process. In this newsletter, I wanted to share some samples of how our primary students are learning to gather evidence through color coding. I've included pictures to show how color coding the text can support readers in any grade!

A few teachers at WES are using read aloud notebooks with their students to increase engagement and the use of reading strategies. I've included sample pages from a few notebooks to show how students are keeping track of their thinking during read aloud. If you are interested in launching a reading notebook with your students, let me know!

Wishing you a joyous (and restful!) holiday season! Happy New Year!


Color Coding Evidence

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First grade has done a lot of work this fall with close reading. (Woohoo!) One of our favorite resources asks students to gather evidence in the text through color coding. To try this process, you would create a few text dependent questions and assign a color to each question. As you reread the text, students look closely for evidence to answer each question. The evidence in the text is highlighted or underlined in color to match the color of the question. The first graders at Atwood are incredible reading detectives!

Gathering Evidence for Text Dependent Questions

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When Brynn shared some of her close reading lessons with me this week, I fell in love with her color coding strategy for collecting evidence! As you can see from the pictures, her students color code each text dependent question. Then, they return to the text and highlight the evidence that matches each question. Their last step is to use their color coded evidence to answer the questions using details from the text. This is an excellent strategy for students in the primary grades! I'm sure students in the upper grades who need more support would find this strategy helpful!

Launching Reader's Notebooks Using Mysteries

I had so much fun launching reading notebooks with Amanda and Sydney's fourth graders! We found that the Mysteries in History series by Jane Yolen is a perfect way to get students using their notebook to leave tracks of their thinking. As we read aloud The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery from History, we stopped every few pages to allow students to record their predictions, questions, notes of important information or even a sketch of their characters and events. The students were so engaged and fell in love with their notebooks! Sydney's students showed me the other day how they have continued using their notebook with their read aloud of Fish in a Tree. If you are interested in launching a reading notebook with your students, let me know!
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During the lesson, we made a quick anchor chart with students listing their ideas of how to use a reading notebook.
Here are a few sample notebook pages from our lesson. One way to encourage students to use their notebooks more purposefully is to share sample notebook pages with them as a model!

Great Black Bear Book Award Titles

Honeybee Book Award

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You will love the book trailer for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend!

This beautiful book is the was the winner of the Caldecott Medal!

Here is a link to some suggestions for reading Beekle with your students:

There are tons of ideas online for crafts and instructional ideas for using this text with your students! Enjoy!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School