Inside the ELA Classroom

March 2019

As students progress through school, they are asked to read increasingly complex texts. The ability to understand and use the information in tests is key to success in learning. Students who find success have a repertoire of strategies to draw upon. Reading comprehension strategies enable the readers (students) to stay focused and become actively engaged which directly impacts understanding. Teaching reading comprehension strategies require explicit instruction and consistent reinforcement. Each month reading strategies have been highlighted in the Reading Strategies of the Month section of the ELA newsletter. This edition is packed with a myriad of comprehension strategies.
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Words2Reading (Information for Parents)

GOSA has developed the Words2Reading website, a web tool with curated resources for families, caregivers and teachers to help develop and sharpen early childhood language and literacy skills.


Words2Reading is designed to build awareness of the importance of early language and literacy development in students from birth to age 8. The tool, which is easily accessible on mobile devices, helps to enhance school readiness and success by providing quick access to easy-to-use resources, strategies and learning tips, all categorized by age and type.


To build the platform, GOSA partnered with Georgia-based organizations and other education providers to compile the best resources for developing early language skills. One partner, Ready4KGA, is an evidence-based text messaging program for parents of newborns and children ages 1 to 5. Each week, Ready4KGA subscribers receive fun facts and easy tips to boost early learning. Parents can sign up for these age-specific messages at no cost here.


https://gosa.georgia.gov/words2reading

Cooperative Comprehension

As more classrooms are engaging in cooperative learning structures, students work together to solve problems. Use this strategy to encourage students to work cooperatively to understand complex text.

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#GetGAReading - Friday, March 1st


Friday, March 1 is #ReadAcrossAmerica Day! These resources will help you plan and promote a Seussational reading event in your classroom. www.nea.org/readacross #ReadAcrossGA #GetGAReading


Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers


NEA's Read Across America Online Resource Calendar is here!

Bring the celebration of reading and literacy into your classroom all year long. Celebrate NEA’s Read Across America program!


Use the new Read Across America digital calendar to plan ahead for special celebrations and observances throughout the school year. Each month, the NEA offers suggested books for readers of all levels, plus activities, and resources to help create fun, exciting learning experiences around them.

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Proposed Blueprint for English Language Arts

Update from the ELA Advisory Council Quarterly Meeting


Click the graphic above or HERE to access the ELA webinar. The topics of discussion include:

Proposed Blueprint: English Language Arts 2019-2020 (forward to 5:00)

*Potential changes are under consideration.

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Literacy Day - March 5th

Literacy Day at the Georgia Capitol will take place on March 5, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the second floor in the North wing of the Capitol building. Governor Brian Kemp and literacy partners will speak about the need for a statewide focus on literacy. We hope you can join us to learn how you can help improve literacy in Georgia. For more information, contact GOSA.

March is Women's History Month

From https://womenshistorymonth.gov/
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.


The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” Examine the changing cultural perceptions of women in society and honor their contributions to all aspects of life.


National Women's History Museum

32 Inspiring Books for Women's History Month

Famous women Poets and Poetry

10 Writing Prompts for Women's History Month

Women's History Month Writing Prompts: 50 Ideas

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2019 YGA District Scoring Team

Join me in saluting the CCSS Scoring Team for participating in the process to select the District Winners for the 2018-19 Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition.


Ms. Kim Robertson, Moreland Elementary

Ms. Crystal Manis, Western Elementary

Ms. Laura Ritchie, Thomas Crossroads Elementary

Ms. Angela Rembert, Madras MIddle

Ms. Adriana Cantwell, Lee Middle

Ms. Deborah Mack, Arnall Middle

Ms. Laura French, East Coweta High

Mr. Joshua Johnson, Newnan High

Ms. Hilary Perry, Northgate High


The district winners will be announced later this month.

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Mrs. Shavonnda Teagle created writing Rubrics as a resource for her 5th grade students.


The rubrics not only makes assessing the students' work efficient, consistent, objective and quick. They enable teachers to evaluate the students' performance using the key concepts and standards as the measure. These rubrics can be used for various assignments across the curriculum.

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Advice on writing a narrative extension

1. Identify the key elements of a story(e.g., characters, plot, setting, conflict, and point of view). Pull elements from a given passage and update your graphic organizer.


2. Infer character traits and analyze characters.You need to analyze the given narrative, then carry it forward as the directions require. Do not write a completely random story.


3. As you annotate keep these questions in mind:

  • What do we know about the character? What are his/her dominant traits? What do we know about the character’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the conflict, and how does it get resolved—or not? What lesson does the character learn? How will he/she see the world through different eyes?


4. As you prepare to write, answer this question: What are the potential sources of conflict for a sequel? Here are some options:

  • The original conflict gets revisited by a “mirror” character, and the main character has to help the new character learn the original lesson. So, if The Grinch met someone who hated Christmas, he could help the new guy learn how and why to appreciate it.
  • The main character is placed in a situation that forces them to show whether or not he/she truly has learned a lesson or stayed the same.
  • The main character has to figure out how to apply the newly-learned lesson. Now that I have this different perspective, how am I going to behave differently? For example, now that The Grinch’s heart has expanded, how will he live his life differently?
  • If the conflict is not resolved, how might it continue?

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The Seesaw program is a student-driven digital portfolio that empowers students to independently document what they are learning. When teachers use the portfolio, they can listen to the students' thinking and explanations. Teachers are able to provide instant feedback. This digital portfolio is an effective tool to assess a students ability to commute and model ELA and math concepts.


The website is Seesaw.me. There is a free app for the classroom and a separate one for the parents. Ms. Dudka's classroom blog can be found at https://blog.seesaw.me/glanton4thgrade


The students read the passage Maddie and the Pie from the GCA platform. This passage tells the story of a boy who gave away his grandmother’s entire apple pie. The students were asked to think about what happened when James got home and no pie was left in the dish. They were to snap a picture of the face they would make if it was their grandmother who discovered the pie had been given away. Afterwards, students were instructed to write an ending to the story that continued the story. The students used dialogue and description of actions, thoughts, and feelings of characters.


The second video showed two students working on reading fluency with Mythology and Allusions. They were instructed to read with expression, pausing at punctuation and word accuracy. The students had to verbally answer the comprehension questions. This is a great peer check system. The students love correcting each other.


Ms. Bridget Dudka, Glanton Elementary

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Graphic organizers help students organize their thinking and writing process. Encourage your students to use a graphic organizer as they prepare for Constructed and Extended Responses. Ms. LaShonna Drayton (7th grade teacher) has shared this organizer.

Thinglink

Thinglink has been a great resources in the classroom. With Thinglink you can make interactive maps, infographics, shoppable videos, and much more. Students can share their creations. Students and teachers produce interactive multimedia presentations with images and videos. I have used the site to collect tagged images, creating an interactive slide show to introduce a new unit.


Tanya Jones, 6th Grade teacher

Narrative Story Writing Idea

Purpose: To help students be able to propel elements quickly in a Narrative Format


Two Rules:

(1) Can not ask for help from those around them

(2) Can not ask questions


The story can be fiction/nonfiction

The story can be based on something that happened over the weekend. It can contain ninjas or dragons. The type of characters is entirely up to the writer.


Early on, the story will have a box. It will be any kind of box: shoe box, big cardboard box, gift box, a TV (because the television looked like a box once upon a time), a room, a fish tank.


The student begins to write a narrative story about anything he/she likes, but it must have a box in it.


Approximately FIVE to SEVEN minutes into the writing give these directions:

Add a tree to the story.

FIVE minutes later give these directions:

Add a fire to the story.

And on it goes. At a designated period of time add "something" to the students' story.


Possible items include:

a box

a fire

a tree

a toad/ turtle

the color purple

something sparkly

a non-human creature

a super-hero/heroine

a mountain

a novel (book) - with the specific title

a bucket of water

a boat


This lesson idea was obtained from Mrs. Barbara Landreth, Newnan High and modified by Ms. Tanya Jones, Smokey Road Middle School.

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Georgia Barron Prize for Young Heroes

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America. Each year, the Barron Prize honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment.


ELIGIBILITY

The Barron Prize welcomes applications from public-spirited young people who are, on our April 15 deadline:


  • between the ages of 8 and 18 (not yet age 19)
  • permanent residents of and currently residing in the U.S.A. or Canada
  • currently working on an inspiring service project or have done so within the past 12 months
  • working as an individual to lead their service work. The Barron Prize does not accept applications from large groups of young people.

The Barron Prize does not discriminate against its applicants based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.


Use the sample application for planning.

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2019 Poet Laureate's Prize (9th - 12th grade students)

The Poet Laureate’s Prize contest is open to all Georgia high school students, grades 9 through 12. A winner and four finalists will be selected by the Poet Laureate and announced in early April 2019. The winning poet and finalists will meet the Governor and the Poet Laureate when they are honored at the Georgia State Capitol in the spring.


The winning and finalist poems will be published by Atlanta Magazine.


2019 Poet Laureate's Prize Entry Form

Guidelines

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Professional Learning Series - Multi-Sensory Instructional Strategies

If you would be comfortable sharing your best practices in multi-sensory instructional strategies please add your information to the list provided HERE. I am looking for elements to be redelivered for elementary and secondary-remediation professional learning sessions.

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ELA Professional Learning Sessions

ELEMENTARY


Tuesday, March 5, 2:45 - 4:00pm, Werz SD-1

Strategies to Inform Writing Instruction

Teachers will explore research-based strategies and graphic organizers to strengthen writing skills across the curriculum. Participants will learn and implement ideas to improve student achievement in reading and writing. Register here.


Monday, March 11, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

School administrators will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Tuesday, March 12, 8:30 -11:30 or 1:00- 3:30pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

Teacher representatives will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Tuesday, March 19th, 9:00 - 3:30pm, West GA RESA

GA Milestones ELA Assessment & Writing Training for Elementary Classrooms

In this professional learning session, teachers will fully understand the components of the GMAS. The learning opportunity will focus also focus on the scoring including: Extended Writing Response for Opinion and Informational writing and Constructed Response Narrative writing. Bring your technology to this session. Lunch will be provided. Register here. Registration costs will be covered at the school level.


Wednesday, March 20th, 8:00 - 11:30am and 12:00 - 3:30pm Werz SD-2

Advanced Phonics Training (Grades 3-5)

Teachers will explore multi-sensory phonics instruction to enhance pedagogy through the combination of listening, speaking, reading, and a tactile or kinesthetic activity. Participants will practice and implement ideas to improve student achievement in reading. View registered participants here. Administrator should register two teacher participants here.


March 26th, 8:00 - 3:30pm, Werz

Grade 2 Pacing Development Team

Participants will participate in professional development mini-sessions. All information should be redelivered to school level staff. The team will revise the pacing guide and develop appropriate resources to enhance instruction. ELA Ambassadors should complete the paperwork in CabNet and secure classroom coverage. (Elementary ELA Content Ambassadors)


March 28th, 8:00 - 3:30pm, Werz

Grade 1 Pacing Development Team

Participants will participate in professional development mini-sessions. All information should be redelivered to school level staff. The team will revise the pacing guide and develop appropriate resources to enhance instruction. ELA Ambassadors should complete the paperwork in CabNet and secure classroom coverage. (Elementary ELA Content Ambassadors)


Mar 28, 2019 - Werz - PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

GIMKIT - A New Way to Review: Instructional Technology Training

Learn about GimKit - an alternative to Quizlet and Kahoot. Training will demonstrate program and how to create your own GimKit from scratch or from your own Quizlet sets. Join us to learn a new way to engage students during review!

Register here.


MIDDLE


Monday, March 11, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

School administrators will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Tuesday, March 12, 8:30 -11:30 or 1:00- 3:30pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

Teacher representatives will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Monday, March 18th, 9:00 - 3:30pm, West GA RESA

GA Milestones ELA Assessment & Writing Training for Secondary Classrooms (6-11)

In this professional learning session, teachers will fully understand the components of the GMAS. The learning opportunity will focus also focus on the scoring including: Extended Writing Response for Argumentative and Informational writing and Constructed Response Narrative writing. Bring your technology to this session. Lunch will be provided. Register here. Registration costs will be covered at the school level.


Monday, March 25th, Google Classroom

The Writing Revolution Book Study

In this professional learning session participants will read and discuss The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades as it relates to the district SMART Goal and ELA Writing initiative. Participants will discuss theoretical and pedagogical frameworks and best practices to enhance writing instruction. -Chapter II and III


Mar 28, 2019 - Werz - PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

GIMKIT - A New Way to Review: Instructional Technology Training

Learn about GimKit - an alternative to Quizlet and Kahoot. Training will demonstrate program and how to create your own GimKit from scratch or from your own Quizlet sets. Join us to learn a new way to engage students during review!

Register here.


HIGH


Monday, March 11, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

School administrators will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Tuesday, March 12, 8:30 -11:30 or 1:00- 3:30pm

Renaissance STAR 306 Training

Teacher representatives will participate in an overview of the Renaissance 360 program, in-depth review of available reports and suggested implementation strategies to ensure we have a strong working knowledge of how to best utilize the features. Several schools need to register participants. Click here for participant list. Click here to register.


Monday, March 18th, 9:00 - 3:30pm, West GA RESA

GA Milestones ELA Assessment & Writing Training for Secondary Classrooms (6-11)

In this professional learning session, teachers will fully understand the components of the GMAS. The learning opportunity will focus also focus on the scoring including: Extended Writing Response for Argumentative and Informational writing and Constructed Response Narrative writing. Bring your technology to this session. Lunch will be provided. Register here. Registration costs will be covered at the school level.


Monday, March 25th, Google Classroom

The Writing Revolution Book Study

In this professional learning session participants will read and discuss The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades as it relates to the district SMART Goal and ELA Writing initiative. Participants will discuss theoretical and pedagogical frameworks and best practices to enhance writing instruction. -Chapter II and III


Mar 28, 2019 - Werz - PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

GIMKIT - A New Way to Review: Instructional Technology Training

Learn about GimKit - an alternative to Quizlet and Kahoot. Training will demonstrate program and how to create your own GimKit from scratch or from your own Quizlet sets. Join us to learn a new way to engage students during review!

Register here.

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March Activities

March 1 Share a Smile Day

March 1 Yellowstone National Park established (1872)

March 2 Read Across America Day

March 2 Dr. Seuss born (1904)

March 3 Alexander Graham Bell born (1864)

March 4 Garrett Augustus Morgan (developed smoke hood for firefighters)

March 5 Boston Massacre (1770)

March 6 Oreo Cookies sold for the 1st time (1912)

March 7 National Cereal Day

March 8 International Women's Day

March 9 Barbie's Birthday (1959)

March 10 Abolitionist Harriet Tubman Day

March 11 Johnny Appleseed Day

March 12 Girl Scout Day

March 13 Good Samaritan Day

March 14 Pi Day (Hmmm, bring Pi into the ELA classroom)

March 17 Rubber Band Invented

March 17 St. Patrick's Day

March 18 First Walk in space (1965)

March 20 First Day of Spring

March 20 Lois Lowry born (1937)

March 20 Big Bird Day

March 21 First EVER Tweet on Twitter (2006)

March 21 Children's Poetry Day

March 21 National Teen-Agers Day

March 24 Janet Bragg (1907)

March 25 Pancakes first made (1882)

March 26 Make up Your Own Holiday Day

March 26 Poet Robert Frost born (1864)

March 28 "Greatest show on Earth" formed (1881)

March 29 Coca-cola was invented (1886)

March 30 Pencil with eraser patented (1858)

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Thank you for your enthusiasm and participation as we incorporate reading strategies across the content! Including the six strategies presented at the beginning of this newsletter, there have been 26 reading strategies introduced through the ELA newsletter.


We realize that problems in reading can affect performance across other academic content areas and functional skills used in everyday life. Good readers have a repertoire of comprehension strategies to help them construct meaning from text. Struggling readers know very few strategies. Through this initiative, we will introduce and model research based strategies in order to aid students in building their personal toolbox of strategies to understand text.


For March, April and May let's take the time to review the strategies featured in this publication and previous newsletters. It is imperative to provide opportunities for students to review previously learned strategies. In order for students to be successful using these strategies, it is important to incorporate time for spiral review through the reading strategies.

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FEBRUARY STRATEGIES

Because, But, and So

Input Skill: Fiction Reading/Organizer/Sorter

Titles Can be Telling


JANUARY STRATEGIES

Syntax Surgery

Because, But, and So

activating Prior Knowledge

Compensating for Missing Prior Knowledge


DECEMBER STRATEGIES

Probably Passage

Building Stamina

It Says - I Say


NOVEMBER - REVIEW MONTH


OCTOBER STRATEGIES

Reciprocal Teaching

UR TOPS

The Whole and Teeny Tiny Details


SEPTEMBER STRATEGIES

Add up facts to determine the main idea

Read, Cover, Remember, Tell

V.I.P. Comprehension Strategy

Scan & Plan

Sticky Notes


AUGUST STRATEGIES

Plan & Label Non-fiction Strategy

Questioning

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Contact Dr. Paula Baker, ELA/Literacy Content Specialist with any questions, comments, or concerns.


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

~Nelson Mandela