Posts tagged article of the week
How to Complete an Article of the Week!

I wanted to review one of Kelly Gallagher's strategies called Article of the Week that has changed the game of teaching for me. I have tried every method of homework under the sun in the past 9 years. I have tried homework menus, homework assigned on certain days, daily five homework, grammar homework, reading homework, writing homework...and the list goes on. The main method of homework that works for my students and that remains genuine is Gallagher's Article of the Week. The Article of the Week or AOW incorporates the addition of useful non-fiction resources into the classroom, and also provides students with a method of increasing their reading performance and knowledge base. Students are taught skills and purpose with annotation.  I like to assign a new focus for each trimester while doing an AOW.

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Why the First Skill I Teach is Annotation

Even though I am up to my eyeballs in testing and pre-testing, I still want to take a moment to pause and acknowledge the first skill that I teach students every school year: annotation in reading. I use the Article of the Week to implement this right away because it establishes routine, and it also is a skill that we will use the most throughout the rest of the year in a variety of ways. I have sixth graders and seventh graders this year, so I teach and review this skill right away. In this post, I will outline how I go about teaching annotation skills, providing purpose for annotation, and how to keep mixing it up to keep kids interested. 

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Paper Problem Series Post 2: Reviewing My Systems

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I give to new teachers is to always be prepared. Not just the regular "I have got a plan prepared," but the "I have a plan and 2 backup plans just in case this whole thing goes to the birds" type of prepared. The term "systems" always has sounded fancy to me, but the instructional routines, expectations, and actual structures that are in place in any classroom dictate the quality of the learning environment and level of success regarding classroom management. Simply, the routines of how we do business in the day-to-day in my classroom impacts learning on all levels. I have a type of organized process for many things...and then for some things I don't. After coming to terms with the paper problem, I wanted to start by reviewing the systems I have in place so that I can take on the school year in the fall ready to give high-quality feedback in a high quantity without going completely insane. 

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