Think Aloud Checklist Teaches Kids to THINK

Using a Think Aloud Checklist will help you focus your instruction

Think alouds are one of the best instructional practices to improve student comprehension.  By allowing students to listen to YOU think, they will be able to understand their own thinking.  But, sometimes, you lose track of the number of times you use, or don’t use each strategy.  The Think Aloud Checklist below will help you track and target each strategy.

Think Aloud Checklist

Strategy Think Aloud

Tally Mark for Each Time Strategy Used 

            Cue Words

Predicting

 
  • I predict… 
  • In the next part I think…  I think this is…

Questioning

 
  • Why did…   What did…  
  • How did…  
  • Where was… 
  • Should there…

Visualizing

 
  • I see…  
  • I picture…

Personal Response

 
  • I feel…
  • My favorite part…
  • I liked/disliked…

Clarifying

 
  • I got confused when…
  • I’m not sure of…
  • I didn’t expect…

Summarizing

 
  • I think this is mainly about…
  • The most important idea is…

Reflecting

 
  • I think I’ll… next time. Maybe I’ll need to… next time.
  • I realized that…
  • I wonder if…

Making Connections

  • Text-to-Self
  • Text-to-Text 
  • Text-to-World
 
  • This is like…
  • This reminds me of…
  • This is similar to…
  • If it were me…

Print out the chart above and put in your plan book to track your Think aloud usage.  You will be surprised how many times throughout the day you model for you students good thinking.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Encourage Math Learning

Encouraging math learning builds a child’s confidence.

It has always bothered me to encounter people that avoid math because “math learning” was not their thing in school.  However, math in the 60’s and 70’s very often the answer was either right or wrong. Very often it was thought you either got it or you did not.  So, how could you NOT have bad feelings about math?

Today’s math teaching encourages trial and error, math explanations and problem solving.  It encourages kids to give math a try and a good math teacher has high expectations for math learning. Parents can encourage their child’s interest in math.  Check out the ideas below and watch your child’s interest and confidence grow.

9 Ways to Make Math Learning Easier

  • Expect some confusion to be part of the learning process but emphasize that effort, not ability, is what counts. Math is understandable and can be figured out.
  • Ask your child what he or she did in math class today.  Ask him or her to give details and to explain.
  • Avoid conveying negative attitudes towards math.  Never tell children not to worry about certain kinds of math because it will never be used.
  • Let kids know that occupations require a sound based in mathematics. Careers in carpentry, landscaping, medicine, pharmacy, aeronautics, and meteorology all require strong math skills.
  • Give your child meaningful problems that use numbers or shapes while you are going about everyday life.  Ask the child to explain what he or she did.
  • Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage better attitudes and stronger math skills.
  • Point out ways that people use math every day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, figure out their net earnings, making change and tips at restaurants. 
  • Involve older children in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts like planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or figuring our how long it will take to drive to your family destination. 
  • Encourage children to solve problems by helping them but allow them to try to figure it out themselves.    

Children’s math achievement is shaped- and- limited by what is expected of them. It is up to us to help them be successful.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Presidential and Inauguration Trivia

This year’s inauguration coverage will surely bring up presidential and inaugural trivia.  Try out the trivia below and see how many you can answer.  Then be ready for the commentators, who always seem to know all the answers!  Have fun!

Questions

  1. What President is associated with creating the US Forest Service?
  2. Who was the youngest elected President of the United States?
  3. As of Wednesday, January 20th, who will be the oldest president to be inaugurated?  (HINT: future tense)
  4. Which president had a dog named King Tut?
  5. Whose inauguration was the first to be televised?
  6. Who was the youngest President of the United States?
  7. Which President never got married?
  8. Who was the first left-handed President? 
  9. Which President holds the record for the shortest time served? 
  10. Whose inauguration was attended by the largest amount of people?
  11. What has been the most common first name of an American First Lady?
  12. How many US Presidents have been assassinated?
  13. Who was the tallest president?

Answers

  1. Theodore Roosevelt
  2. John F. Kennedy
  3. Joseph Biden
  4. Herbert Hoover -31st President
  5. Harry S. Truman
  6. Theodore Roosevelt
  7. James Buchanan – 15th President
  8. James Garfield the 20th President
  9. William Henry Harrison – 9th president was less than 1 month
  10. Barack Obama – 44th President
  11. Elizabeth (although some used nicknames like Betty or Bess)
  12. 4:  Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy Lincoln at 6ft. 4in.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

 

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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  • Inauguration Day for Kids

Inauguration Day for Kids

Inauguration Day is an important historical moment.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration on Wednesday is an historic moment.  However, the recent political unrest has made some parents questioning how to share this moment with their children. I recently learned that the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced a lineup of television programming specifically aimed at getting kids and families involved in the inauguration and the process of it all.  Since most of the events surrounding the swearing-in will be virtually focused due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this may be the answer for parents.

On Tuesday’s Discovery Education program “I Do Solemnly Swear: The U.S. Presidential Inauguration” at 12 p.m. EST will aim to teach students about the history of the inauguration. The first lady elect, Jill Biden will also appear in the program.

On Wednesday, actress Keke Palmer is set to host an inaugural first: a curated livestream for youth titled “Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans” which will take place before and during the inauguration ceremony starting at 10 a.m. EST. Along with the livestream there will be a message from First Lady, Jill Biden, and a segment on presidential pets.

All programs can be watched live on the PIC social media channels YouTube,  Facebook, Twitter and Twitch. 

Regardless of our political affiliation, our kids will one day ask where they were when the 46th president of the United States took the oath of office. This is an opportunity to teach our kids about the United States of America.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

Leveled Texts: Same Text at Different Levels

Using leveled texts are important to student success. 

Reading levels in classrooms can vary which makes it difficult for teachers to find resources to meet the needs of all their students.  It is important to give students information at reading levels that they can understand and build confidence. Using leveled texts are important to student success. 

Finding materials at a student’s “just right” level is beneficial for struggling readers, English Language Learners (ELLS) and students with high abilities. The Good News is you do not have to create your own different versions.  Check out the resources below for assistance.  

6 FREE Leveled Texts Resources

  • Newsela – I have shared this resource before and I think it still is one of the best sites.  The free site provides several “levels” of the same newspaper article, along with online quizzes. Spanish translations are also available for some of the articles. Additionally, for a small fee, teachers can also create a virtual classroom, assign articles, and monitor student progress. Spanish translations are also available for some of the articles.  
  • Tweentribune- Classroom teachers can register for a FREE membership.  Each weekday, the site posts age-appropriate news stories to interest students in Grades 1-12.  Each story is edited multiple times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and students can post comments. Quiz scores are delivered automatically to teachers and all comments are approved by their teachers before they are published.
  • For the TeachersFREE teacher resources for effective instruction.  Leveled articles are available for download. 
  • CommonLit is a FREE online reading program in English and Spanish that helps students develop comprehension and writing skills.  Teachers can access a collection of over 2,0000 high-quality, high-interest reading passages that are created for different reading levels.  Articles cover a range of subject matter and include assessment questions to evaluate comprehension.  100% FREE for teachers, students, and parents.
  • ReadWorks – Offers FREE content, curriculum, and tools to power teaching and learning from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  ReadWorks is continuing to offer expanded support for educators and families facing interrupted learning during the 2020-2021 school year.  Check out the educator and family resources.
  • Learn with News provides FREE English learning material on news stories.  Stories are written in 3 versions at different Lexile levels.  (Levels 1,2,3)

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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Happy 2021… Time to Count Your Rainbows!

This is the year to count our rainbows

Hello 2021, we certainly are happy to see you!  Thank goodness for new beginnings! Although we are not “out of the woods” yet, recent vaccine discussion gives me hope for a much better 2021! But for now, we continue to be on pause and we search for rainbows in our lives.

The holidays have come and gone and traditional get togethers for me were different and somewhat non-existent.  Although I saw few friends and family members over the last few months, the unplanned isolation has certainly given me more thinking time.  On those lonely days I have tried to focus on giving thanks for all the wonderful people and things in my life. I found this not to be a difficult task and I encourage you to take a few minutes and find some rainbows in your life. 

Rainbows

  • I am thankful for the extra time spent with my husband and realize that it was a wise decision to marry him 40 years ago.  I also realized that I did not need a party to realize how lucky I am. 
  • I am thankful for the time spent talking and “zooming” with my adult children and their families. I have so enjoyed “seeing” the small “day to day” happenings in their busy lives. 
  • I am thankful that Rome was not built in a day and will still be there when I reschedule our trip.
  • I have learned that I can totally keep myself busy doing a variety of things around the house.  And, not getting them done right away was not a crisis!
  • I have connected more with friends as we have reached out to commiserate on these uncertain times but more importantly to check in on each other. 
  • I have had time to practice some “self-care” to stay both physically and mentally healthy. Long overdue, but better late than never.
  • I am thankful that I still love to learn because I have learned so much about online learning while working with my granddaughters in their remote teaching environment. Together we have increased our technology skills.
  • I have learned that I am more flexible than I ever thought I could be in supervising student teachers.  I have learned to mentor and observe their teaching through varied placements (hybrid, full remote, in-person, pauses) and all combinations last semester.  They have been unstoppable! 

Most importantly I have learned to be grateful for each day and take the time to enjoy the many rainbows in my life. Happy New Year!

Sports Trivia Questions for Kids & Adults

Sports trivia keeps your brain sharp.

Trivia is a great way to exercise your brain, keep your mind sharp and learn a few things about a topic.  This month it is time to test your Sports knowledge. sports trivia.  Truth be told…. Sports trivia is one of my weakest categories in our weekly trivia games.  So… it is time for SPORTS TRIVIA!

Sports Trivia Questions

  1. Which sport did George Washington play with his troops?  
  2. In inches, how big is the diameter of a basketball hoop?  
  3. Which team is as well-known for their comic antics as for their on-court skills?  
  4. Which type of ball was basketball played with until 1929?
  5. Who is the only tennis player to have won each of the four grand slam events at least four times? 
  6. What was the first sport in which women were invited to compete at the Olympics?  
  7. Why did the year 1994 see no baseball World Series?  
  8. In which sport are the terms ‘stale fish’ and ‘mulekick’ used?  
  9. Which is the only country to have played in every World Cup?  
  10. What city of Asia hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008? 
  11.  Which NFL team is the first to win 3 Super Bowls?
  12. In which athletic event did Bruce Jenner win the gold medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics? 
  13. In American Football which famous Miami Dolphins quarterback retired in 2000? 
  14. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in which sport? 
  15.  How many players, including the goaltender, make up an ice hockey team? 
  16.  What was banned from 1967 to 1976? 
  17.  In feet, how high is a basketball hoop?  
  18.  What three movements are required for an athlete to successfully complete a triple jump?
  19.  Name the only major team sport in the USA with no game clock?  
  20. What is the maximum time limit allowed to look for a lost ball in golf?  

Sports Trivia Answers

  1. Cricket 
  2.  18 inches 
  3.  Harlem Globetrotters 
  4.  Soccer ball 
  5.  Steffi Graf 
  6.  Tennis, in 1900  
  7.  Player’s strike 
  8.  Snowboarding 
  9.  Brazil 
  10.  Beijing
  11.  The Pittsburgh Steelers 
  12.  The Decathlon 
  13.  Dan Marino 
  14.  Basketball 
  15.  Six
  16.  Slam dunk 
  17.  10 feet 
  18.  Hop, step, and jump 
  19.  Baseball 
  20.  5 minutes 

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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