Month: December 2013

PD: Ed Tech Tuesdays-Chromebooks and Google Drive

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Have you wondered what all the Chromebook hype is about? Do you want to learn how to use Google Drive to collaborate with colleagues and build assignments for students?

Join us January 14th for the January Ed Tech Tuesday, Chromebooks and Google Drive. This hands on session will include the ins and outs of Chromebooks, using Chromebooks, and the basics of how to use Drive to collaborate with colleagues and facilitate classroom instruction with students.

Ed Tech January

The secondary session will be held at 2:45pm and the the elementary session will be held at 3:45 pm. Both sessions will be held in room 126 at the high school from the mobile Chromebook lab!

Also stay tuned for more information about our February Ed. Tech Tuesdays, Discovery Education and Open Education Resources (FREE Resources)!!! 

January Ed Tech Tuesdays

Kelly Signature


ELA: Text Structures on the S-BAC

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textstructuresWhile reading both literary and informational text, students should be able to analyze text structures and determine their impact on the overall meaning of a text.  — Can your students do this?

Try this eighth grade sample ELA question from Smarter Balanced to see how well you can use text structures  to analyze complex reading.

To learn more about text features, text structures, and the Idaho Core ELA Standards view the Haiku Deck above or consider registering for our Idaho Core ELA Series in January.

Stimulus Text:
Below is a story set in a Native American community. Read the text and then answer the question that follows.

Item Prompt:
Use details from the text to explain how time  and memory are used to structure the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ed Tech: Technology and the Core

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Did you know technology skills are woven throughout the Idaho Core Standards? 

Twice this month during Ed Tech Tuesdays, the CTIS team will offer sessions on technology tools you can use to support instruction and the Idaho Core. Join us in room 126 at Post Falls High School on 12/10 at 3:30pm or 12/17 at 2:45pm. Computers will be available or your can bring your own device.

Ed Tech Tuesdays Nov.Dec

The Doceo Center for Learning + Innovation at the University of Idaho has put together a sortable list of Idaho Core Standards that including technology skills. Attached are PDFs of the list or you can go directly to their website.

Idaho Common Core and Technology K-5

Idaho Common Core and Technology 6-8

Idaho Common Core and Technology 9-12

The CTIS team looks forward to seeing you at one of our Tuesday sessions!

Kelly Signature

PD: Idaho Core ELA Series

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ELA SeriesJoin us for an informative series of professional development workshops  designed for K-12 ELA and Content Area teachers. Sessions will be held Thursday afternoons in January, February, and March at Seltice Elementary.

Teachers may attend select workshops or participate in the entire series. Separate workshops will take place for elementary and secondary teachers.

For more information, or questions, please contact Jennifer Olsen at Staff may pre-register for the workshops by visiting

Look for more information in your building’s staff room or weekly newsletter.Jennifer Signature

ELA: Georgia Content Area Frameworks

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Looking for high-quality content area units and lessons aligned to the Idaho Core Standards? Bookmark this site! 

core standardsWhile working with seventh grade science teachers this morning, we stumbled across a goldmine of content area resources for K-12 teachers. In addition to the ELA and Mathematics Frameworks that many of our elementary teachers use to supplement core instruction, Georgia now has frameworks for Modern Languages, Career and Technical Programs, Science, and Social Studies. These frameworks provide teachers with Common Core-aligned essential questions, instructional materials, lesson plans, and sample performance tasks and rubrics. These are high-quality examples of lesson plans for K-12.

Georgia Standards.Org

ELA: Alternatives to Round Robin Reading

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Looking for ways to effectively provide oral reading opportunities for all your students? Maybe one of these alternatives will do the trick!

Good Bye Round RobinRound Robin Reading – where students take turns reading aloud from the same text-  has been a common literacy strategy for years.   With the implementation of the Idaho Core Standards, students are being asked to access more and more complex text on their own and Round Robin Reading may be doing more harm than good as teachers and students try to build reading stamina and comprehension skills.

Current reading research by Rasinski and others has shown that students in classrooms where Round Robin Reading is used actually read less than students in classrooms where alternative reading methods are in place. In addition, the amount of time consumed by oral whole-group reading takes away from valuable classroom minutes that could be spent on instruction. Round Robin Reading methods have also been shown to increase student anxiety and lead to inattentive behaviors. Students who make mistakes while reading aloud are also often denied the opportunity to self-correct their mistakes and begin to rely on others to correct their errors.

So what are some alternative reading strategies?

Rasinski’s book “Good-Bye Round Robin” provides 25 effective oral reading strategies to help build students’ reading skills and stamina. Perhaps one of these methods could work in your classroom:

Differentiated Text – Provide students with multiple texts that cover the same topic and allow students to then self-select the text they’d like to read. In most cases, middle and high-school students will choose selections that are at their own reading levels. Allow students to read independently and then compare and contrast the texts.

Shared Partner Reading – Match low and high readers together to orally navigate text. Each student can take turns being either the “coach” or the “reader.” Students support each other while reading new material.

Jigsaw Reading – This strategy works well in content area classrooms with text that is broken up into easily digestible sections. Students meet in their “role alike” small group to read and comprehend their portion of the larger text and then return to their primary group to share what they’ve read. This builds reading, speaking, and listening skills.

Independent Close Reading Strategies – Try providing structure with a graphic organizer while students are independently reading. Most reading is done silently and it is necessary for students to build comprehension skills that are not dependent on their peers. Tools such as highlighters, Post-It Notes, and note cards help students monitor their own reading. Jennifer Signature

ELA: Four Tools for Teaching Idaho Core Vocabulary

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Is it main idea or central idea? How do I know what Tier Two words I should be teaching?

Nuts and BoltsOne of the major shifts with the Idaho Core Standards is a focus on developing a more academic vocabulary that allows students to access complex informational and literary text across content areas. Here’s four tools to help get you started down the path to success.

Middle School ELA Vocabulary List – I generated this list from the Total Instructional Alignment (TIA) documents that Post Falls teachers created last year. If you would like a digital copy of your grade level’s TIA, please email me.

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Chart – Use this tool to help draft text-dependent questions when writing classroom assessments. This word list is great for ensuring teachers ask higher-level questions in the classroom.

S-BAC Representative Word List – A list released by Smarter Balanced with a words likely to appear on this spring’s field test.

Marzano’s Common Core Vocabulary List – The educational researchers at the Marzano Research Laboratory have analyzed the Common Core Standards to determine the words that appear most frequently.  By registering at the site, you have access to several lists and articles free of charge from their book Vocabulary for the Common Core.

Lastly, Edutopia has a great teacher-friendly article on how to teach vocabulary in the modern classroom. — 11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary

Jennifer Signature