Complex Text

ELA: Close Reading with Emergent Readers

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This year our elementary and middle school students have focused on close reading strategies to build perseverance and grit with complex text. However, it is a strategy even beginning readers can use!Close Reading with Emergent Readers

This morning I was afforded the opportunity to visit with the staff at Fredrick Post Kindergarten and share ideas for supporting emergent readers in the close reading of text. This seemed like a perfect fit for their current caterpillar and butterfly unit!

The resources from this morning are available in the shared Google Drive folder and are accessible to anyone. Also included are two example lessons using The Very Hungry Caterpillar and From Caterpillar to Butterfly.  Readworks.Org is also an excellent resource for informational text passages that can be used in the classroom.

Teacher Amanda Hartman on Vimeo:



ELA: Idaho Core Workshop Resources

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Missed our first three ELA Workshop sessions? Grab the take-aways here!

icsLogoMore than twenty-five Post Falls teachers have been meeting on Thursday afternoons to tackle the ELA Idaho Core Standards.  The sessions will continue at Seltice Elementary until Spring Break. If you’d like to join us it isn’t too late. Just head on over!


Idaho Core Basics

Digging into Informational Text

Scaffolding Complex Text


Using Academic Vocabulary — February 20 & 27

Text-Dependent Questioning — March 6 & 13

Writing in the Idaho Core — March 20

Want more information about the ELA Workshop Series? Looking for something specific? Email me at

ELA: Vocabulary Pre-Teaching Strategy using Discovery Education

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Looking for a new way to pre-teach vocabulary? Try setting the stage for all readers by viewing Discovery Education videos with transcripts.

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One of the major educational shifts in the Idaho Core Standards is an increased focus on building students’ vocabulary through content area reading and the development of a more academic vocabulary. An academic vocabulary includes words a reader would find in all types of complex texts across many subject areas. Typically these words are referred to as Tier Two words.

In the past, curriculum has focused on more specific vocabulary words, but now digital and traditional reading materials aligned with the Idaho Core Standards are designed to help students develop a more general vocabulary and allow students to access a wider variety of texts. Tier Two words are very easy to generalize from text to text.

An easy way to integrate more Tier Two vocabulary into everyday routines and help struggling readers understand more complex text is to turn the transcript feature on in Discovery Education. Encourage students to keep a running list of words that might be necessary to understand the information presented in the video.  Reading research has repeatedly shown combining new vocabulary with visual aids results in higher acquisition rates than using dictionary definitions alone. Supporting students by pre-teaching important Tier Two words can help struggling readers more easily comprehend complex text across disciplines once it is time to read the traditional text book.

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