• A Quick & Easy Strategy for Determining the Main Idea

    My kids are getting pretty good at developing a main idea sentence when I provide them with key words. Which is great, right? But the point of reading (and unfortunately, testing) isn’t to tell what the main idea is after your teacher gives you a list of five words. No. We want our kids to […]

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  • 4 Mentor Texts for Teaching Theme & Main Idea

    Some people teach theme and main idea separately, which is totally fine. However, I like to teach them together. I like my students to be able to see that the main idea can be very simple and tells what the story or passage was about on a surface level. A theme, on the other hand, […]

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  • 4 Mentor Texts for Teaching Visualizing

    If your students are struggling with basic reading comprehension, more than likely, they aren’t visualizing what they are reading. As an avid reader, I often have dreams about novels that I’m reading. I get SO into it that I continue to picture and recreate the story in my mind after I’m finished reading a chapter.  […]

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  • 5 Mentor Texts for Teaching Asking Questions

    When I first started teaching, I thought teaching students to ask questions was a waste of time. I guess, in my mind, kids should do it automatically. Once I started analyzing strengths and weaknesses, I realized that many of my kids had no idea what their brains should be doing while reading. Explicitly teaching students […]

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  • Mentor Texts for Teaching Predictions & Inferences

    Active readers are consonantly making predictions and inferences as they read. However, becoming an active reader that makes predictions and makes inferences isn’t an easy task. Students need practice and support in order to master this difficult skill. I love using engaging mentor texts for teaching predictions and it also helps my students transition to […]

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  • 4 Mentor Texts for Teaching Story Elements

    Understanding story elements are important skills in both reading and writing. In lower graders, we often use the words beginning, middle, and end. We even briefly talk about describing the characters. But in upper elementary, we need our students to begin understanding that there is MORE than just these simple words. What is rising action? […]

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