Reading Response Choice Boards in Seesaw

Are you looking for new ways to reach students, especially those fast finishers / high-performers? Do you need ways to differentiate tasks without requiring a ton of extra time? Maybe you need something for your students to work on that is meaningful and not just a time-filler? Why not use a choice board!   Choice boards allow students to make choices in their learning, which amps up motivation and engagement.  When students are given a menu of options, they feel more in charge of their learning and often put forth more effort. As a teacher, I also like how I can...

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Writing Edition

Seesaw is an amazing place to include student writing. When thinking about writing lessons, we need to keep in mind that writing involves not only putting thoughts and ideas into words in written form, but also knowing & using the appropriate vocabulary, spelling, and grammar to convey meaning, knowing and using the appropriate form for the type of writing, and the difference between formal and informal writing. It also includes the skills of revising, editing, and publishing. 

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Reading Edition

The language domains, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are the 4 ways that people can interact with language. Two of these skills, speaking and writing, are described as productive skills as we create language with each of these. The other two skills, listening and reading, are receptive skills because we use these skills to receive information from an outside source. In this post, we will focus on ways that you can practice the language domain of reading by using Seesaw.

Avoid IXL Burnout: Getting Measurable Impact in as Little as 15 Questions a Week

Are you looking to make the most of IXL? In the post below, we’ll talk about the IXL Effect and how to ensure you are making the most of IXL in the classroom.  A bit of heavy reading behind the “IXL Effect” The IXL Effect is a well-known phrase in the IXL community that refers to the impact that IXL can make on student proficiency, specifically when comparing schools that use IXL to those that do not use IXL. IXL conducted research that explored IXL usage across the entire state of Indiana. By examining a large number of schools, they...

How to Use IXL Without an Account

Even without an IXL paid account, you can still support students while they’re using IXL. Use the resources below and make sure to check out the videos linked at the bottom of the page!

Using Read Alouds to Meaningfully Integrate All 4 Language Domains

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a podcast called Equipping ELL’s with Beth Vaucher. One episode that really caught my attention was “4 Ways to Easily Cover All 4 Domains Through a Read Aloud”. Beth walks through how to actively engage your students in all four of the language domains using just one read aloud. This post is based on the ideas that she shared in her podcast. Check out this episode, below! Why Use Read Alouds There are many evidence-based benefits of reading aloud to students. Reading aloud creates a classroom community by establishing a text known by the entire...

Bringing High-level Content to Lower Readability Levels

Ensuring all students are successful at learning content in your classroom starts with lesson preparation. The SIOP component of Lesson Preparation sets the tone for the entire SIOP framework. In this blog post, we will highlight two features of lesson preparation: choosing appropriate content concepts for both age and educational backgrounds and adapting content to all levels of student proficiency, and look at how these two features work hand in hand and when planned for effectively, can change the trajectory of your classroom. In specific, we will focus on different methods you can use to adapt texts so that you...

Help Students Move from “Renting” to “Owning” Vocabulary: 3 Ways to Build Background by Emphasizing Key Vocabulary

Vocabulary development is crucial to student success, however, overused vocabulary tactics can grow uninspired and tiresome. Read more below to learn about 3 different ways to help move students from “renting” to “owning” vocabulary. Why Teach Vocabulary Development While vocabulary is often closely linked with reading comprehension, vocabulary development is actually crucial to success in all 4 language domains of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. While teaching vocabulary, you ground students in the lesson by previewing language that is important to the content of the lesson, it helps students recognize and interact with vocabulary throughout a lesson and encourages students...

Focused and Targeted Instruction Using NWEA Scores and IXL Skill Plans

One way to use NWEA data to drive instruction is to use skill plans within IXL. With IXL’s skill plans, students can turn their pinpointed NWEA results into skill plans to quickly grow their math knowledge. Skill plans are available for math, reading, and language assessments.  Creating a personalized MAP skill plan 🎉 Elkhart teachers, this step has already been completed for you for all students that completed NWEA within the testing window! Skip ahead to the bottom of this section to learn how to manually enter data for students that missed our testing window! If you are an IXL...

Focused and Targeted Instruction Using NWEA Scores with Free eBook

Are you looking for ideas on how to utilize NWEA data in meaningful ways to inform instruction and put the data to work?  Teach. Learn. Grow. blog contributor – Kathy Dyer and Senior Curriculum Specialist for NWEA, John Wood – provide great ideas and techniques for getting the most from MAP Growth data in their free ebook “Using MAP Growth Data to Inform Instruction”. This valuable resource also provides real examples on how you can apply MAP Growth assessment data in your classroom to help improve instruction, set goals, predict proficiency, and even help with parent communication. Check out the...

Focused and Targeted Instruction Using NWEA Scores with Khan Academy Math

NWEA MAP data is powerful and can be put to great use to accelerate student learning and Khan Academy offers personalized math practice using NWEA scores.

Ready-to-Use Activities to Teach About Labor Day

Think of your favorite ice cream flavor. Can you guess how many workers it takes to produce that delicious cone of mint chocolate chip? 🍦We celebrate these (and all!) workers on Labor Day.

Celebrate the achievements of workers in the United States throughout its history with the exploration of Labor Day.

Check out these ready-to-use resources that may help you weave Labor Day into your instructional day a little easier!

Become a Smekens Pro with these Digital Resources

Do you recognize this binder? If you have never seen this be sure to reach out to Tara White and she can help get you the resource. Turn to the first page and follow the directions to access your digital playbook resources. When you use your access code you will be able to get to a website to access Digital Anchor Charts Roadmaps (Editable or Filled in) Signs / Printable Cards Worksheets Videos FAQ page Lesson Ideas Watch the video below for a quick walkthrough of the digital playbook. Digital Anchor Charts If you watched the walkthrough, you saw the...