Thursday, August 27, 2015

Friday Freebie and Teacher Spotlight-Annotating the Text-FREE direct instruction videos included

Having a child of my own has reiterated a couple of truths:

In years past, I've been guilty of teaching a concept and then simply moving on to my next standard or lesson without giving my students regular practice applying what they learned  This has been detrimental when it's time for state assessments.  I don't know how many times I've said, "We covered that earlier this year.  They should know it."  Yes, it's true that we covered it, but without time to continually practice and review, students will forget. 

This year, I decided that I will give my students adequate time to practice applying the skill of annotating as they analyze complex text. One way that I'm doing this is by providing them with Kelly Gallagher's article of the week and class time to analyze it. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Nick Trottier for reintroducing me to Gallagher's work.)

An example of student work
Earlier this month, I used direct instruction videos to teach my students how to annotate the text. 

They now spend class time  working with a partner to read and analyze the weekly article. They use think marks to hold their thinking and then write a one page reflection that demonstrates their understanding.  

This was a free download in Just a Primary Girl's TpT store.
Click the image to go to this product in her store. 
Regular practice with annotating the text will help students hone their skills so that they greatly improve upon their reading comprehension. 

This worked so well with my students, so I'd like to share my direct instruction videos, the article used to teach this skill, the writing frame, and a sample of student work with you.  You can download all of this here in Google Drive. *Don't forget to swing by Just a Primary Girl's store to grab the Think Marks document that I used with my students.  IT'S FREE!  Show her some love and leave a bit of feedback.

Teacher Spotlight

Liezel with her daughter

This week's Teacher Spotlight winner is Liezel Pienaar.  Liezel has been teaching biology, chemistry, and physics to upper middle and high school students for 13 years.  (In my eyes, this makes her a genius!)  She has a degree in Biochemistry, but decided to go into the classroom instead of working in a lab.  She is so glad she made that move. Here's more from Liezel. 

Why did you become a teacher? 
I love Science but I could not see myself working in a lab everyday. I needed a creative outlet as well. After completing my degree in Biochemistry I decided to get my teaching qualification. Best decision ever!!
I love everything about teaching Middle School and High School Sciences. The students are amazing, funny, creative, etc. The subjects are interesting and fun. I try to do as many practical sessions as possible.

What, as a teacher, is one thing you're proud of and would like to share with others?
I have ex-students who are now at University and they still IM me with questions! I love the fact that they are still thinking of me and that they think that I can help them. :)

You can find and follow Liezel on Facebook and Instagram..

YOU can enter to be featured on my blog as well!  If selected, you will win a $5 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Simply fill out this form. That's it! No gimmicks or tricks.  I believe very strongly in highlighting and honoring the achievements of others.  Winners will be notified via e-mail a few days before the weekly post.  

And in case you missed it, here are last week's freebies from several teacher-authors.  Have a great weekend!