The Latest and Greatest

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
your curly friend, Suzanne

Next week is Thanksgiving!  Can I get a hallelujah?!  With that said, we've been in school long enough to think back on some of the new programs and resources you've implemented this year.  Of those, some of those might be flops.  I know I've got plenty of those to go around, but let's not dwell on those.  I think I've landed on my favorite new part of my classroom- genre bookmarks!

These were last year's brainchild.  As teachers, we know that all types of texts are not created equally.  Students, however, think that strategies for fiction are universal.  Yeah, good luck with that!  Each bookmark establishes a purpose for reading, questions to consider, and icons to use with that genre.

Here's how I use them in my class:
Every Monday, we start a new Shared Reading.  I set the time for 90 seconds and instruct students to preview the passage, record what they notice, and choose the genre bookmark that fits this passage.  This is a great way to quickly achieve formative assessment.  We then use our bookmark to list what we should focus on as we read.  After we have filled in the chart, I read through the passage, modeling fluency.  You could use this chart as pre-reading for any text.  

Speaking of Shared Readings, the ones that I am currently working on are for upper elementary, grades 4 and 5.  If you would be interested in testing these out in your own classroom, please email me at  

What's the your favorite "new" thing this year?

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