Learning about the counties within Minnesota

As a native of Minnesota, I’m always interested in learning more about my home state. It was this that led me to create a new project for middle and junior high students (or younger if you want a challenge). Through a written report, poster, presentation, or brochure, your students will enjoy learning about Minnesota’s 87 counties via this new PBA (project-based assessment) and learning guide (found via the menu above). This PBA is multi-disciplinary as it involves reading, researching, writing, about a Minnesota county (and therefore includes social studies). Dependent on your needs and interests this project can easily be worked on independently or in a group setting. Each county has been formatted into the form of a bookmark.Simply print these pages and cut (there are four per page). To cut down on total pages, the listing of all 87 counties (designed to be the back of all bookmarks) precedes the individual pages. After learners have selected their county (via taking a bookmark or you have handed one to them), they will need to locate where their county is in the state of Minnesota. Have a Minnesota county map available at this time. You will see through the learner handout […]

Book Reports / Book Projects / PBAs

I’m happy to let you know that I’ve been working through many of the book reports and performance-based assessments / project-based assessments I’ve created since my undergraduate degree in order to update and reformat them. All of the PBAs include student choice as well as a range of activities designed to meet the interests of diverse groups of students. Enough are now revised that I’m ready to share a few with you! All of these projects are aimed at middle school and/or high school students. Please download what you find useful and share with anyone else who may be interested. I’ve provided you with three free below however funds are always appreciated as this work is done on my own time. Please consider purchasing through Teachers Pay Teachers or making a donation via the button provided at the end of this post. Amaryllis by Craig Crist-Evans Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett Sold by Patricia McCormick Finally, many of these projects would be suitable in a public library environment as a reading challenge for youth in middle or high school. If you have a book you’d like projects for or you simply want something reformatted, please email me! I’m happy to contract out my time and efforts. Happy […]

Quality Resource: BBC Learning English

The first thing I thought went I learned of the BBC’s Learning English site was…”Why didn’t I know about this earlier?” I spent two years teaching english as a foreign language in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps volunteer. This site would have come in handy many, many, many times. The site has been inspiring language learning since 1943! It currently includes six courses of varying levels. In addition, it features learning within nine topic areas if you’re looking for learning related to something specific like work, university, or the news. Furthermore, the site is available in seven languages if you’d like to navigate in a language other than English. Check it out: BBC Learning English Thanks for reading, happy learning, and share, share away! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Teachers Pay Teachers SALE!

In honor of new resources being added and even more coming soon, the Teachers Pay Teachers store for Circulating Knowledge is having a sale! Simply visit: Circulating Knowledge TPT  The sale is happening today, January 9th, through the 11th. There are a variety of resources available with many more planned to be added in the upcoming months. The latest resource I’m especially happy with is Cognate Memory. More and more schools are adopting the ReadyGen curriculum. There are plenty of great ideas in the scaffolded strategies book however too few teachers have the time and support to create the materials necessary to make these ideas come to fruition in their classrooms. The Cognate Memory resource includes 17 games that encompass the entire 1st grade ReadyGen curriculum. Not a first grade teacher? No worries. There’s a place for the game in any grade level above 1st grade as Spanish/English cognates are helpful for all of our students to learn. Plus, who doesn’t love a good game of memory? Anyhow, just for reading, you get one of the games for free! Below you’ll find a link to the cognate memory game for Unit 1 Module A. This module uses Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon […]

ReadyGen Support Materials

I was fortunate enough to be part of the team that assessed our options for new english language arts curriculums. ReadyGen, through Pearson, was the curriculum the team (and our administrators) decided to implement. This decision meant our classroom teachers were in for a leap from what they had become accustomed to. As with anything new, there was a great deal of work to be done within training and supporting our staff. While everyone is still working hard to make the necessary changes and find areas that need a few more resources, major strides have occurred. I wanted to share a few resources that support the learning of our 1st grade students: Arbor Day Cognate Memory Arbor Day Family Tree Bingo Please contact me if you’re interested in the creation of particular materials related to your curriculum(s) and/or grade levels. I enjoy creating fun, focused materials to support student learning. Your librarian, Katelyn

Anchor Charts and Graphic Organizers

Anchor charts and graphic organizers are commonly used items in most classrooms. Anchor charts are great ways to make thinking visible to record strategies, processes, cues, guidelines, and other aspects of the learning process. Graphic organizers are visual displays to depict the relationships between facts, terms, or ideas within a learning task. I’ve used a variety of resources to create charts and organizers for the educators I worked with. Several teachers also wanted 1/4 sheets for students to receive and paste into their notebooks. Is this something you prefer? All of them I’ve created are welcome for download and use from the following folder: Anchor Charts and Graphic Organizers What have you used and/or what are in you search of? Your librarian, Katelyn

Literacy and Legos: Changes and Future Plans

I’m always interested in trying new things while keeping what’s working. So is the case for Literacy and Legos. Year one and year two both taught me a lot about using the Lego StoryStarter curriculum. I’m very interested in continuing this at the next school I’m at. These lists are in no particular order. What works Groups of 2 or 3 students One StoryStarter kit per group Organizing the fairy tale expansion packs into the regular StoryStarter Kits. These provided much desired character traits. Having a fast warm-up activity to get student’s brains thinking before starting their main activity. The format of year one of working off of a book was a great way to focus on textual evidence and the structure of scenes. I would continue this as the basis for the beginning sessions. Blending students from different grade levels into the same group. Working with 3rd-5th grade students. Requiring a specific type of character, setting, or time period for an original story. This way two groups can focus their discussion and constructively assess one another’s stories. Eighteen students at a time. This allows for six groups of three, a manageable number for one person to be able to visit each of them […]