I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark; by Debbie Levy- lesson plan

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark Lesson Plan

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark Lesson Plan

“I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark” by Debbie Levy is a perfect biography for elementary students. Students learn about our first Jewish woman Supreme Court Justice, who persevered through many obstacles to sit at the highest court in the land. Justice Ruth Baden Ginsburg is a real American hero and she becomes well loved by kids after reading her life story. If I was to take one thing away from primary classroom, it would be their sense of fairness and/or its pursuit. Justice Ginsburg is everything we want to inspire in our students.

5 Stars!

Happy Reading! 

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed. 

For the lesson plan, click here.

demoIDissentRuthBaderGinsburgMakesHerMarkbyDebbieLevyLessonPlan3276819

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I Just Don’t Like the Sound of No! by Julia Cook

61qQz7oYhKLI Just Don’t Like the Sound of No by Julie Cook is one of the highly effective social skills picture books. Perfect for elementary school students. Younger students instantly connect with the story, since they deal with daily frustrations when it comes to hearing ‘no’. Cook skillfully connects with the reader, then productively offers a step-by-step plan to which students quickly buy in. As younger students have a hard time considering others’ perspective of ideas, Cook’s “Say to Yes to No” club serves as a productive habit forming tool, useful for all students.

Perfect class management tool book!
5 Star 🙂

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

Lesson Plan

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Hillarious Picture Books

Chicken Big Lesson Plan

Chicken Big Lesson Plan

“Chicken Big” by Keith Graves – No one knows that to make of the giant baby chick. It might be an elephant, a squirrel, a sweater… Whatever it ends up being, “Chicken Big” brings a clever and super funny plot. Creative illustrations only add to already great plot. This picture book is perfect for grades K-3. In addition to the standard reading comprehension and writing skills, it includes elements of fairy tales. See if your kids can find the story number pattern.

 

“Chicken Big” Lesson Plan – Click Here 

demoChickenBigbyKeithGravesLessonPlan3219952

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

A Splash of Red; The Life and Art of Horace Pippin lesson plan

A Splash of Red; The Life and Art of Horace Pippin lesson plan

“A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin” by Jen Bryant is a beautiful story about Horace Pippin, a self-taught African American painter, who from an early age drew and held on to his art despite numerous life obstacles. This is a perfect read aloud for elementary grades. I had many, many students, who made amazing drawings on every test, assignment and spelling practice; that never got them into trouble :). This is a perfect read to teach biography genre, reading comprehension skills, American history, character analysis, content specific vocabulary, etc.

An absolute gem.

“A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin” Lesson Plan- click here

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed.

demoASplashofRedTheLifeandArtofHoracePippinLAArtLessonPlan3211012

Summer Enrichment; Reads, Coding & Apps

Summer doesn’t have to have a backward slide if kids keep their minds active. Learning new and different stuff will increase their academics upon return to school. The stressful tests are over, there is no more mandatory curriculum. Just summer, kids and parents.

Summer Books:

bird_lake_moon“Bird Lake Moon” – by Henkes

 

 

 

Unknown“Olive’s Ocean” – by Henkes – Newbery Award Winner of 2004

 

 

 

Turtle_in_paradise“Turtle in Paradise” – by Holm

“Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” – by Megan McDonald

 

 

Learning Computer Programming This Summer – for all ages
Logo Playground

logoTurtleAcademy.com

Super fun and engaging way to learn programming. Suitable for all ages.

 

 

 

Learning while having fun… Apps

teachme3rdTeachMe:3rd Grade – by 24×7 digital LLC

This app for 3rd graders is ideal during and after the school year. Kids practice spelling, sight words, multiplication, division, fast multiplication and division; earning points and prizes.
What I find the best about this app is the writing part, which kids find a bit frustrating but they all work at it. They start paying attention to their penmanship, which in third grade is still in beginning stages with most students. Summer is a perfect time for the review and this app has all the foundation that they will need in 4th grade. TeachMe: 3rd Grade app does a great job getting kids to mastery of content through a fun and captivating way.
TeachMe: 3rd Grade doesn’t feel like work. You will know that kids really like it, when they repeatedly ask to play it.

Florida Teacher Test Scoring is Flawed Or….

GKT infoOn Tuesday two Florida teachers made their cases in court claiming that Florida teacher testing is flawed. Now, how is it flawed? Isn’t Florida rigorous? No, it’s not. Florida as a state has one of the worst educational systems in the country. The system is tough on both students and teachers. The present problem with teacher exams, especially General Knowledge Exam, is that 40% of teachers fail these tests. No one knows why or how. Well, we do know how and why.

This is why. Pearson and Florida Department of Education administer exams that they claim are research based. No one has ever seen this research. In the case that you have, please enlighten the rest of us. These tests are designed for teachers to fail, so that Pearson can profit from retakes that cost $200 per retake. More retakes, more money.

Now, teachers are saying that these tests cannot be valid if 40% of university graduates are failing these exams. What we should get to see is Pearson (British corporate giant) that rules American education system sit down with university professors who had graduated these failing teachers. Perhaps, Pearson can explain their rigorous process to American top notch professors. Unlike in other countries, where teachers are C students, American teachers are overachievers. They are smart, hard-working and motivated, despite being grossly underpaid. No one knows where is their drive for financial struggle coming from. They must really love their work. Only if they were not so poor.

What is even more appalling is the analysis of passing rates between different races and genders. Males fair the best, unless they are African Americans. Females, African Americans and Hispanics have the lowest passing teacher exam rates. Hm, what seems wrong about this? Is it possible that this test isn’t only designed for failure but is also created to fail minorities and women. ?????

Pearson’s History of Testing Problems -A List

Pearson Representative Claimed No Flaw in Their System:

Here is the Never Ending List: (Source: Washington Post)

1999-2000 Arizona – 12,000 tests misgraded due to flawed answer key
2000 Florida – Test score delivery delayed resulting in $4 million fine
2000 Minnesota – Misgraded 45,739  graduation tests leads to lawsuit with $11 million settlement – judge found “years of quality control problems” and a “culture emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting”
2000 Washington – 204,000 writing WASL exams rescored
2002 Florida – Dozens of school districts received no state grades for their 2002 scores because of a “programming error” at the DOE. One Montessori school never received scores because NCS Pearson claimed not to have received the tests.
2005 Michigan – Scores delayed and fines levied per contract
2005 Virginia  – Computerized test misgraded – five students awarded $5,000 scholarships
2005-2006 SAT college admissions test – 4400 tests wrongly scored; $3 million settlement after lawsuit (note FairTest was an expert witness for plaintiffs)
2007-2011 Mississippi – Subcontractor programs correct answer as incorrect resulting in erroneous results for almost four years during which time 126 students flunked the exam due to that wrongly scored item. Auditors criticized Pearson’s quality-control checks, and the firm offered $600,000 in scholarships as compensation

Continue With The List

Helping Kids Like Math

board-935455_960_720Kids today are digital natives. They learn different. Kids don’t like math. Really? Where is this coming from? Kids love math. Let them master their number sense and watch them treat it like a game. There is enthusiasm in the class during math. So, what is the problem with math? There is no problem with math. We have a problem with bad curriculum. We have a problem with Common Core standards that are developmentally inappropriate, especially for primary grades. We have a problem with a foreign company, Pearson, that provides kids with tests designed for failure. So, no we don’t have a problem with math. Students enjoy elementary math.
What they don’t enjoy is reading. As years go by, the vocabulary becomes more domain specific and increases in difficulty. This coincides with students reading less as they go from upper elementary, middle and high school. Reading is a huge part of math. If students cannot understand what they question is asking them due to dense vocabulary, they struggle with math, no matter how well they did in early elementary.

Reading comprehension effects all academic subjects. If a child struggles in reading, the odds of them graduating high school are very low. Reading is a skill developed throughout all schooling and life. What is different with this generation is that they are tasked with deciphering numerous reading formats, which makes reading comprehension skills more important then ever. Yet, today’s students spend less time reading than previous generation.

If we want to help kids like math, science or social studies, we have to help them become better readers. Reading promotes critical thinking, problem solving, and deep learning. All of which translates into math success in middle and high school.