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Stop Teaching the E R Raising Student Achievement Conference 2009

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stop teaching the e r

Stop Teaching the E R

Raising Student Achievement Conference 2009


Most students over third grade who have learning difficulties serious enough for placement in special programs do not have problems with basic reading skills; rather, these students lack metacomprehension skills, and therefore are unable to systematically construct meaning or utilize strategies efficiently.

(Pogrow, 1993; Caverly, Mandeville, and Nicholson, 1995)

  • Visualize – make mental pictures or use the five senses
  • Make Connections – what has happened in your life, the world, or other texts that helps the reader make sense
  • Question – actively wonder and question the text
  • Infer – to predict, hypothesize, interpret, draw conclusions

  • Evaluate – to determine importance and make judgments
  • Analyze – to notice structures of text, the author’s craft, vocabulary, purpose, theme, point of view
  • Recall – to retell, summarize, remember information
  • Self-monitor – to recognize and act on confusion, uncertainty, and distractions



Question Answer Relationship

Taffy E. Raphael - 1983


When QAR is taught to students and practiced in class for as little as eight weeks reading comprehension improves significantly, with average and below-average students showing the greatest improvement.

(Miller, 1997; Richardson and Morgan, 1994)


Day One

What is the most impressive man-made structure that you have ever seen in person?

What made it so impressive?



What is the full name of this statue?

Who gave the statue to the United States?


What are some phrases we could use to help others understand what the Statue of Liberty looks like?


What types of reactions do you think people might have the first time they see the Statue of Liberty?


Day Two:

  • Shared Reading – Teacher Reads the poem as students follow along in text
  • Echo Reading – Students echo the teacher
  • Pair Reading – Students sit with a partner and take turns reading the poem aloud to each other. Teacher circulates and helps with difficult words.
  • A few students volunteer to read the poem to the class


Right There:

Who wrote The New Colossus?

What is Lazarus referring to when she says Colossus?

What other name does Lazarus give to the Statue of Liberty?

Think and Search:

What adjectives does Lazarus use to describe the Colossus?

What adjectives does Lazarus use to describe the Statue of Liberty?

Author and Me:

What do you see as major differences between the two statues: Colossus and Lady Liberty?

How do you think Emma Lazarus wanted people to feel when they first saw the Statue of Liberty?

How might the contrast of these two statues – Lady Liberty and Colossus - affect the way people feel about the Statue of Liberty?


Day Three:

  • Asked for volunteers to read the poem aloud to the class again.
  • Complete a graphic organizer as a team – teacher carrying the work of turning spoken word into written word
  • Students worked in teams to complete a graphic organizer – look at all the words – not just the adjectives. Teacher circulates the room offering support


Restate the prompt: Lazarus wanted people to feel welcome when they saw the Statue of Liberty.

Key Idea: She says the statue is a mighty woman.

Explain the key idea: She is a woman not a man.

Make a connection: Because she is a woman instead of a man, she seems to be friendly.

Key Idea: She is called the Mother of Exiles.

Explain the key idea: Because she is called a Mother, she seems to be friendly.

Make a connection: Most people like their mom.

Key idea: It says she gives a world wide welcome

Explain the key idea: Because she is giving a welcome, she seems friendly.

Make a connection: We have a welcome mat at our front door.

Repeat the prompt: The poet wants people to feel welcome when they see the Statue of Liberty.


Idea: The poet wanted people to feel welcome when they saw the Statue of Liberty.

Evidence: She described it as the Mother of Exiles.

Interpretation: I think that means she wants everyone to think of the Statue as their mother and mothers are nice.

Evidence: She said the statue gives a world wide welcome

Interpretation: I think that means that she is kind and welcomes people from anywhere in the world.

Connection: When I started at a new school, I was scared. But my teacher reminded me of my mom.

Extension: I didn’t feel so scared and nervous because I felt welcomed by the teacher who was like my mom.


do you think – have you ever – how might you feel if – what do you know about

from 2 to 24

From 2 to 24

Raising Student Achievement Conference December 2009


Sentence Patterns

  • Noun – Verb
    • AKA – Subject – Predicate

The dragon roared.

Noun – Verb – Noun

    • AKA – Subject – Predicate – Direct Object

The dragon breathed fire.


Pattern 1

Noun – Verb


Pattern 1

Noun – Verb



yes you can teach poetry

Yes, You Can Teach Poetry

Raising Student Achievement Conference Dec. 2009

isat writing features
ISAT Writing Features


Why write poetry?

  • Incorporates all 5 senses
  • Few words needed to make a meaningful message
  • De-emphasizes mechanics
  • Vocabulary development


Why write poetry?

  • Innovative use of language
  • Learn to use detail & imagery
  • Effective openings & closings
  • Personal voice expressed
  • Extends & supports reading & writing


I was dizzy as a dervish, as weak as aworn-out washer, as low as a badger’s belly,as timid as a titmouse, and as unlikely tosucceed as a ballet dancer with a wooden leg.

Little Sister by Raymond Chandler

Student samples:

She was as clumsy as a three-legged horse,

as skinny as dental floss, as pale as Saran Wrap,

and as boring as a broken keyboard.

On the basketball court I was as fierce as a charging lion,

as fast as the winner at Daytona, as powerful as a newlyspawned hurricane, and as successful as a salesman withlaryngitis.


The Toaster by William Jay Smith

A silver-scaled dragon with

jaws flaming red

Sits at my elbow and toasts

my bread.

I hand him fat slices, and

then, one by one,

He hands them back when

he sees they are done.


Intangible item (is/became/ seems to be) tangible item ______________

My anger was an acid eating away at me.

My anger was an acid destroying the container called me.


Sentence Pattern 6: use an appositive

Intangible item, tangible item, ___________________________________


My anger, a burning acid, destroyed my joy, my pride, my life.

your turn
Your Turn
  • Select one of the intangible items and one of the tangible items.
  • Feel free to use items that are not on the list.
  • Try to use Sentence Pattern 6 to create a metaphor – use the intangible item as the subject and the tangible item as the appositive


The snow, a white blanket, covered everything I looked at.

  • The leaves, little ballerinas, danced in the wind.
  • The oak tree, a soldier standing guard, grew by my bedroom window.
  • The birds, attacking jets, dive bombed my cat.

alliteration assonance
Alliteration & Assonance

The Diatonic Dittymunch by Jack Prelutsky

The Diatonic Dittymunch

plucked music from the air,

it swallowed scores of symphonies,

and still had space to spare,

sonatas and cantatas

slithered sweetly down its throat,

it made ballads into salads,

and consumed them note-by-note.

It ate marches and mazurkas,

it ate rhapsodies and reels,

minuets and tarantellas

were the staples of its meals,

but the Diatonic Dittymunch

outdid itself one day,

it ate a three-act opera,

and loudly passed away.

Assonance Samples:

Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground - Pink Floyd

With the sound, with the sound, with the sound of the ground. - David Bowie, "Law (Earthlings on Fire)"

I never seen so many Dominicanwomen with cinnamon tans - Will Smith, Miami

alliteration creation
Alliteration Creation

This is a turkle. Turkles take turns tickling turtles. They love the taste of trout, tuna, and tilapia. This turkle made a toupee from twine and attached it to his head with taffy. He traded ten tennis balls for a trampoline. He won a trophy for tooting a trombone while traveling on a tricycle to Tennessee. Turkles will lose their temper if you tap on the top of their trailers.

What makes this a good piece of writing?


by Eve Merriam

The rusty spigot sputters, utters

a splutter, spatters a smattering of drops, gashes wider; slashsplattersscattersspurts finally stops sputteringand plash! gushes rushes splashes clear water dashes.

a sound lesson
A Sound Lesson
  • My sister screamed when the mouse scurried across the kitchen floor.
    • “Eeeek!” My sister screamed when the mouse scurried across the kitchen floor.
  • The balloon burst.
    • Pop! The balloon burst.
  • The noisy clock irritated me.
    • The constant tick – tick – tick of the clock irritated me.
  • The doves serenaded me.
    • The cooing doves serenaded me.

your turn45
Your Turn
  • The church bells called us to the funeral.
  • The bees swarmed around the hive.
  • Dad washed the pots and pans.
  • The sound of Willie Nelson’s guitar filled the room.
  • The mud hit the wall.
  • The peg-legged pirate walked across the deck.


Somebody Has To by Shel Silverstein

Somebody has to go polish the stars,

They're looking a little bit dull.

Somebody has to go polish the stars,

For the eagles and starlings and gulls

Have all been complaining they're tarnished and worn,

They say they want new ones we cannot afford.

So please get your rags

And your polishing jars,

Somebody has to go polish the stars.


Let the rain kiss you

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops

Let the rain sing you a lullaby

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk

The rain makes running pools in the gutter

The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night

And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes


Like a swing dancer, the car danced down the icy street to the rhythm of every bump and dip.

The telephone at my bedside offered me a silent promise; “Yes, she will call.”


The spaghetti on the end of my fork twirled around like a ballerina.

The tired kitten on my lap slept like a baby.



First, the colors on the plains and mountains take my breath away. I love to see the green grassy plains swaying in the wind as if the wind is playing a song. I especially like to watch the mountains turn colors when the sun shines down on them.


Don’t let this seemingly weak blob of jelly fool you. The well-armed octopus is a powerful and sneaky fighting machine.


I love watching the Orcas jump to huge heights. It enchants me to see how this whale can soar in the air for a period of time like a cloud hovering through the sky. I wonder what it feels like to weigh 2 tons and have everyone stare at you as you leap from the depths of the ocean. When I look at the whale’s huge size, it thrills me to wonder how it can leap from the water like that.


Onomatopoeia – Personification

In the first place, my cat keeps me company. She snuggles up and begs to be petted or scratched. I can’t resist that soft little purr when Puddin comes looking for petting. My cat is also playful. I can dangle a feather from a string and Puddin will swat at it with her paws. Her other favorite game is to chase a wind up mouse around the house. She runs, darts around corners, and pounces on the little mouse. Then she brings it back to me and drops it at my feet. It’s like if she’s saying, “Do that again.”


Big brown eyes, a waggly tail, a little mop of fur scooting through the house – everybody loves a puppy. Mom, Dad, I sure do wish you would let me have a puppy. You know that I am responsible and could take good care of a puppy. Not only would I take good care of a puppy but it could help to take care of me and make me more healthy. Instead of watching TV, I could play with my puppy.


There once was a berry so blue

That helped people who hadn’t a clue

Full of good flavonoids

It filled a diet void

It can help increase memory for you.



The little one asleep in its cradle,

I lift the gauze and look a long time, and silently brush away flies with my hand.

The bride unrumples her white dress, the minute-hand of the clock moves slowly.


The snow-sleighs, clinking, shouted jokes, pelts of snow-balls,

The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,

Ya-honk he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation.

The human heart beating with terrible throes under its ribs

The whispering stars of heaven


The running blackberry will adorn the parlors of heaven,

The cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue,


The large hearts of heroes

The courage of present times and all times.


The hounded slave that flags in the race, leans by the fence, blowing, cover’d with sweat

The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, the murderous buckshot and the bullets


The white roses sweet-scented and growing.


I understand

Why technology is taking over the world

The thrill of hitting a home run

The excitement of the Cardinals winning the pennant.

I don’t understand

Why English is so difficult for me

Why the pigeons lounge around school

I see

A math teacher frazzled furious frustrated Another teacher puzzling over someone’s conduct

I feel

The dew on the wet roses in early morn

The cold metal of a yellow school bus

The whispering wind hitting my face


I hear

The screeching bell calling me

To another day of school

I breathe in and smell

The excellent scent of strawberries

The scent of Michael Jordan cologne

The fresh air

The fresh smell of soap

I taste

The delicious cherry pit

The cherry roll

A mouth-watering piece of Bubble Yum

By Eric


I Live by Amanda

I taste ice cream slithering and sliding down my throat,

hot, cheesy pizza burning my sensitive tongue,

the melting chocolate of an almond Hershey bar.

I breathe in and smell the sweet perfume of blooming flowers,

the disgusting stench of a burning cigarette,

the relief of fresh rich country air.

I see new born birds craving a juicy worm,

a glistening waterfall splashing into a lake,

Jackie Kennedy’s clothing drenched in blood,

students struggling with a writing assignment,

the spirit dances of Native Americans,

crashing waves in Picos de Europa,

a wind surfer struggling to stay on his board,

smoke rising from a burning grill.


I see a lumberjack cutting down an old oak tree,

dolphins playing tag in salty ocean water,

a river running through Isles of the Caribbean,

a family welcoming home their son from the war,

running water in the Grand Canyon,

a mosaic paving the way for kindergartners as they head

toward a carefully reserved Renaissance house

decorated with graffiti.

I hear blood running down and shots ringing in the air,

the taunt of a drug dealer tempting innocent youth with drugs.

I hear the laughter of children playing,

rumors swirling around school,

blood-curdling screams of slaves being whipped,

wind rattling the leaves of trees,

animals hooves clopping down the road,

campfires crackling as the campers drift off to sleep,

combines harvesting corn,

a bird drinking from a leaky faucet,

the silent growth of flowers,

the yipping of puppies taken away from their mother.

I taste, I breathe. I see, I hear.

I live.


From 2 to 24Noun - Verb

the dragon roared
The dragon roared.


The dragon roared. (1)

Did the dragon roar? (3)

Ferociously, the dragon roared. (4)

In the morning, the dragon roared. (5)

The dragon, one of the king’s pets, roared. (6)

Because his dinner arrived late, the dragon roared. (7)


The dragon roared because his dinner arrived late.(8)

The dragon roared, growled, and hissed.(9)

Angry, the dragon roared. (11)

Grumpy because of a hangnail, the dragon roared. (12)

To frighten the tourists, the dragon roared. (13)


Glaring at the knight, the dragon roared. (14)

Frustrated, the dragon roared. (15)

Having burnt dinner again, the dragon roared. (16)

The dragon that lives next door roared.(17)

The dragon, who normally loves company, roared. (18)


The dragon roared, and the knight retreated. (19)

The dragon roared; the knight whimpered. (20)

The dragon roared; nevertheless, the knight approached his lair. (21)

The dragon, desperate for attention, roared. (23)

Tired, cold, and hungry – the dragon roared. (24)


Basic Pattern # 2Noun – Verb – Noun

  • The stallion leaped the fence.
  • My brother bought a Corvette.
  • The elephant chased the clown.
  • The snow blanketed the city.
  • The quarterback launched the football.


Basic Pattern # 2Noun – Verb – Noun

  • The horse leaped the fence.
  • My brother bought a Corvette.
  • The elephant chased the clown.
  • The snow blanketed the city.
  • The quarterback launched the football.







From 2 to 24Noun – Verb - Noun

The astronaut repaired the Hubble.


The astronaut repaired the Hubble. (2)

Did the astronaut repair the Hubble? (3)

Carefully, the astronaut repaired the Hubble.(4)

On day three, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (5)

The astronaut, Dr. Megan McArthur, repaired the Hubble. (6)


Because the bolts had frozen, the astronaut repaired the Hubble.(7)

The astronaut repaired the Hubble because its bolts had frozen. (8)

The astronaut repaired the Hubble, collected data, and conducted a demonstration.(9/10)

Confident, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (11)

Nervous because of the fire, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (12)


To insure clear photographs of the galaxy, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (13)

Struggling with the frozen bolts, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (14)

Worried, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (15)

Having diagnosed the problem, the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (16)

The astronaut that waved to me at lift off repaired the Hubble.(17)


The astronaut, who was on her fifth mission, repaired the Hubble.(18)

The astronaut repaired the Hubble, and mission control monitored the event. (19)

The astronaut repaired the Hubble; the other crew members assisted her. (20)

The astronaut repaired the Hubble; therefore, NASA received clear pictures of the galaxy again. (21)

The astronaut, determined to succeed, repaired the Hubble. (23)

Tired, cold, and hungry – the astronaut repaired the Hubble. (24)


Adding the Jewelry

Select 3 or 4 of the patterns and teach only those. Then use them for revision and short writing activities. Challenge the students to use vivid verbs in the patterns.

adding a prepositional phrase

In themorning

Adding a Prepositional Phrase
  • Send one person from your group to pick up the following supplies
    • One paper plates for each person
    • One piece of colored paperfor each person
    • One tongue per person
  • Draw a face on the plate
  • Add “hair”
  • Tape on the tongue
  • Write a prepositional phraseon the tongue –

see next slide for suggested phrases


In the morning

Prepositional phrase


Prepositional Phrases





my dad makes pan-cakes.

In the morning

Prepositional phrase

adding a participle
Adding a Participle
  • Have students search through novels for participial phrases
  • Categorize those phrases
  • Add a participial phrase to a base sentence
  • Be sure to anchor the phrase to the noun it describes



Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

  • Cindy surprised us.
  • The old man searched for the lost diamond ring.
  • The burglar waited for his opportunity.


Add a participial phrase to the sentences on the following slide

  • Try to help the readermake an inferenceor visualize

add a participial phrase
Add a Participial Phrase
  • The dentist drilled my bottom molars.
  • The florist designed a bouquet for my sister’s wedding.
  • The students rewrote their expository essays for the 5th time.
  • The bus driver swerved around trash cans, parked cars, trees, and stop signs.
  • My sister cleared the table and washed the dishes.

6. My neighbor hobbled from the recliner to the dinner table.

sentence combinations
Sentence Combinations
  • The lookout sat high above the ship in the crow’s nest. He searches the waters for possible danger.
  • The lookout realizes the Titanic is heading toward a huge iceberg. He sounded an alarm.
  • The giant iceberg scrapes the side of the ship. The sailors hear a grinding noise.

the lookout sat high above the ship in the crow s nest he searched the waters for possible danger
The lookout sat high above the ship in the crow’s nest. He searched the waters for possible danger.
  • The lookout sat high above the ship in the crow’s nest so that he could search the waters for possible danger.
  • Until the lookout sat high above the ship in the crow’s nest, he searched the waters for possible danger.
  • Even though the lookout sat high above the ship in the crow’s nest, he searched the waters for possible dangers.

visualize higher isat scores

Visualize Higher ISAT Scores

Raising Student Achievement Conference December 2009

floodlight flashlight
Floodlight - Flashlight
  • Look at the picture on the following slide.
  • Remember 1 thing from the picture.
  • What did everyone see?

floodlight flashlight89
Floodlight / Flashlight
  • Homer combed his dark curly hair while his mother rooted through her purse.
  • He pushed the red button marked STOP but the clang of the motors continued.
  • He was confused.
  • Mrs. Callahan sewed a thousand silver spangles onto the angel costume.
  • She was so hungry she could hardly stand it anymore.

floodlight flashlight90
Floodlight / Flashlight
  • I jumped out of bed, went upstairs, took a shower, got dressed and ate breakfast.
  • The cardboard box wobbled and a scratching noise came from inside.
  • Ramona squirmed on the chair then turned toward me and stuck out her tongue.
  • He told everyone exactly how he felt about the music.

floodlight flashlight91
Floodlight / Flashlight

The cows are surprised by the Eiffel Tower. It is larger than they had expected. One cow thinks it looks like a giant letter A made out of iron bones. The cows had expected it to be silver, but it is really brown, the rich color of the earth back in the fields.

The Cows Are Going to Paris by David Kirby & Allen Woodman


A few Roman wedding traditions are still visible in today’s wedding celebrations. Roman women wore a ring on the third finger of the left hand, the “ring finger.” People believed that a vein in that finger led straight to the heart. After the wedding ceremony, there was a procession to the groom’s house. People in the procession threw nuts at the bridal couple, just like people today throw rice or confetti. The bride carried a torch through the procession. At the end of the procession, the groom carried the bride over the threshold of their home. The bride then used her torch to light a fire for warmth and light. She the threw the torch to the people waiting outside the house, much the way today’s bride throws her wedding bouquet.

Great Source Reading Advantage: Travel the World. When in Rome.


Grade 3: Support Score = 4


Support: 4

Little depth is provided in the details of this response. Support consists of some specifics with extension (get a lot of sleep so you are not tired

in the morning and it is good to get a lot of sleep at lest 8 hours) . . . In order to achieve a higher score, greater depth and specificity in the details would be required.


(What does it look like if you are not tired in the morning?)

Do the details prove the point?

Can the readers visualize?


Grade 3

Support Score = 4


What is the proof?

Do the details prove the point?

Can the reader visualize?

What is the proof?


Does any of this help us to visualize? How could this writer help the readers to visualize seashells – exotic fish – or swimming practice?