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Beth Newingham
Troy, MI
Recent Activity
Erin, You asked for a link to my Writing Workshop Top Ten list on my website (at least that's what I think you are referring to). That list is actually a blog post I wrote here on the Scholastic website last school year. Here is a direct link to that post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2011/02/my-january-top-ten-list-writing-lessons-and-resources.html I hope this helps! -Beth
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Leslie, You said that you are downloading the games, but all you see are quesion marks and symbols where the text should be. That probably means you do not have the font installed on your computer that I used when creating the file. If you highlight the question marks and symbols and then change it to a font you have on your computer, that should work! -Beth
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Sheila (comment #232), You asked how I determine where to start with High Frequency word lists after giving the Words Their Way Inventory. After giving the WTW inventory, I typically break the students into 3 groups. The low group starts with the first 100 HF words, the middle group starts with the second HF list, and the high group starts with the 300 list. I retest all groups mid-year since they start to run out of words. However, I make sure I take enough time at the beginning of the year to continue testing students so that they have enough words to get them through the first 2 semesters. It does take up class time during the first couple of weeks, but I find that it is worth it. Since I have a teaching partner, we come in on our days off and actually pull small groups of students who need to be tested at higher levels if necessary. -Beth
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Maria (comment #233), You mentioned that it looks like we do not pend much time on reading workshop each day. However, we spend an entire hour every day of the week. Here is a link to my daily schedule: http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/indexschedule.htm Guided reading is part of our reading workshop. The format out our 60 minute reading workshop is as follows: Mini-Lesson: 10 minutes Individualized Daily Reading (IDR): 45 minutes Closing: 5 minutes It is during IDR time that I meet with guided reading groups and strategy groups or confer with individual readers. You can learn more about my reading workshop by reading this previous post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2009/10/reading-workshop.html I hope this helps! -Beth
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Lauren (comment #58), You asked if you are able to download my library book basket labels in anything other than Print Shop. Unfortunately, the answer is no since that is the program in which they were created. However, you could easily create your own in Microsoft Word using text boxes and clipart. -Beth
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Dava (comment #57), I think we are going to go with a Hollywood theme next schol year. This was the first theme that I ever tried out years ago, but I am planning to go even bigger next year. I was inspired by Scholastic Classroom Solution's Brent Vasicek. Here is a link to his Hollywood theme: http://blogs.scholastic.com/classroom_solutions/2010/08/creating-a-theme.html Are you planning to do a theme next school year? -Beth
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Nicole (comment #56), You asked if I would still be using a reading workshop format with the new common core standards in place. Absolutely! I believe that any and all reading skills should be taught, practiced, and reinforced in the midst of an authentic reading workshop where students are thoughtfully engaged in purposeful reading on a daily basis. Our district will be reviewing the common core curriculum maps and deciding how they fit into our current curriculum. Thanks for reading my blog! -Beth
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Courtney (comment #55), You asked about the wire racks that I use for double-copy books in my classroom. I purchased it years ago at Calloway House online. When I checked the website, that specfic book rack doesn't seem to be available any longer. However, they do have some nice book racks. Here is a link to the website: http://www.callowayhouse.com/home.asp I wish I could have been of more help! -Beth
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Alison (comment #52), I'm sure you will love 3rd grade! I have been teaching it for years now, and I feel like I never want to change grades! For ideas about starting the school year, you can check out my September Top Ten List that I created at the beginning of the school year. I shared many ideas about the way I start my school year with my own students. Here is a link to that blog post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2010/09/september-top-10.html I hope this helps! -Beth
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Jody (comment #51), You asked about the wire racks that I use for both books and magazines in my classroom. I purchased them years ago at Calloway House online. When I checked the website, that specfic book rack doesn't seem to be available any longer. However, they do have some nice book racks. Here is a link to the website: http://www.callowayhouse.com/home.asp I wish I could have been of more help! -Beth
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Elissa (comment #226), You asked if I would suggest going away from the basal and instead implementing your own word study program. YES! When I first began taching in my district, I had to use a basal for reading and spelling. I was often frustrated with the order of the patterns because they did not build on each other. My students make little progress and did not apply the knowledge and skills they gained from one unit to the next. I really suggest looking at Words Thier Way or Fountas and Pinnell's word study program to determine the order in which you present spelling patterns and skills to your students. Thanks for posting on my blog! Have a great summer! -Beth
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Sherri (comment #225), You posted the most commonly asked question I get from teachers, "How do you fit it all in?" Fortunately, I have time in my daily schedule to fit 55 minutes of reading (5 days a week), 45 minutes of writing (4 days a week), and 25-40 minutes of word study 5 days a week). Here is a link to my daily schedule: http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/indexschedule.htm Without that much time given o each subject, I certainly would not be able to do all that I do in my classroom. Is there anything you can do away with in your current daily schedule? My teaching partner and I ended up getting rid of our 15 minute morning recess to make room for consistent word study. Since the students are often interacting and playing word study games during this time, they never complain about not having recess. We also got rid of a supplementary math program that we did not feel was helping our students and, instead, improved our regular math instruction by implementing math workshop. This freed up some time as well. Since I do not recommend shortening your reading or writing workshops, my only suggestion is to see if you can eliminate anything else in your day to make room for word study. I know that this is easier said than done, but it was worth it to make more time for word study in my classroom! -Beth
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Nancy (comment #224), You asked a great question about where we fit in the teaching of grammar skills like nouns, verbs, adjectives, capitalization, etc. As much as we can, we try to teach these types of skills in the context of our writing workshop. However, most teachers know that many students need additional, direct instruction as well. For that reason, our morning work (usually the first 15-25 minutes of the school day) focuses on grammar concepts. It combines DOL (daily oral language), interactive SMART Board grammar activities, and even (when necessary) some worksheets that we use to assess students' learning. You can find our daily schedule here: http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/indexschedule.htm There are also skills like homophones, plural nouns, contractions, comparatives, etc. that are the direct focus of our word study units during the year. Thanks for reading my blog and posting your comment! -Beth
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Angie K. (comment #223), You asked if I knew of any great websites or blogs for middle school teachers. Unfortunately I am not aware of many, but that is probably because I hve not taken the time to seek them out since I teach 3rd grade. My mom was a middle school teacher for 28 years and often complained about the lack of creative middle school resources on the web compared to those available for elementary teachers. Since you said that you teach ELA, here is a link to a great website: http://www.middleweb.com/mw/workshop/R_W_Project.html Have a great summer! -Beth
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Debbie (comments 221 & 222), You asked a few questions about how I create my word lists. In section #3 of this post "Creating Word Lists," I provided links to the many different resources I used to create the actual word lists. To determine the order, my teaching partner and I used the scope and sequence in the F & P book, but we did change the order of a few patterns. You also asked about the spelling inventory test sheet, HF spelling inventory test sheet, spelling pretest form, an the word study records & strategy lesson planning pages. These are all documents that I have saved on my school computer. I am out of school now, but I will see if I can go back in to school one day this week and get the files so that I can upload them to this post. I am not sure if Print Shop Version 23 will work on Windows 7. Version 23 is the version I used to create all of my Print Shop stuff. However, I do know that none of my PS files will open in the new Print Shop 2.0. You also asked how I used Print Shop to create SMART Board files. I just create the games in print shop and then export the PS file as a jpeg. I then insert the jpeg file into SMART Notebook and add games pieces, spinners, dice, etc. I hope I've answered your questions! -Beth
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Dava (comment #49), I think we are going to go with a Hollywood theme next schol year. This was the first theme that I ever tried out years ago, but I am planning to go even bigger next year. I was inspired by Scholastic Classroom Solution's Brent Vasicek. Here is a link to his Hollywood theme: http://blogs.scholastic.com/classroom_solutions/2010/08/creating-a-theme.html Are you planning to do a theme next school year? -Beth
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Nancy (comment #45), Thanks so much for linking to my website on your blog! I'm honored:) I really enjoyed reading your blog! I found myself browsing back through old posts and finding some really cool ideas. Great job! -Beth
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Mary (comment #37), You asked about the Time Machine song in one of the class movies on my website. The title of the song is "If I Had a Time Machine, That Would be Fresh." The artist is MC Lars. I purchased it from iTunes years ago. -Beth
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Renee (comment #36), I'm honored that you have found my blog posts to be useful to your in your first 4 years of teaching. I actually do not use Daily 5 in my classroom. I just use CAFE as a goal setting/assessment tool in my reading workshop. As I teach the strategies and have students add them to our CAFE board, students are assigned CAFE goals that they keep track of on their own CAFE menu in their Reader's Notebook. Students date the goal on their own CAFE menu, and I keep track of each student's goal in a CAFE teacher binder. As I meet with students on a regular basis in guided reading groups and in strategy groups, we work on the goals together. I keep track of students' progress so that I can move on to new goals when necessary and help them document and celebrate their successes when achieving goals on their CAFE menu. I hope this helps! -Beth
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Brent (comment #35), It was fun to see your comment on my blog! Your website is awesome! You are doing such great things with your students, and I love checking out your ideas. I linked to your website because I wanted other teachers to see the cool stuff going on in your classroom. Have a great summer! -Beth
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Lynne (comment #34), I am so bummed to see that the Kids Bank website is no longer available. I will have to look for a new website when introducing my classroom economy next year! -Beth
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Kelly (comment #33), Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I just had to include a picture of my boys in my last post:) Have a great summer! -Beth
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Maegan Anderson (comment #32), It's great to hear that your students enjoyed making book boxes to use during the summer! It sounds like it worked perfectly with your school book swap. Good luck organizing your classroom library over the summer! It's a big task but one that is well worth it once it's done. Have a great summer! -Beth
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Megara7 (comment #31), I am so glad to hear that your classroom economy was so successful in your first year trying it out! It is such a great way to teach economics and to improve classroom management. Also, it's always great to get good evaluations from your principal:) Thanks so much for reading my blog this year! Have a great summer! -Beth
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Danielle (comments #215 and #216), You asked if I thought you should get the original Words Their Way book in addition to the word sort books. I really would recommend getting the original book. It will provide you with a detailed overview of the spelling stages and will give you a more thorough understanding of word study in general. I'm glad you like my website! Thanks for posting your comments on my blog:) -Beth
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