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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Book Review: From Striving to Thriving

From Striving to Thriving

This is a book I have been so excited to read. I love everything by Stephanie Harvey. I use her Strategies That Work book and The Comprehension Toolkit for whole class comprehension lessons.  There's a primary version that's awesome too. In fifth grade I use her Short Nonfiction for American History texts for the American Revolution, Westward Expansion, Colonial Times, and the Civil War. She also has From Striving to Thriving Writers: Strategies that Jump-Start Writing coming out in September 2018. I linked everything directly to the Heinemann site when appropriate because I love being able to have the online resources too. I have also linked to Stenhouse Publishers. However, the book I'm talking about today comes from Scholastic, so I'll be linking there also.

Clicking on the book cover takes you to Scholastic.

This book has just been sitting on my desk since the fall. I've been dusting around it just waiting to get to it, but last year was hectic at home and work and the summer slowdown finally gave me the time I needed. I think you'll love this book, plus Scholastic sent me an extra to give away so make sure you sign up to win a free copy.

From Striving to Thriving is broken up into three section: Trust, Teach, and Transform. I am going to mention just a few of the things I loved about each section so you can see how much this book has to offer to teachers of all grades.


This section is filled with chapters about cultivating curiosity, letting go of labels, increasing reading volume, setting up a strong reading environment, and so much more.


Matching books to readers, encouraging reading outside of school, comprehension strategies, digital material, and flexible instructional methods are just a few of important topics in the second section.


Part three includes assessment, analyzing data, and advocating for students.

This book is loaded with information whether you are a new teacher or a seasoned educator. There is literally something for you. I love how this book is loaded with action plans and research, lessons and practical advice. There is so much here.

Pages like this one run throughout the book to highlight what research tells us about reading. The authors make the research readily accessible to help you put the research into action in your classroom. 

But you don't have to just take my advice. You can also read more about this book on the Scholastic site by clicking here. You can also enter to win a free copy of From Striving to Thriving. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Task Problem Tuesday

Where did the past year go? Seriously...I don't even know where it went. Life was crazy at home, crazy at school, and the first thing to fall off my radar was this blog.  But I'm back and I'm looking forward to a less hectic year. I've planned out a blog schedule for the upcoming year and I'm excited to share some things that I've been working on. I also have some book reviews to finish up and some books to give away. So stay tuned. But for now,  I'm going to get my groove back by jumping right into another Task Problem Tuesday.

This is one of my favorite tasks for coordinate graphing. I use it as an introduction to coordinate graphs, input/output tables, and linear equations with my fifth graders.  I originally wrote it during a measurement and data class for a state math endorsement. I've used it in fifth, a friend of mine used it with fourth and with a little adjustment and maybe a little extra direction, I think you can have fun in third with it too. It's a pretty flexible task. If you have already introduced these topics, this task would also work as a great practice task or an assessment task.

Now get out some graph paper, rulers, colored pencils and get ready for some fun.

After we talk about the story, I give them the number of cans each student brings in. This is a good place to differentiate the task. Change up the numbers to make it easier for younger students. The numbers included in my problem have students starting with a set number of cans and then increasing daily. You can have everyone start with zero to make it easier. You can also limit your problem to two students instead of four.

Depending on your class, you may want to give one task at a time or you may want to display all five of these tasks. If your class likes a challenge, give all the tasks and let them get started.

 This was the best table anyone created.  Once it was finished, I had this student share her table and explain how it was organized. She did a great job of explaining an input/output table, I just had to give them the correct math terms. Most other students were still finishing their tables and some adjusted and used this student's ideas.

Getting it on a graph was a little harder. I had a few try to use a bar graph and line graph. It was really helpful when someone came up with something resembling a coordinate graph. I showed the class and we started talking about what others were doing. The discussion we had helped those who were trying coordinate graphs to perfect their efforts and it helped those trying other things to move toward coordinate graphs. 

Here are what a few others looked like after our discussion.

Task Problem Tuesday by The Research Based Classroom

Task 3 was a question that most students thought was easy to answer. But we dug a little deeper into the mathematical ideas of slope and equations that work for all number of days in our discussion. A few students were able to write equations with variables that worked for all days and we called it a day. My students loved this task and I think yours will too. You can grab it by clicking on the cover image below. It's free at Teachers pay Teachers.

Click here to go to TpT and grab this free task.
Happy Graphing!