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ELA Blog - English Language Arts Resources for the Classroom

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Vocabulary

Vocabulary Assessment and Inventory Worksheets for Educators

One of the most important aspects of vocabulary instruction is vocabulary assessment. Without knowing how many words your students already know, and to...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

ACT/SAT Test-Taking Strategies: Pre-assess & Differentiate Vocabulary Learning

After 13+ years teaching high school English, I've concluded that ACT and SAT test-taking strategies are more successful when educators make...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

A Guide to Reviewing Vocabulary Terms Before High-Stakes Testing

In this article, you'll explore the benefits and rationale for teaching and reviewing vocabulary strategies as part of high-stakes test preparation!...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

Reading Practice Prompts for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Like many of you, my students will be taking the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for the first time this spring. In my reading and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

3 Test-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students (Includes 10+ Printables)

Recently I've had a lot of teachers come to me asking about standardized test preparation. While I hope the majority of my instruction prepares my kids...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Simple Direct Vocabulary Instruction Strategies that Work (Proven Tips/Techniques by Vocab Gal)

In this post, readers will form a true understanding of how to successfully integrate all of the important aspects of direct vocabulary instruction...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

How Word Parts and Context Clues Strategies Can Help Students Become Better Test Takers

So often, teachers tell students to figure out what a word means based on its word parts or on surrounding context clues, but I rarely know how to...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Meaningful Vocabulary Instruction and How to Get the Words to Stick!

Quality vocabulary instruction is a goal for all teachers at the beginning of the school year, but it can quickly become lost in the midst of all the...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Help Struggling Readers Build Vocabulary; 10+ Printables to Get You Started

I love working with our district’s literacy coaches and reading specialists, and I have a special place in my heart for Ms. Long, the reading...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

How to Be Successful Mentoring New Teachers

As the "mentor coordinator" for my entire district, I have learned much by observing and working alongside mentors and beginning teachers. My role as...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

How to Assess Reading Levels of Elementary Students Throughout the Year

Balanced Literacy is a curricular methodology that integrates various modalities of literacy instruction, which are aimed at guiding students towards...

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

An Awesome SAT and ACT Comparison for Teachers and Students

I will never forget driving to my SAT exam early one Saturday morning; I had the radio blaring classical music while I crunched peppermints and...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

How to Get Struggling Readers to Fall in Love with Reading

After 17 years of teaching and more than 20 years of having been a student, one thing that never seems to change is that students love to get their...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Content-Rich Curriculum is the Best Preparation for High-Stakes Reading Tests

High-stakes testing puts an incredible amount of pressure on teachers and students. Teachers are evaluated based on their students' performance on...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Prepare for Standardized Tests Using Books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

With the second half of the school year in full-swing, many educators are starting to think about preparing their students for standardized testing.

Erin Lynch

Vocabulary

Vocab Gal Top 10 Best of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting over the best new ideas from the Vocab Gal blog. I love challenging myself to think critically about...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

10 High Stakes Assessment Terms Students Need to Know

If you read last week’s post, you know that your vocabulary instruction is most critical to your students’ success on high-stakes testing. Unfamiliar...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Increase High-Stakes Standardized Testing Success with Vocabulary

High-stakes standardized testing is not going away. With the newly redesigned SAT® and the fact that many states’ are focusing on both the ACT® and...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Differentiated Vocabulary Assessment Handout

Now that we've all gotten through the crazy back-to-school season and have established our classroom routines, I thought I'd take the opportunity to...

Vocab Gal

Literacy

How to Successfully Select CCSS Literacy Strands to Focus On

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which Common Core State Standard literacy strands your students need the most work with. There are so many...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

How Literacy Coaches Can Support Teachers in Teaching ACT Test Prep

Many people like surprises. With the end of summer vacation, a surprise might be waiting for teachers at their school in the form of ACT®* scores. For...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Reading Survey for Students; Getting to Know your New Class of Readers

The start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation to teachers and students alike. Each party to the relationship is wondering about the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Using Webb's DOK and Bloom's Taxonomy During Teacher/Student Conferences and Small Group Work

In a previous post, I have shared how I incorporate the DOK and Revised Bloom's Taxonomy into my 'shared reading lesson plans' and my 'unit plans.' In...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

4 Interactive Writing Activities That Can Serve As Relief From Testing

High stakes assessments are coming to an end. This time period provides the perfect opportunity to introduce a few interactive writing activities in...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

SBAC Sample Questions for the English Language Arts/Literacy Sections

Last spring, my students took the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for the first time. To prepare my students for this rigorous assessment...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

ACT Test-Taking Strategies: Tips for Taking the ACT Writing Test

Newness is often a theme that accompanies springtime. Since last September, ACT has been working on changes to its writing prompts. This spring, the...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

Reading Engagement Inventory, Grades 1–8

If you have never completed a reading engagement inventory on your students, do it... I bet you will find the results fascinating! An engagement...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Back-To-School Writing Assessment Ideas

The first week of school is a great time for students to give you some key information about themselves. On the first day, do something to make your...

Tiffany Rehbein

Literacy

3 Different Books: A Simple Reading Level Assessment for Teachers

As a reading teacher, each year I am excited to get to know my new group of reading students. I can't wait to see their unique personalities and get to...

Erin Lynch

Grammar

Prepare for the SAT®* with Sentence Completion Worksheets

Spotlighting skills every day is one way teachers can support a grammar-rich environment and prepare students for exams! The critical reading section...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

Prepare for the ACT®* with Subject-Verb Agreement Practice Worksheets

Spotlighting skills every day is one way teachers can support a grammar-rich environment and prepare students for exams! Subject-verb agreement is a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

SAT®* Grammar Practice Worksheet: Precise Words

Word choice and precision in writing is a skill assessed by the SAT suite of tests. When students feel confident in using concrete, specific words...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

ACT®* Test Grammar Practice: Choosing Correct Words

Word choice is emphasized in writing and in literature. Teachers read passages aloud from F. Scott Fitzgerald because of the wonderful language choices...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

ACT®* Test Grammar Practice: Verb Tenses

With high stakes testing going on across the nation, teachers have the responsibility to strengthen language and grammar development. The practice...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

SAT®* Test Grammar Practice: Punctuation, Part 1

Language and grammar development is a vital component of learning across all subject areas. Knowledge of sentence structures impacts comprehension in a...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

What's In Your Test-Taking Strategies Toolkit? 5 Printables to Help Students Ace Assessments!

The papers are passed out, pencils are sharpened and fresh test booklets are positioned on students’ desks. It’s that time again: spring testing...

Tiffany Rehbein

Grammar

3 Quick Tips for Answering Questions on the SAT®* Test

For juniors and seniors, college is on the horizon. The SAT test assesses what students know and how they can apply that knowledge. The SAT test...

Tiffany Rehbein

Vocabulary

Test Prep Strategies for Reading & Vocabulary (Grades 2–12)

Late-night studying, exhausting memorization, sleep deprivation; any of this sound familiar from when you were in school? Test prep and testing can be...

Vocab Gal

Vocabulary

Teaching Vocabulary: Quizzes with Multiple Purposes

One of my favorite activities is to combine a writing assignment with a vocabulary test.  I get two to three grades with one “opportunity” and not...

Vocab Gal

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