Kindergarten Parent Overview Powerpoint

Did you miss out on the Kindergarten Parent overview on Saturday, August 26th?  Are you wondering what was covered and discussed on that day?  Wonder no more! I’ve been experimenting with a new way to keep parents informed with Powerpoint’s “Office Mix!”  This software allows me to voice over each slide to share basic information and to keep you informed.  Just click on and watch!

ABCs of Kindergarten 2017 With Voice Over1-2eonv4s

A Grant For Reflection

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to write a Donor’s Choose grant that requests materials for video reflection.  This project will allow teachers to record their teaching and reflect upon what he/she sees; thus, making changes to instructional practices.  If you’d like to check it out OR, even better yet, if you’d like to donate and double up (promo code: “LIFTOFF” for the next 7 days), click the picture below!

Happy Reading AND Reflecting!

Marnia Letendre

EOG Study Guides for Parents

What are we doing to prepare your 3rd, 4th, and/or 5th grader for the End of Grade (EOG) assessment?  Well, we’re doing MANY things! We are teaching with a balanced literacy approach, which means our students are reading, writing, speaking and listening on and about texts.  This is happening daily, which means your child is having rigorous experiences surrounding grade level texts and are being asked to speak and write about that understanding.  This is essential for the preparation of the GA Milestones (EOG assessment) as our students are being asked to do just that within a short time frame.

Even at the beginning of the year, we are asking students to build up stamina with reading and writing about such texts.  We ask students to share and justify their thinking by referring back to the text for their evidence.  Additionally, we ask students to defend their thinking by citing evidence from the text within their speaking and writing.  Teachers are working hard to provide these opportunities and are scaffolding these experiences throughout the year to build upon their understanding.

What can you do at home to support your child with this journey?  You can take a peek at these great study guides, provided by the Georgia Department of Education (GAdoe).  Feel free to download these study guides to have as examples of the rigorous questions your child will encounter in April of 2018’s EOG assessment.  Feel free to use these documents as talking points with your child and challenge both yourself and your child with possibilities for answer, based upon text evidence.

3rd Grade EOG Study Guide 2017-2018

4th Grade EOG Study Guide 2017-2018

5th Grade EOG Study Guide 2017-2018

Do you have more questions about the GA Milestones?  If so, talk with your child’s teacher about other resources and ways that you can, specifically, help your child.  Also, feel free to contact me about strategies your child might use to help build stamina and understanding of difficult texts.

Happy Studying!

Mrs. Letendre 🙂

Mentor Sentences Are Awesome!

We are on a roll with mentor sentences! If you haven’t seen this in action, you’re missing out! Check out this podcast, with Jeff Anderson, describing the rationale of mentor sentences and the book that started it all. Jeff explains that mentor sentences are meant for students to notice how an author uses grammar and mechanics in a way that helps the reader understand the text.

J anderson

Let me know if you’d like to have this modeled within your classroom or if you’d like to take a look at your current mentor text and plan out how to text lift a sentence that meets your grade-level requirements.

Mrs. Letendre

Smithsonian’s “Tween Tribune”

Who wants to read boring articles about topics that mean nothing to the reader?  No one.  Many adults have the privilege of having access to websites that provide interesting articles that even sifts into categories that you’ve plugged in as “interesting.”  So, why don’t we have this same capability for students?  Are there sites similar to “Reddit,” “Newsvine,” and “Flipboard” that provide opportunities like this for kids?  YES! Check out this site, Smithsonian’s “Tween Tribune.”  (


This website includes Lexile levels to assist in making sure that students are reading “just right” text.  At the top of the page, it allows the reader to sort by grade levels and lists topics that are both engaging and informational.  Each article provides tiered passages that address the same topic, but can help with differentiating by level.

Although there is some access for parents, the site will ask for teachers to login for additional articles and resources.  This might be just what you were looking for to include that close reading lesson! 🙂 Enjoy!

Mrs. Letendre

Pitner’s Balanced Literacy Approach

Cobb is excited to share a common thread of balanced literacy, math, and content areas.   Pitner has been moving in this direction for several years and are happy to say that we’re continuing this journey through additional professional learning opportunities for our teachers and implementation with our students.

Are you interested in what this looks like?  Check out these presentations to find out:

Writing Workshop Overview Presentation Link:

Reading Workshop Overview Presentation Link:

Happy Reading and Writing!

Marnia Letendre

The “Close Reading” Strategy of Annotation

As we’ve been working through our rigorous standards, we’ve noticed the need to have students dig a little deeper with texts than ever before.  We might do this type of work with a whole group where we read and reread a text, noticing more and more of the complexities within, discussing bits and pieces as we go.  However, we might scale it down with the expectation that students do this work independently.  How does this look?  What can we provide to students to scaffold this learning?  We can teach them the art of annotation, but it all has to be done with purpose.

Annotation is a great strategy that can allow students to organize their thinking during and/or after their readings of a text.  This can be done with symbols, questions, “aha” moments, and connections to other text or life.  Again, what we have students annotating and closely reading should be well thought out and purposeful.

David Stuart Jr. says it best, “The big idea is this: what we do when reading should align with

  1. why we’re doing the reading in the first place and
  2. what we’re going to do with the reading after we’re done.”

Want to read more about annotation as a close reading strategy?  Check out David’s Link where he shares how he uses Kelly Gallagher’s “Article of the Week” method as a close reading with an annotation strategy.  Happy Reading! Purposeful Annotation Within Close Reading

Mrs. Letendre