reading Archives - Mary Kienstra

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My First Hyperdoc: Engaging Interaction

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 6, 2017  in: Engagement, hyperdoc, reading

I’m not sure when I first saw a HyperDoc, but I knew right away that was something I wanted to try.  After reading the book with my PLC,  I was ready.  I created my first hyperdoc to use with my reading class for our historical fiction unit.  I know it will not be my last. […] Read more


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Global Read Aloud for the Win

By: Mary Kienstra on: December 3, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

I have to thank Pernille Ripp and the Global Read Aloud crew for the inspiration!  One of the picks for this year was  The BFG, one of our curricular novels.  That was a perfect fit!  Find out more about The Global Read Aloud here.  It’s fabulous! My students and I embarked on our read aloud […] Read more


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A True Community

By: Mary Kienstra on: May 14, 2016  in: #tlap, community, reading

Some classes have the “IT” factor.  That’s the class where the kids all care.  Not about just the content.  They care for each other too. They are a true community.  They work together well and all seem to be pulling in the same direction.  I look at this year’s class and wonder what we did […] Read more


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Bringing Non-Fiction to Life

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 28, 2016  in: Engagement, non fiction, reading

When kids care, it changes everything.  Engaging kids in non-fiction reading is all about bringing the topic to life.  The trick is finding an issue to make them care.  Tracking sharks and learning about the ocean is just that issue.  And www.ocearch.org brings it to life. This week my students met Chris Fischer, the founder of Ocearch. […] Read more


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The Trial of Sponge Bob

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 24, 2016  in: #tlap, Engagement, reading

Teachers see The Trial of Sponge Bob as a reading lesson where kids practice using evidence from the text to support their ideas.  Kids see it as FUN! The week before Spring Break is a difficult week in an elementary school.  As the excitement level continues to rise, it’s more and more difficult for the […] Read more


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It’s Time for Book Madness 2016

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 21, 2016  in: authentic audience, Engagement, reading

March is a time for new beginnings as flowers sprout up through the soil and the sun begins to shine just a bit brighter.  March is also known for March Madness as college basketball takes over our world of sports.  In my class in March, it’s time for Book Madness 2016! Book Madness is a […] Read more


When I Asked for Their Advice

By: Mary Kienstra on: May 31, 2015  in: reading

Since I always try to focus on continuous improvement,  there are a few things I do at the end of every school year.  I assess students and enter grades.  I wrap up classes with game days and choice time. I clean and organize my classroom.  But most importantly, I ask for my students’ advice. Asking for […] Read more


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Book of the Year 2015

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 14, 2015  in: Engagement, enthusiasm, party, reading,

Today was the great reveal for the book of the year for 2015.  It was a very close race, but HOLES by Louis Sachar won.  My students voted for the book using a March Madness style bracket to narrow down the choices.  I love this unit as it engages all readers in talking about books! […] Read more


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March Madness with Books Part 1

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 26, 2015  in: creating, Engagement, reading

March Madness with books – it doesn’t get any better than this!  If you are wondering what student engagement looks like in reading class, stop by my classroom while my students are working on their book commercials.  They are trying to persuade their classmates to vote for their favorite book, the book they nominated for the […] Read more


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Bring The Phantom Tollbooth to Life

By: Mary Kienstra on: July 1, 2014  in: characters, Engagement, reading, setting

My goal this year was to make learning come to life for my students.  After reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster my students became the characters in the novel.  If you’ve read this wonderful fantasy novel, you remember that Milo goes on a journey and meets many characters along the way.  He learns something important […] Read more