For the past 30 years, Andrea Smith has learned with children in Texas, Colorado, and Indiana before finally landing in Ohio. Her first 17 teaching years were spent in primary classrooms before she was encouraged to work in an intermediate classroom. Her third and fourth graders spark a new energy for teaching, and she is grateful to spend each school day with so many fascinating learners. When she isn’t working on school projects or exploring the world with her husband and daughter, Andrea enjoys reading and writing articles for Choice Literacy. She is currently working on a e-book for Choice Literacy about the nonfiction routines in her classroom.
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Andrea Smith checks in on a group of boys who are doing research into owl habitat, helping them organize their work and plans.
Andrea Smith confers with fourth grader Ian, who is plowing through a book series. She helps him look at the bigger picture of characters, themes, and how the series might end.
Andrea Smith uses the “compass points” strategy to provoke better whole-class discussions and reflection during read alouds.
Have you revisited your classroom design since September? Andrea Smith and her fourth graders get over the midwinter blahs by refreshing classroom seating together.
Andrea Smith uses the Color-Symbol-Image thinking routine during read alouds to promote deeper reflection among students.
Andrea Smith builds reflection into whole-class discussions in her fourth-grade classroom by beginning an anchor chart with four different illustrations from the covers of a read-aloud.
Andrea Smith uses the sentence-phrase-word thinking routine with her fourth graders to show how potent one word can be in understanding complex themes.
Andrea Smith realizes her normal reading routine will not work within the constraints of this year’s schedule. She makes some radical changes to ensure she and her students can have enough time to find the joy in reading and building a literate community.
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