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Education World ® Professional Development Center: Reading Response Journals: Writing After Reading Is Revealing!
"I use reading response journals in a variety of ways as a part of our literature circles," explained Laura Candler, a fifth grade teacher at E. E. Miller Elementary School in Fayetteville, Noreth Carolina, and webmaster of Teaching Resources and Candler Kids.
About once a week, just before the literature circle meeting date, Candler
students write a full response to the book they are reading.They choose a fiction or nonfiction prompt based on the material they are reading, and they are free to select any prompt or make up their own.
A strong believer in the value of reading response journals, Laura Candler
has these suggestions for teachers who are starting to use them in the classroom:
Think of journals from the student's point of view.
"When we gather for our meeting, each student reads his
entry, and the rest of the group comments on what was written," reported Candler
is careful not to overdo the use of journals.She
wants the students to enjoy their reading, and using journals everyday can make them dread the writing.Collection of the journals usually takes place when the class finishes a literature circle book, and Candler
makes comments about what the students have written.Through journals, she
gains insight into her
students' character as well as what they are thinking about the book they are reading.
"In a recent literature circle, the students were reading The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith, a wonderful book about a boy whose grandfather comes to live with his
family," recalled Candler
Since then, veteran teacher Laura ...
Since then, veteran teacher Laura Candler wrote in about a fun, interactive writing lesson she created to work with SpellingCity's sentence writing module.
It's a free download that she is happy to share with everyone, check it out!
(It's right next to the SpellingCity icon)
North Carolina's Milken Recipients Travel to Los Angeles to Receive Awards
North Carolina's 2000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award recipients Cheryl Smith, Maria Petrea, Patsy Higdon and Laura Candler will be traveling to Los Angeles, California, later this month to attend the 2001 Milken National Education Conference and receive their $25,000 unrestricted financial awards.
...Smith, a third grade teacher at Elizabethtown Primary School (Bladen County Schools); Petrea, principal of Collinswood Elementary School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools); Higdon, principal of Weaverville Primary School (Buncombe County Schools), and Candler, a fifth grade teacher at E.E. Miller Elementary School (Cumberland County Schools) received the Milken Award last October during a series of surprise notifications by State Superintendent Mike Ward and a representative from the Milken Family Foundation.
Education World® : Web Wizard
Web site creator: Laura Candler, E. E. Miller Elementary School, Fayetteville, North Carolina
"Over the years I've created many blackline activity masters for my classroom," fifth-grade teacher Laura Candler told Education World.
"I created my Web site as a way of sharing the activities and ideas with other teachers outside my district."
, a Milken Educator Award winner, mom, and 20-year teaching veteran, loves exchanging ideas with other educators.
learned how to create her
activity sheets as Adobe Acrobat PDF files, she
became intrigued with the idea of creating an online file cabinet of her
"The purpose of the site is to offer helpful teaching strategies and to save teachers time," Candler
"When I make up a new activity sheet or graphic organizer, I immediately wonder if other teachers might find it to be useful, too.
If so, I add it to the file cabinet.
"Another purpose of the site," Candler
continued, "is to promote the use of cooperative learning strategies in the classroom.
I'm constantly trying to promote these techniques because I believe in them and I know they work."
The File Cabinet section of Candler's Web site contains hundreds of formatted blackline masters.
These include her
favorite activity sheets, graphic organizers, cooperative learning strategies, and management tools.
Literary Lessons offers ideas for implementing literature circles in the classroom.
The Book Shelf provides free sample activities taken from books written by Candler
that utilize Dr. Spencer Kagan's model of cooperative learning.
receives a constant flow of e-mail from educators who have borrowed from her
"I love to hear from teachers who have implemented a strategy and found it to be successful," she
hopes to add more materials as she
creates them for her
Visitors who subscribe to her
Teaching Resources Update List receive notification when the site is updated.
Teacher Feature - Laura Candler
Laura Candler5th Grade TeacherE. E. Miller Elementary School
...Laura Candler is a classroom teacher with 18 years experience in elementary and middle school education.She obtained her teaching degree from the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981.She recently became certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the area of Middle Childhood education.Laura is currently teaching 5th grade at E. E. Miller Elementary School in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Laura's teaching style is based on her
belief that all kids can learn when provided with exciting educational opportunities.Furthermore, she
believes that all kids will LOVE learning when they become part of an active community of learners.She
loves to read, and she
shares that love through innovative programs like Literary Lunch Bunch meetings and Literature Circles.She
loves computers and technology, and shares that love with her
students by integrating technology into the curriculum and through their class web site (Candler Kids on the Web at http://home.att.net/~candlers).Laura
believes in establishing high expectations for all her
strives to help them meet those expectations by using cooperative learning techniques which foster higher-level thinking.This year she
is in the second year of a "looping " assignment, which means she
is teaching the same students she taught last year.She
loves having time to really get to know her
students and to share their interest and enthusiasm for learning.
In addition to her
work in the classroom, Laura
is the author of a number of books for teachers.Her
first book, The Science Club Companion, was published ten years ago as a guide for Science Club advisors.
also enjoys sharing her
techniques through teaching educational workshops.She
has trained hundreds of teachers in cooperative techniques, both within her
school system and throughout the United States.Laura
also shares her
ideas via the Internet.She
recently created a web site called Teaching Resources (http://home.att.net/~teaching) where she
posts blackline masters of her
can download the worksheets for free and used them with their students. Laura
is the mother of two daughters, Amy, age 6, and Wendy, age 10.They enjoy spending the summers traveling to California to visit relatives.Laura's favorite place to visit is Lake Tahoe, where she
days hiking, biking, roller blading, and swimming with her
husband and children.
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