Mr. Ellsworth's Independent Reading bLog

Just a guy trying to teach some kids how to read and write. :)


Independent Reading Question #3 – Weslandia

In Weslandia, how is Wes different from the other kids his age, and how does that make him special? In what ways are you different from the people in your class, and how does that make you special?


Independent Reading Question #2

What book did you choose, yesterday, for all of us to read together in class? Why did you choose that book? Which pre-reading strategies from our “How We Use Books” list did you utilize to make your decision?


Independent Reading Question #1

Yesterday, you chose a book(s) to read for the first independent reading day of the school year. On your blog, respond to the following question. Remember to use RACE in your response (Restate, Answer the question, Cite Evidence <why? or details!>).

Tell me 2 things you liked about what you read yesterday, and two things you didn’t like. Why did you like or not like them?


Little House on the Prairie

In class, we have been reading about and watching Little House on the Prairie. In your bell ringer, it stated that Laura Ingalls Wilder described the difference between modern-day and pioneer life in her series of auto-biographical books by the same name. What differences did you notice between modern-day and pioneer life? Tell me three differences you noticed and how things have changed since the 1870s. Then, tell me whether you would rather have lived on the frontier in the 1870s or whether you like it better in 2017 and why.


“Papa Lalo” by David Rice

We all have relationships with different people at different times in our lives. Can you think of a time when you had to be with someone you didn’t like and, over the course of time, became friends with them? It could be a family member, a classmate, a neighbor, etc. Compose a short narrative about that person and how you became friends.


“Crazy Loco” by David Rice

Over the next few weeks, we will be reading short stories from the collection Crazy Loco by David Rice. I will post writing prompts and assignments as updates to this post. I hope you enjoy the short stories. 🙂

The first story we read was called “Crazy Loco.” Please respond to the following question on your blog.

In “Crazy Loco,” how does the family deal with their emotions when Loco disappears? Is this a good way to deal with loss? Why or why not?


SBC Week 8: Community

This week’s Student Blogging Challenge activity is about a very important topic: community. Click on the link for the post, and on your blog, answer the following question it asks you.

As a student or teacher what type of communities or networks do you have both in school and outside of school hours?

Click Here!


Photo Credit: eureka321 Flickr via Compfight cc



I have a few classes of students who don’t yet blog because they are still learning enough English to have it be a beneficial activity. Consequently, I don’t really talk much about them on here. Yesterday, we did some guided reading together, and I haven’t posted anything of that sort in a while because the other classes have been focusing on the Student Blogging Challenge activities, so I decided I’d give my other ELL students a shout out on here.

This week’s vocabulary packet theme is Pet Show, so I chose two books about pets that contained several of their vocabulary words for the week. We also worked on pronouns, verbs ending in -ing, and helping verbs. Those books were…

"Kittens" by Duncan Robinson

Narrated by Alex Jones.


"Meli at the Vet" by Margie Sigman

Narrated by Alex Jones.

The students seemed to enjoy the texts. I work with high school students, so using low level texts aimed at elementary aged students doesn’t always work. However, I just encourage them to laugh when the books are silly, so we try to have fun with them. 🙂

The written response for this guided reading is the following question…

Do you have any pets? If you do, tell me about it.
If you don’t, what pet would you want to have? Tell me why you’d like to have that pet.

We use RACE (Restate, Answer the question, Cite, Evidence [details/why?]) to organize our written responses. Here is a model response for them (if I were to answer the question myself). Since the students writing this response are brand new to the country within the last four months, I wouldn’t expect their responses to be as long, but you get the idea.

I don’t have a pet, but if I could choose a pet, I would want to have a goldfish because it is very low maintenance. I’d feed it a couple of times a day, and I’d make sure its fishbowl would get lots of oxygen. Also, a goldfish doesn’t make nearly the mess or do the stupid things that most pets do. The bad part of having a fish would be cleaning  the fishbowl from time to time, so I’d only have one or two goldfish, not a tank with many fish.

So there you have it. A guided reading lesson with low level ELL students.


Giving Credit for Photos Using Creative Commons

When you want to use someone else’s photo, video, or music that you find on the internet, you have to give credit to the person who created it. One way to make sure you do that correctly is to use Creative Commons licensed images. Click here to read more than you ever wanted to know about how to do that. Or, watch this video, then I’ll lead you through a good way to make sure you are giving proper credit using Flickr and Compfight.

Now that you have a better idea of what Creative Commons is, let’s post a picture to your blog using Flickr and Compfight to make sure it’s properly credited. Sue Waters gives step by step directions about how to do that at her edublogs post. Click here!

Below are a few examples of ones I credited using Compfight. You will post one you find on your blog so I can see it.

Canyon Ravine

Photo Credit: troy_williams Flickr via Compfight cc

Spinning Wheel CC

Photo Credit: Andy Wilkes Flickr via Compfight cc

Hindi Cow CC

Photo Credit: Y’amal Flickr via Compfight cc

Cleveland Light Towers CC

Photo Credit: k_e_lewis Flickr via Compfight cc


2016 Student Blogging Challenge

We are going to participate in the 2016 Student Blogging Challenge. Click on the badge below for more information.

Student challenge 2016

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