Skip to main content

Samantha Monaco

Readers Workshop Mini Lesson

3 min read

For this task, I have decided to write a readers workshop mini lesson. In reading the article, "Organizing for Effective Reading: The Reading Workshop", I learned a lot of important information. For this post, I will be focusing on the mini lesson aspect. In my lesson, there will be a skill taught, the skill being modeled by the teacher and then guided practice. This portion of the RW is only 5-10 minutes so it has to be clear and concise. There are different topics for mini lessons and the one I chose was observed needs of students discovered during individual reading conferences. So, for my lesson for 3rd graders, I'm going to "assume" that I've noticed my class experiencing difficulties decoding multisyllable words. Being that this is a skill that is to be mastered by the end of grade 3, there's a good chance students are still struggling with some of these.

To teach the skill of decoding multisyllable (3 syllable) words, I'm going to start the whole group off with an initiation where I'm reminding them the rules of decoding syllables and asking them to tell me what we know. This will get the students thinking. From here, we will do a board activity where I (the teacher) will put a 3 syllable word on the board such as discovering. I will show them to "scoop" the syllables so that they scoop "dis"+"cover"+"ing'. This will help them to better understand and break down the parts they must divide. Then we can go over syllable types and the vowel sounds associated with them. Again, I can ask the students to tell me what they know and I can verify the information. Once they've classified the different syllable types then we could work on pronouncing the individual pieces, eventually leading to blending them together and saying the full word. The last part of this mini lesson would be to provide the students with guided practice where the teacher would put a list of multisyllable words on the board. The teacher and students would work together to break down the words into indiviudal syllables and to blend them. They would do this for each of the multisyllable words on the board.

In addition to this main lesson, I will provide content differentiation for two students. Two examples of this differentiation could be:

1. For a struggling student, I could either pair them with a non-struggling partner or I could use an aide (if accessible) to help the student to understand. If the student is well behind, then I could even have lower level content such as two syllable words instead of three syllable words. I could provide them with a worksheet to complete with the aide.

2. For an excelling student who has mastered this skill, I could provide them the choice of a worksheet with challenging words that usually aren't in their vocabulary making it harder (3 syllable) or I could allow for them to read a book of their choosing (containing three syllable words). One other option could be to allow the student, if willing, to go and help a struggling peer.

Hopefully I did this lesson right and it's what you were asking for! Let me know what you guys think! :)

Samantha Monaco

Walk My World Learning Event #5

2 min read

Hello everyone!

First off, I just want to say that I really am enjoying these Walk My World posts. It's a task that really gets us thinking about our lives and how they became what they are today.

For this learning event, we are to discuss a turning point in our life. Similar to another classmates post, I believe my turning point was also going to college and being the first one to do so in my family. Neither my mom, dad, or two brothers went to college, so I am the first one. This is something that I was struggling with in the beginning because I basically had to teach myself and my parents what to do. My parents had never dealt with financial aid, applications, scheduling classes, etc. So, how would they know what to do? And how would I, a recent high school graduate, know what to do? This was something that my family and I struggled with together to figure out and we finally did it. I consider this my turning point because I achieved something and so did my parents.

In addition to this, when I was trying to get into the program and then accepted, I didn't know how to read a degree evaluation or any other important matters. Thankfully, I worked everyday at my daycare with someone who was in the same program and much further than me. She was by my side every step of the way and was able to share her experiences with me to help me learn the ropes. I consider both of these a turning point in my life because if I didn't have my family and friends, then who knows if I would've made it through the process of figuring out college!



Samantha Monaco

Module 3 Reading Reflection/Annotations/Complex Literary Practices/Performance Task

4 min read

Based on the four readings, I chose two of the ones I read to annotate and I picked them to reflect on because I spent the most time examining them. The two articles I focused on were: 

1. Engaging African American Males in Reading:

This article stood out to me because all of the information is extremely important to future teachers. In my annotations, I mentioned how it's vital for teachers to understand each and every one of their students before they jump to suspensions and other disciplinary measures. I believe in getting to know the students, finding out where the behavior is stemming from and then trying to fix it. I don't like when teachers suspend or place grade holds on student and then don't even look into the situation. Obviously, a teacher must discipline behaviors such as fighting, yelling, etc, but it's important for teachers to know the right way to handle it. Maybe schools should have workshops on this. Or do they? Feel free to comment if you know the answer! To relate this to the reading, it mentioned in the text that a 9th grade teacher had emailed looking for a literature piece that would teach respect and civilty without being explicit. This relates directly to what I mentioned about teachers needing workshops for students of african american decent. It's important for teachers to not feel uneasy about what they're teaching. As teachers, we need the resources to choose literature pieces, to know how to discipline and other matters for students of any background. As for the students, having literature pieces that show positive life paths, it will expose them to what could be. The text mentioned how a lot of African American students are facing home situations that aren't ideal, by getting their minds off of those environments and exposing them to positive ones, this could definitely help. The whole text was very important and I could write about it for days but I'll leave it off here!

2. Informing Our Practice: Modernist, Transactional, and Critical Perspectives on Children’s Literature and Reading Instruction:

By time I was done reading the first page of this text, I found something that truly bothered me. The fact that schools are choosing programs based solely on the fact that they're said to raise test scores. This shouldn't be the deciding factor as to which publishers you use. Students should be in programs where they're learning important information every single day while they're having fun doing so. They shouldn't have to be trained for THE test. In the article it then went on to describe how literature will be narrowed to just being able to decode and find main ideas. This is because it is on these high stakes tests. I'm very glad that we had this assigned reading because it made me think about literature and the fact that it's not just a tool of decoding but rather it's a "world view" or a "work of art".

The second main point that I took from the article was that teachers must know the different theoretical perspectvies: modernist, transactional and critical. All of the perspectives place different importance amounts on reading instruction, practice, etc. As a teacher, like many other things, you may not be able to express your stand on the persepctives but you have to know that whatever your stand may be, it's still silently affecting the choices you make in your classroom. The affected choices could be the resources chosen, instructional practices chosen and overal environment.

Here are my annotations to both of these readings.

All of the readings were very helpful and will be good resources on my journey towards becoming a teacher!

Next, two complex literary practices that I believe aren't recognized in the classroom are students interest and also students effort. I believe that both of these aspects of being a student are counted for much anymore in classrooms. Ever since the CCSS came out and the high stakes testing, there is less of an emphasis on student interest and their effort and more emphasis on students high achievement and how schools look to other areas. These are both practices that I believe should be taken into consideration much more than they are now but it's hard for teachers who are preparing these students to meet certain academic needs.

Lastly, for this weeks performance task, we were to choose which pathway we wanted to take. I have chosen the Reading Pathway and I can't wait to begin this journey with whichever classmates I end up with! :)

Wow, that was a lot of work! Hope you enjoy my post. Comment any questions!


Samantha Monaco

Walk My World LE #4

2 min read

Hey guys! 

So, this post is going to be a little corny. Sorry!

When asked to describe the shape of my life, I tried to think of obstacles and any other situations that could be defined through a shape but I couldn't come up with anything. Don't get me wrong, growing up, I faced many challenges with my home life due to an alcoholic brother but now everything has calmed down. I feel now that I have everything that I want/need right now and I'm perfectly content with the way my life is going. 

The shape that I have chosen is a heart due to the immense amount of love I have in my life. I'm extremely close with my family, friends and my boyfriend. My family and I have always been known as a close knit family and I've shared some examples in previous WMW learning events. I have a set of friends that I've had for many years and I'm so happy with that. In addition, I've been dating my boyfriend for 5 years. As of right now, I feel like my life is in order and is going in the direction that I would like. Hopefully it stays this way! :)

Okay, my rant is over! Haha thank you everyone for reading!


Samantha Monaco

Walk My World LE3

1 min read

For this learning event, I chose to shape the story of the "Three Little Pigs". This story has meaning to me because it's one that I read almost everyday to the children at my daycare. The kids and I both know the words by heart and it will always be one of the favorites. The shape that I chose for this story was a type of staircase (it may not be even throughout but it has the same basic idea). Below is a diagram that I made explaining the different steps to the story and why I chose a staircase type of shape.

Actually, for some reason this website isn't allowing me to post any pictures right now. I've been trying for 10 minutes and it does nothing when I click the upload picture option. So, I will post the picture to my twitter account for all to see! 

Here is a link to the twitter:

Thank you everyone! :)

Samantha Monaco


Samantha Monaco

CCSS Annotations

1 min read

Hello everyone! 

I have finally completed the CCSS Annotations. For a while, I was confused as to how to complete this task but I finally figured it out and I'm hoping I did it right! :) 

Here is the link!


Samantha Monaco

Samantha Monaco

Read & Reflect

3 min read

Hello everyone! For Module 2, we had some great readings. Below I will reflect on each of the readings briefly! I hope you enjoy :)

1. Elements of Literature:

This article contained many defintions of the elements of literature. As I was reading them, I noticed that I was familiar with all of the terms. It was good to read through all of the terms and brush up on the definitions being that I learned many of them when I was much younger!


2. Teaching Literary Analysis:

This was a very detailed article that I believe held very important information for future teachers. It began my discussing how crucial literary analysis is and what steps come before it in Bloom's Taxonomy in order to get to this place. A key point from the introduction was that teachers must inform students that in literary analysis there is no right or wrong answer. This could be very beneficial to a student's learning because it could take pressure away from the need to be right. There were 5 steps talked about and they were: choose a topic, focus the topic, gather textual evidence, introduce/evidence/analyze and conclusion. All 5 steps were further discussed regarding the ways to meet those steps needs. I believe it was very helpful to read and would be a great resource for any future teacher.


3. Common Core State Standards:

The Common Core State Standards are the highlight and focus of many schools and teachers careers right now. There has been many arguments over whether or not the new standards are fair, confusion as to why they've been made the way they were, etc. In different classes, I have looked at different standards but this isn't my first time looking at the reading & literature standards for grades K-5. Prior to my actual understanding of the common core and prior to learning how to read and navigate the standards, I wasn't too optimisitc. Now that I have a better understanding as to how they work, it's beginning to make more sense. Yes, some of the expectations seem very out of reach but if you look at what it's working to build future citizens to, then you might reconsider your stance. I think it's important for everyone to really understand and know how to read/navigate the common core state standards before they judge them.


4. Plot Structure with Traci Garder:

Traci Gardner provided us with a Literary Elements Mini-Lesson plan regarding plot structure. The lesson was very structured and provided all of the details needed for anyone who would like to use the lesson plan. The objectives were clear: students will review the characteristics of the literary element of plot, they will demonstrate an understanding of plot structure by applying the term in familiar contexts and they will use a plot diagram graphic organizer to present their analysis of plot structure. The lesson was broken up into two sessions and was very organized. This was another great source for any future teacher. It incorporate many different modalities of learning such as discussing information, technologically inputting information, drawing information, etc. This would be a lesson plan that meets the different learning needs of many students.

Samantha Monaco

Walk My World LE 2

2 min read

Where I've Been:

Below I'm going to include some pictures than can represent where I've been and where I come from. I grew up in a very small town of Northford, Connecitcut. Some people might know it better as North Branford, Connecticut but then again people may have no idea what town I'm referring to. I grew up in a town where everyone knew everyone and everyone knew every thing about everyone and their families. With that being said, I grew up in a very close family and they are the reason why I am where I am now. My family is where I come from because they are the ones that I spent my entire childhood with, side by side. 

Here is a picture of my town on a map of Connecticut:

Here is a picture of my immediate family (missing my older brother Danny but including my boyfriend Danny). The picture took place on the softball field I called home for 10 years at my Senior Night:


The following picture is one that shows my immediate family and other relatives:



Through all of these pictures, I hope you can get a little taste of where I come from :)


Samantha Monaco

Module 1

3 min read

All of the readings assigned were extremely interesting and important in attempting to look at and define children's literature and literacy. The reading that stood out the most to me was about the graphic novels and the controversy over them. To me, it was interesting that so many people oppose graphic novels because I believe they are a great tool for students. For many reasons, I believe that graphics would benenfit students in a reading. From the reading it seemed that parents were opposing the books that had inappropriate content but then the librarians were arguing and making their points that they look out for the students and only choose information appropriate to their age. They also mentioned that they would warn students if a novel had content they might not like such as intense graphics and cursing. Something that I found really interesting was the point that Jesse Karp made that he would never assign a graphic novel to teach specific dates and events in history but he could use graphic novels to aid the textbook that they're reading to make events come to life. People such as Karp that use graphic novels the right way are great advocates to be able to keep using them in schools. I also found it interesting that students who used a graphic novel spet 50 minutes less reading and scored 7% higher on a comprehension quiz. 

The question regarding whether or not the term "children's literature" should exist or not suprised me. I've never thought of this and it was interesting to read about. The arguments over who should be winning prizes and what's literature and what's not is very complex. Personally, I believe that the term should exist because it is still true that there's a certain selection of books that are enjoyed by children that might not be enjoyed by someone of an older age. I don't believe that all the hype should be over who wins what prize, if there are stories being made for children to enjoy then this is the key. 

The third article was also very interesting in trying to explain literary spaces in out of school spaces in communities of color. To preserve their literacy, they have spaces or hang outs where they have free mic for novices and veterans to read their poems to the crowd, etc. They engage in these literate practices to enhance their reading, writing and speaking. This is something that is interesting to me because I've never participated in something like this outside of school so it's interesting to read about different cultures where they partake in activities such as these. 

I believe all of the articles contained important information but the above is what I pulled from the articles as the main points to my interest. 

Now, here is my definition of literacy without using any words:


Samantha Monaco


1 min read

Where does your journey begin?

This is a question that I find easy to answer. My journey began ever since I was old enough to understand my older brother and his Intellectual Disability. My brother, his name is Bobby, is the light of my world. He has inspired me in ways I could've never imagined and because of him, I know what journey I'm headed on. I've known for a long time that being a teacher was what I wanted to do and that Special Education would be my main focus. Here is a picture of my brother and I. My relationship with him symbolizes my journey and its starting point towards becoming a teacher!

Here is a link to the twitter account where I'm posting my contribution to WALK MY WORLD: 

If this doesn't work, then you can search my name on twitter: "samantha_monaco" and it should come up! Let me know if you have any difficulties.