Mother Goose Day (May 1) and Using Mother Goose in the Classroom

Mother Goose Day is a charming and whimsical holiday dedicated to the timeless nursery rhymes and fairy tales that have been passed down through generations. This special day celebrates the imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes – Mother Goose. It’s an opportunity for people of all ages to revisit the […]

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Using Language Experience to Teach Reading and Prompts for Spring

The Language Experience Approach (LEA) is a powerful method for teaching reading that integrates various language skills in a meaningful context. By using students’ own language and experiences, LEA helps bridge the gap between spoken and written language, making reading more accessible and engaging. One of the key benefits of LEA is its ability to […]

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4 Ways to Use Building Blocks Such as Legos With Older Students

Who doesn’t enjoy playing with building blocks such as Legos? There is something both relaxing and stimulating about these simple structures. Seeing your creation come together is fun for all ages! Pulling out building blocks will hook your students and almost always guarantee engagement. Writing Precise Directions and Following Directions For this activity, all students […]

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Classic Short Stories for Halloween (Secondary Classrooms)

Halloween is the perfect time to tell spooky stories, and what better way to celebrate the season than with some classic tales from the public domain? Here are five timeless Halloween short stories and suggestions for follow-up that are sure to give your students a good scare! “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe This […]

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Starting a Successful School Year—Norms and Rules

As teachers begin a new school year, there are several things that they need to consider to ensure a smooth and successful academic year. It is important for teachers to establish clear expectations for their students regarding behavior, classroom rules, and a positive learning environment. Many groups I have participated in start by developing norms. […]

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Lexile.com new features for K-2 Teachers

Lexile.com is a great resource for finding books and other reading materials that match the individual reading level of your students. It also provides information about reading assessments and other resources to help you and your students improve reading skills. Lexile.com is not new, and Reading Specialty has a previous blog post about readability which […]

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Ideas to Help Students with Test Prep

Test preparation with students can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help make the process easier: Preparing Students for Essay Tests Essay tests require students to demonstrate your understanding of a subject by writing a comprehensive essay responding to a given question. The keywords used in essay tests typically require students to explain, […]

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Twelve December Ideas for Your Classroom

1. Snowball Fight Each student begins a story. I ask the first writer to introduce the setting and a minimum of one character. After students have several minutes to write, call time. Students crumble their paper into a snowball and toss it. Each student picks up a new paper and continues the story. After time […]

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Prepare Now for Conferences

Even though school just started, conferences will be here before you know it. Preparing now will help to make conferences less stressful and hopefully more successful. Check out these tips for before, during, and after the scheduled parent-teacher conferences. Before the conference Early positive interaction before conferences helps to develop a rapport with the parents […]

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Back to School–Older Students

4 Important Considerations for Starting the Year Right Setting the tone for a great school year is extremely important. Here are four important things to think about and suggestions for getting things off to a great start! Assign Seats Why does it matter and an easy solution There are many reasons to assign student seats. […]

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Ideas and Resources for National Poetry Month

Origin of National Poetry Month The Academy of American Poets started National Poetry Month in April of 1996. The website states “National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.” Free poster, poem-a-day, and interactive opportunity for students The Academy website is poets.org. […]

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Promoting Independent Reading

12 Ideas to Promote Independent Reading in Your School or Class Librarians can be your best friend! Our school librarian provided monthly opportunities for our kids. They KNEW kids and they KNEW teen literature. They provided information on library resources,book talks, book speed dating, lessons on research, special presentations for banned book weeks, and information […]

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Reflecting and Looking Forward

Starting the New Semester With Your Students January has traditionally been a time of both reflection and looking forward and setting goals. It is a good time for a reset in your classroom. Guide your students to reflect on their first semester and begin to look forward to the second semester. Students will benefit from […]

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4 Resources for Teaching Dickens

Studying Charles Dickens in December is a highlight for Language Arts teachers. Here are 4 sites to help with your classroom study. Charles Dickens Info This website features three sections: The Life of Dickens The Work of Dickens A Christmas Carol Included in the website you will find a quiz, interactive resources, book and short […]

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A Fun Class Digital Time Capsule for Thanksgiving

Trying to find classroom activities that capitalize on the interest of the holidays, provide meaningful classroom experiences, and avoid controversy can be challenging. This time of year can also be very stressful for teachers as they juggle report cards, conferences, curriculum demands, parent communication, meetings, and their own family obligations. Try this low-prep Thanksgiving activity […]

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4 Fun Ideas for Halloween

1. R.L Stine Story Club Podcast R. L. Stine Story Club has a collection of podcasts designed for ages 8 and up. The episodes are stand alone. Ariel Winter (from Modern Family) is the narrator (club president) and there are more than 20 episodes for your students to enjoy. Click here to be directed to […]

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Student Inspires Idea for Blog–Get Your Kids Involved

I was going through my list of potential blog topics, trying to decide which topic I would write about next. In an uncanny coincidence, I opened an email from a student who had used the resources in an old blog post. The email stated, “Yesterday my youngest was given a paper on the Statue of […]

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3 Ways to Improve Fluency

The International Literacy Brief “Reading Fluently Does Not Mean Reading Fast” defines fluency as “reasonably accurate reading, at an appropriate rate, with suitable expression, that leads to accurate and deep comprehension and motivation to read.” Accurate reading involves developing automaticity. Reading accurately involves decoding and instant word recognition which allows the reader to concentrate on […]

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Jumping on the Boom™ Bandwagon

I have jumped on the Boom™ bandwagon. I would like to encourage you to check it out! They are fun for your students and rather addictive to create. In today’s post, I would like to provide some answers to common questions to help you navigate the opportunities available in Boom™. What are Boom cards? Boom™ […]

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Why A Reading Teacher Needs to Teach Geography

And free resources to help you do it! The Amazon River is in Africa. Dallas is a state. You can drive to Hawaii. Yes–HIGH SCHOOL students have all made these comments in my class. It is no wonder why they have trouble understanding things they read in their book when they have no idea where […]

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Trello for Students and Teachers

My husband was consulting with a company which used Trello. He was talking about how they used it at the company, and I decided to have a look. So….now I am addicted. I love Trello. I use it daily. Trello is a visual collaboration tool which helps with planning and organization. Essentially it is a […]

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Fun Free Apps on Your Phone/tablet for Stargazers

Usually I write about Apps for your classroom. Here are two fun APPS and and a website which could be fun for your students. The first one is only useful at night. Several adult couples were running around my backyard tonight with their phones in the air using these Apps. If you have students interested […]

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Halloween in the Classroom

Holiday Fun With Academics! Halloween is fun for fall and provides a great theme for the classroom. It can provide interest for even a reluctant learner! Here are some ideas for the virtual or in-person class.SPOOKY MUSIC Spooky Music My personal preference is for instrumental background music. I feel like it is less distracting as […]

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Student Choice

All of us like to feel like we have power over a situation. Students are no exception.Now, more than ever, students need to feel they have some control over their lives. Making a choice has been known to reduce stress. It makes us feel good. Most importantly, as a student making the choice then gives […]

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Back to School with Academic Learning–Setting the Tone for older students

Starting the school year can be stressful, but with all the added complexities of COVID, this year may be especially difficult. Establishing additional health related routines, addressing fears, and planning for uncertainty has just made the job even more difficult. Now, perhaps more than ever, starting the year purposefully is extremely important. Harry Wong, guru […]

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May 18-24

Develop the background knowledge of your students by sharing a historic event from each day. This post gives you an event which occurred each day in history from May 18-24. An online link for each day is also included. In this blog post you will find Plessy v. Ferguson, Guantanamo Bay, Hubble Telescope, Plato, Sir […]

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Day In History May 9-17

Improve the reading of your students by helping them to develop background knowledge. Share an event with your students based on each day in history. Check out the links to related free resources to help with your lesson. Included May 9-17: Crown Jewels, FBI, Euro, Donner Party, Louis Armstrong, US Constitution, Gasoline Rationing, China Cultural […]

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Day In History: May 1-8

Present an event which occurred in history to your students each day. Develop background knowledge as you discuss the event. Use the free online resource to supplement your resource. In this blog post: Osama Bin Laden, Kentucky Derby, Freedom Riders, Cinco De Mayo, Henry David Thoreau, Palace of Versailles, Mount Everest May 1–May Day May […]

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Day In History April 25-30

A great way to develop background information on a variety of topics is to post an event from history for each day. Check out the events listed from each day April 25-30 and use the free online resources in this blog to supplement your teaching. April 25–Watson and Crick Watson and Crick formally announce they […]

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Day In History: April 17-24

Develop the background knowledge of your students by sharing a historic event from each day. This post gives you an event which occurred each day in history from April 17 to April 24. A corresponding free online resource is linked. Check out the following topics: Bay of Pigs, Paul Revere, Boston Marathon, Columbine, Red Baron, […]

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Day In History: April 9-16

Share a historic event each day with your students. This is a great bell-ringer! Post on Smartboard or write on white board and discuss with your students to develop background knowledge. If you are searching for a way to develop reading skills, check out the differentiated passages (with comprehension questions) at the bottom of the […]

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Day in History: April 1-8

Free online resources for each of these topics: April Fool’s Day, White House Easter Egg Roll, Pony Express, Maya Angelou, Helen Keller, Sacajawea, History of the Internet, Buddhism April 1–April Fool’s Day A day of practical jokes and pranks is held every April 1. Looking for April fools’ Pranks for kids? Check out 41 Genius […]

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Day In History: March 17-24

Free online resources for each of these topics: St. Patrick’s Day, History of the Railroad, Wyatt Earp, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Pocahontas, The Equal Rights Amendment, Patrick Henry, Harry Houdini March 17–St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks? Leprechauns? St. Patrick? St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. Looking for a St. Patrick’s Day book? Penguin […]

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Day In History: March 9-16

Free online resources for your classroom on each of these topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Salvation Army, Richard Byrd, Truman Doctrine, K-9 War Dogs, Albert Einstein, Julius Caesar, and the Red Cross March 9: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal March 9, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the first of his […]

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Day In History: March 1-8

Free online resources for each of these topics: Salem Witch Trials, Theador Seuss Geisel, Child Labor, Hindenburg, Boston Massacre, Dred Scott, Challenger March 1–Salem Witch Trials March 1, 1692 the Salem witch trials begin in Massachusetts. The Stanford History Education Group consists of Stanford faculty, and graduate students seeking to improve education. One of the […]

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Day In History: February 23-28

Free online resources for your classroom on each of these topics: The Alamo, Japanese-American Internment, Muhammad Ali, World Trade Center, Mardi Gras, Branch Davidian Raid, February 23–The Alamo The siege of the Alamo begins February 23, 1836. Thealamo.org offers a variety of resources for the classroom. One interesting feature allows students to look at the […]

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