Common Core & More Morning Work

Back to School Common Core & More 2nd Grade

Do you wish you had an easy way to review the skills that you have taught? Are you frustrated when your students "forgot" what you taught them a few weeks ago? Have you been wondering how to incorporate the Common Core Standards into your classroom? Are you worried that it is "one more thing" you have to cram into your already busy schedule? Well, I've been in your shoes and it has motivated me to create a solution that will work for students as well as teachers. I am happy to share with … [Read more...]

Frog and Toad: Facts and Fiction

frog and toad characters

Arnold Lobel's beloved characters Frog and Toad are popular stories with developing readers. The characters in this series  provide a great opportunity to practice the skills of compare and contrast. I like to use this story as a launching opportunity to read and write about factual information about frogs and toads. We continue the skill of comparing and contrasting by having the  students analyze a table of data that I created about frogs and toads. Did you know that toads don't have … [Read more...]

Teaching With Literature

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When it comes to instilling a love for reading, there is nothing better than using "real" books. My students love to be read to and constantly adjust their heads trying to get a better look at the illustrations. I'll pause at suspenseful moments and ask them to predict what might happen next. Eagerly we hold our breath as I turn the page. Were we right? Did the characters respond as we had thought? The children cheer at the end and beg for more. It doesn't get much better than that. Research … [Read more...]

Spice Up Their Words

SpiceUpYourWordsPreview

One growth area my students usually need is a wider vocabulary. Frequently,  they get stuck using dull adjectives and boring verbs. So I began thinking of a creative way to get them to spice up their writing. I quickly latched onto the word "spicier" and images of cooking, recipes, and mixing up a tastier paragraph whisked in my brain. Below is an interactive word wall that I created. The bowls are glued onto envelopes to create pouched. The spoons contain synonyms for the overused words. The … [Read more...]

Community Helpers – Booklist

Community Helpers 17

This week we are launching a unit on communities. One area of focus is on the importance of people helping other people to meet their needs. As part of learning about goods and services, we spend some time learning about different ways people make our communities a better place. Last week, our Harcourt Trophies story was Good-Bye Curtis by Kevin Henkes. In this story, Curtis has faithfully delivered the mail to his community for 42 years. During that time he has befriended many families. He … [Read more...]

Common Core & More – May

1st grade sample MAY

   One thing I have realized is that even though you teach it, it doesn't mean they've learned it! Like most new learning, it takes an abundant amount of practice before the student "owns" the concept. That is why I am so happy to be using Daily Common Core & More for my morning work. It has shown me which skills they have mastered and which ones... well let's say "haven't stuck" yet. I had some followers ask for a 1st grade edition. So I gladly created two versions for May. One for 1st … [Read more...]

Insect Unit with Differentiated Reading and Writing

Insects Mega Unit

If your classroom is anything like mine, you have a wide range of abilities and skill levels. Whether you are self-contained, multi-age, inclusion model, homeschooling, or special education, this unit was designed with differentiation built in. I am so excited to share this unit with you! This 80+ page MEGA UNIT includes 3 levels of informational text and writing activities on insects. Therefore, you can customize the reading and writing difficulty based upon the needs of your … [Read more...]

Mentor Monday – Identifying Character Traits in Literature

Character Traits Updated File

Readers learn about a character  through their actions and words. Rarely does an author directly say the character is curious or hardworking. Instead, the reader is actually using the skill of making inferences to figure this out. For developing readers, identifying character traits can be a challenge. When I introduce this skill, I like to read aloud a story that has a very strong character such as the little wolf in The Wolf Who Cried Boy.   After reading and discussing the … [Read more...]

Organizing for the Common Core K-4th Toolkits

CCS-PROMO-K-4-web

Do you get the organizing bug this time of year? Are the piles of files taking over your counter space? Maybe its time to tackle your files and clear out the clutter. As teachers we are notorious for collecting ideas. It doesn't take long for our files to be filled with potential learning activities. The problem is after all these years, it is hard to separate the good from the clutter.  I knew it was time to revamp my files and what better way than to design attractive labels that also … [Read more...]

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

dr seuss one fish two fish

One of the most well known and beloved children's author for generations is Dr. Seuss. His unique characters combined with lyrical use of rhyme has made him a popular choice for early readers. Both of my children memorized the words to One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish long before they could actually read the text. Now in their twenties, they can still recite lines from their favorite Dr. Seuss  stories. On March 2nd, schools across America will be celebrating his lifetime of … [Read more...]