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Classroom Organization Ideas

April 17, 2017 1 Comment

If you are getting the itch to clean, purge, and reorganize your work spaces, here are some of my favorite tips. CLASSROOM LIBRARY BENCH This clever idea come from Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher. She used IKEA bookshelves (sold here)  and turned them sideways. She made bench pads using foam and outdoor fabric for extra durability. To fill in the gap in the corner she placed a table with a lamp. I think this is…

The Candy Corn Contest – Novel Study

November 12, 2016 No Comments

Learning Through Literature is a series designed to help you and your students get the most out of a popular children’s book. Whether you are using this title for guided reading, small group instruction, or as a whole-group read aloud to your class, you will find plenty of ideas and resources to support your literacy program. THIS UNIT INCLUDES: * comprehension questions for each chapter * vocabulary and word work lessons * extension activities to provide…

Wampanoag Daily Life in the 1600’s

November 2, 2016 No Comments

The Wampanoag people lived, hunted, and farmed the area we call Plymouth long before the Pilgrims arrived. I wanted to provide my students with background about this tribe that went deeper than the stereotypical “they helped the Pilgrims survive”. By combining the amazing artwork of Sarah at Educlips Designs I was able to create 4 powerful teaching tools about the Wampanoag. First is a colorful, detailed PowerPoint show complete with sound clips and animation. It makes…

Wolves – Facts or Fables?

October 19, 2016 No Comments

Wolves ~ does the word conjure up fear, awe, or curiosity? Well known stories such as Little Red Riding Hood portray the wolf character as scheming, deceitful, and blood thirsty. Then there is the story of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. The huffing and puffing character is determined to have his ham dinner. Hollywood has scared audiences with the murderous werewolf whose haunting howls in the night are intended to bring fear…

Using Mentor Texts to Teach Nonfiction

October 2, 2016 1 Comment

I’m thrilled to share with you one of my favorite children’s author / illustrator: Gail Gibbons. Today we are going to examine nonfiction text features through her book titled The Pumpkin Book.   Identifying Nonfiction Text Features Gail Gibbons is a prolific author of informational texts for elementary readers. She is a master at weaving text and nonfiction elements with detailed illustrations and diagrams. That is why Gail Gibbons’ books are perfect to use as mentor…

Frog and Toad: Facts and Fiction

September 22, 2016 No Comments

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…

Spelling Practice for Any Word List

September 9, 2016 No Comments

Oh what a treasure I have for you today!  This week’s freebie is an assortment of  NO PREP printables that you can use with any spelling list. They are perfect for homework or in class practice.  Do you have differentiated lists? No problem! The children use their own spelling list. Also, there is flexibility in the number of words; 10, 15, or 20. So let’s take a look at what is inside your Friday Freebie: First…

Organizing Classroom Libraries

August 20, 2016 No Comments

Research has proven that exemplary classrooms have an extensive collection of books for their students to read independently each day. The challenge is how to manage and organize all those books.  An efficient classroom library is one that is easy for children to find the books they are looking for, plus empowers them to return the books to the proper place when they are finished. Here are some ideas to consider: Many teachers use baskets to…

Children’s Books Kids Love and Remember

August 14, 2016 2 Comments

Today I wanted to spotlight some of my class favorite read alouds. I like my students to hear stories that engage their minds and emotions, make them laugh, or touch their heart. They will often refer to these stories and characters throughout the year as we make connections to other stories they read in class. One of our beloved characters is Strega Nona created by Tomie dePaola. Each year, I launch our first author study about…

Empowering Your Students for Success

July 24, 2016 No Comments

What’s the difference between enabling our students versus empowering them? It was a thought-provoking question asked at a conference I attended. For some, the words are synonymous. For those with a background in psychology, there were clear differences. To be an enabler means you are providing support to another person who is unable to function successfully on their own. It is a co-dependent relationship. It is the enabler who knows what to do. Someone who is…

Welcome! I'm Alison Monk, a primary teacher with a passion for creating educational materials that engage kids and teachers love! I hope this blog encourages and inspires you. I'm so glad you are here! Read More

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Books have a magical way of taking us beyond our present reality into a world of possibilities. Our hearts smile, our minds grow, and our imagination blooms. The Literacy Garden is a place for parents and teachers to gather so they can nuture the children that surround them.

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